TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) FAQ

1. What is a TigerAlert (formerly PTENS)?

TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) is an emergency notification system that allows authorized Princeton officials to send news and instructions simultaneously to individuals through landline phones, cellular phones, text messaging and e-mail. The benefits of the TigerAlert system (formerly PTENS) are its immediacy and direct access to individual campus members through multiple points of contact.

TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) complements tools the University already has in place to communicate with the University community during events such as weather-related closings, public health crises, public safety emergencies and other unique emergency situations. In the event of an actual emergency, the University will continue to relay critical information using the most appropriate options from a full range of notification resources, including the blue light towers, the Princeton homepage and other means.

2. How does a member of the University’s campus community enter contact information so that it can be available for use in emergencies?

All graduate and undergraduate students must enter emergency contact information through the self-service TigerHub. Faculty and staff must enter emergency contact information through the Office of Human Resources self-service website.

3. When entering data for use by the TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) system, may one include contact information for a spouse or significant other so that they too will be alerted during emergencies?

TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) notifications are directed solely to the University member via the contact information provided. While students, faculty and staff are asked to provide "In Case of Emergency" contacts in the self-service databases for other purposes, this information is not relevant to nor used by the TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) emergency notification system.

4. When entering data for use by the TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) system, may a person only include an e-mail address, but no phone numbers?

The TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) system requires at least one valid phone number in order to accept the entire record for a specific person. The phone number may be a home phone, business phone or cell phone.

5. Will my cell phone automatically receive text messages?

Yes, unless you do not have a cell phone on file with TigerHub or HR Self-Service.

6. Other members of the University community received emergency notification messages, but I did not. What should I do?

First, check your contact information in TigerHub or HR Self-Service. Update any missing or incorrect information. Ensure that you have at least one valid phone number listed.

If your contact information is up-to-date and you believe you should have received a message, please send an e-mail to [email protected].

7. I expected to, but did not receive a text message on my cell phone.

Check your contact information in TigerHub or HR Self-Service to ensure that you entered your cell phone number in the correct field (see question 5).

8. Is there a charge for calls or text messages received from TigerAlert (formerly PTENS)?

There is no extra charge for calls or text messages from TigerAlert (formerly PTENS). However, the phone call and text message is subject to the conditions and rates of your particular calling plan. For example, if your calling plan does not include text messaging, you may incur a charge for a text message received from TigerAlert (formerly PTENS), based on the rates of your cell phone service provider. Please note that with the exception of the annual system test, the University will only send text messages for urgent situations.

9. Are non-Princeton University Community members who use University resources, such as recreation facilities, or University contractors included in the emergency notification system?

No, non-University members are not included in this system. Visitors to the University, including contractors and recreational facility users, may refer to the University website, the telephone hotlines, signs and personal communications for information. In recreational facilities, Athletics personnel inform facility users onsite when that facility must close during an emergency.

10. The e-mail notification from TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) included a button to listen to the message, but not all computers have sound systems. Is the voice message the same as the text included in the e-mail?

Yes. The text of the voice message is repeated in the body of the e-mail. There is no need to listen to the .wav file with the voice message. The voice message is the same one that was transmitted via phone.

11. Another member of my household is also a member of the Princeton University community, yet we received only one phone call to our home.

The system recognizes phone numbers that are repeated and will only connect to a unique phone number once.

12. The phone directory lists a common phone number for multiple people in our office. Will we receive multiple phone calls via that phone?

No. The system recognizes phone numbers that are repeated and will only connect to a unique phone number once.

13. I did not receive a message on my office or dormitory phone.

If your phone has a call distribution system (e.g., press 1 for person A, press 2 for person B, etc.), the TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) system is unable to leave a message. Otherwise, please refer to question 6.

14. I received the message, but my answering machine cut it off. Why?

The system attempts to detect what type of response it is receiving on the other end of the line. In most cases, the system accurately detects an answering machine and the message plays correctly. In some instances, the system incorrectly detects a live person and starts to deliver the message prior to the start of the recording.

15. The message on my cell phone kept looping and repeating. Why?

The system does its best to detect whether it has reached a live person or an answering machine. Sometimes when there is noise in the background, the system incorrectly identifies this as an answering machine. When this happens, it waits for a brief moment of silence before starting to play the message. Using the mute feature on the phone or moving to a quieter location may prevent the message from looping or repeating.

If you have additional questions about the TigerAlert (formerly PTENS) System, please contact [email protected].