Southern Illinois University | Emergency Communications

Southern Illinois University Emergency Communications

Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS)

Web site:

Contact person:     

Dr. Todd Sigler
Department of Public Safety
(618) 453-3771 (DPS1)


Southern Illinois University Carbondale uses a wireless emergency notification system (WENS). In this system, an SIU Alert is sent to your cell phone as a text-message and/or as an e-mail to your e-mail address. 

To register for WENS, Click Here

To unsubscribe for WENS, Click Here

SIU Alerts are messages about an emergency. The message may alert you to an emergency situation, ask you to take action, or both. Some weather warnings including flash flood, severe thunderstorm, winter storm, and tornado warnings will also be sent as an SIU Alert. The messages are short (only 160 characters long). For more detailed information, you may need to go to another source of University emergency information.

You must have a phone that is capable of receiving either text messages or e-mail or have a computer that can receive e-mail to receive the SIUC Alert through WENS.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why should I register?
While SIU uses a number of distribution methods to notify you of an emergency, using the WENS could save you critical time depending upon your location.

Does registering automatically update my emergency contact information in my student/employee records folder in Records & Registration/Human Resources?
No. Registering for SIU Alerts will not alter the emergency contact information listed in your personal or employee records folder.

Can I register through WENS to receive just an e-mail?
No, in the WENS system, you must register a telephone number to register an e-mail address. You cannot register an e-mail address alone.

Is there a charge for registering to receive messages through WENS?
This is a free service provided by SIU. However, your cell phone provider may charge you for receiving text messages (SMS). Check your service agreement for details. Service costs from your cellular provider are your responsibility.

Why are you sending a text-message and not calling me?
Attempting to call everyone could take hours. This is an important factor especially during a time sensitive emergency. SIU Alerts will be short and are meant to make registrants aware that there is an emergency and direct them to other college resources for additional information.

Under what circumstances will I receive a SIU Alert?
SIU Alerts are used during emergencies that threaten life safety on a campus and/or severely impacts normal campus/college operations. Additionally, you will also receive warnings of flash flood, severe thunderstorm, winter storm, and tornado warnings.

Will SIU periodically test the system?
SIU is planning on a monthly test message to verify your subscription to this service and to ensure the system is working properly.

Will the WENS system work if there is a power failure?
All systems, including email and text message systems, are subject to failure due to emergencies or disasters. While WENS is a valuable addition to our existing emergency notification systems, we cannot guarantee that it will work in all emergencies. This is why we try to have redundant systems of emergency communication distribution.

I don't want to receive messages anymore. How do I unsubscribe?
At any time, you can simply return to the WENS website and click the unsubscribe button or click here. Enter the contact information you used to register and then select the unsubscribe box at the bottom of the page.

How do I update my information if my email address, cell phone number or pager number has changed?
If your contact information has changed, follow the instructions above to unsubscribe the information that has changed. You must register again with your new contact information.

How do I acquire additional information about WENS or report a problem with the system?
Please email any additional questions or report problems to the IT Computer Support Center at (618) 453-5155.

Do I need to sign up for a "premium" text messaging service to receive SIU text message alerts through WENS?
SIU does not require that you subscribe to a "premium" text messaging service to receive SIU Alerts. However, every wireless carrier has a different type of package for text messaging service. If you are concerned about being charged for an SIU Alert, please contact your wireless carrier to confirm your text messaging package rates.

Will my wireless carrier charge me to receive an SIU Alert as a text message?
Most wireless carriers will not place an additional charge for an SIU Alert text message. Rather, it will be part of your text messaging package that you subscribed to in your contract. However, every wireless carrier has a different type of package for text messaging service and whether your carrier charges for an SIU Alert message is up to the carrier, not SIU. If you are concerned about being charged for an SIU Alert, please contact your wireless carrier to confirm your text messaging package rates. 

Please note that no communication distribution method, including text messaging, is infallible. For that reason, SIU uses redundant systems of emergency communication, including telephone, Internet, e-mail, radio, and person-to person, to distribute news and instructions during an emergency. Before an emergency arrives, please make yourself aware of all of the distribution methods by visiting our Emergency Communications website at