Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Contact Information

For questions, please contact:

Division of Emergency Management
Phone: (301) 496-1985
orsdem@nih.gov

For questions specific to your Institute or Center, please contact your Emergency Coordinator.

        Emergency Numbers
​On Campus
Dial 911, or
(301) 496-9911 from cell phone
​Off Campus
Dial 9-911, or
911 from cell phone
 

National terrorism advisory system (NTAS) icon

 

 

ORS breadcrumbAlert > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Facebook IconTwitter IconEmail

  
  • expand-collapse question categoryGeneral
    • QuestionWhat is AlertNIH?
      • ​AlertNIH is the official emergency notification system for the NIH community.  If there is an emergency, campus closure or delay, AlertNIH can send a notification to those who have signed up describing the nature of the situation and instructions on immediate actions.  Once you have completed the opt-in process through the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) Portal (NIH only) and verified your information, you may receive an alert by email, phone call, text message, or on the new mobile app.

    • QuestionWill I automatically receive alerts?
      • Not necessarily.  It depends on if you have accurate work and personal contact information and are opted in through the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) Portal (NIH only).  Here's how it works:

        1. Work Contact Information:  If your work email address, office phone, and government cell phone numbers are in NED, you will receive alerts on those devices.
        2. Personal Contact Information:  If you would like to receive alerts on your personal devices, such as personal email, text message, or phone calls, you need to complete two steps in NED.  Add or verify your personal contact information, then go to the AlertNIH Notifications section and opt-in.  Be sure to click Submit before closing your browser.

        For help with updating your NED profile, please review the instructions on the AlertNIH website.

    • QuestionIs AlertNIH the same thing as Alert Montgomery or other county alert systems?
      • ​No.  It is recommended that you sign up for both AlertNIH and any other county alert services in the area(s) near your place of work and residence.  You can find links to county alerting systems near the Main Bethesda Campus on the AlertNIH website or by clicking here.

  • expand-collapse question categoryRegistering and Updating Your Contact Information
    • QuestionHow do I update my contact information to receive alerts?
      • In order to receive alerts during an emergency, there are two steps you must complete in the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) Portal (NIH only).  First, verify or update your current work and/or personal contact information.  Next, if you want receive alerts on your personal devices, you must also opt-in on the AlertNIH Notifications page in NED.  You'll find this section at the very bottom of the Self-Service Overall Summary page.  Be sure to click Submit to save your changes before closing the window.

        For more information, please review the instructions on the AlertNIH website.

    • QuestionI added my personal contact information in NED last year but never received any alerts. Why not?
      • It is possible that you entered your personal information correctly but didn't opt-in by editing the AlertNIH Notifications section in NED.  Please try again and if you need assistance, you can find detailed instruction on the AlertNIH website.  Or you may contact your IC Emergency Coordinator (or Deputy) or the Division of Emergency Management (DEM) at orsdem@nih.gov or (301) 496-1985.

        Note:  If you want to use your personal email address to register for the mobile app, that email must be opted-in through the AlertNIH Notifications section.

    • QuestionHow do I register for AlertNIH and the mobile app if I don’t have computer access at NIH?
      • If you do not have computer access, you may do either of the following.  

        1. (Preferred) Contact your Administrative Officer (AO) to enter your Personal and/or Work Contact Information in NED on your behalf, or
        2. Contact your IC Emergency Coordinator (or Deputy) to add your contact information directly to your AtHoc profile.  Note: Your information will not be transferred from AtHoc to NED.

        Any work email and personal email (if opted-in) may then be used to register the mobile app.

    • QuestionWhat do I need to do if I transfer or leave NIH?
      • If you transfer from your current Institute or Center, you will need to update your contact information in NED.  Any changes in NED will automatically be updated in AlertNIH.  If you downloaded and registered the AtHoc Mobile App, no action is needed if your email address used to register is still valid.

        If you leave NIH, your AlertNIH contact information will be removed from the database and you will no longer receive alerts. 

    • QuestionWill my personal and work information remain confidential?
      • Yes, BlackBerry AtHoc meets Federal standards for cloud-based IT systems (FedRAMP authorized) to ensure your personal and work information will remain confidential.  For more information, please review the BlackBerry Privacy Policy.

  • expand-collapse question categoryAlerts
    • QuestionWhat types of notifications does AlertNIH send?
      • AlertNIH sends notifications to relay urgent information about emergencies, incidents, or facility closures that may affect you or your work site.  Occasionally, you may receive messages to test the functionality of the system and familiarize staff with its operation.

    • QuestionWho will be sending messages?
      • You may receive alerts from either AlertNIH (NIH-wide alerts) or from your IC Emergency Coordinator (IC-specific alerts).  Email alerts will be from AlertNIH or Alert[IC Name] and look something like this:   

        From:  AlertNCATS <Alert-1234567-1253456789@athocalerts.com>

    • QuestionWhat should I do when I receive an AlertNIH message?
      • When receiving an AlertNIH message, you may be asked to respond from a list of numbered choices.  To submit your response via:

        Email: Simply click Reply, type only the number of your response in the body of the email, and click Send.  Do not add additional text to your response; use only a number.

        Text Message: Reply directly to the text message by typing only the number of your response, and click Send.

        Phone Call: After listening to all response options, touch the number corresponding to your choice.

        Mobile App: Select the notification, tap Reply, and tap your response.

        Note:  It is recommended that when you receive alerts on your cell phone, you add that number to your contacts to easily recognize future incoming alerts. 

    • QuestionMy phone sometimes makes a loud ringing noise followed by a message on the screen, is that AlertNIH?
      • No, these alerts are sent through the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) System. Launched in 2012, the WEA system has been utilized by national, state and local governments to deliver critical information during emergencies. The three types of alerts received from the WEA system are alerts from the President, alerts to notify individuals of imminent threats to life/safety and Amber alerts. 

  • expand-collapse question categoryAlertNIH Mobile App