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Alert Notification Systems

  • Office of Emergency Management

In the event of an emergency, NOVA may notify you in various ways, including:

  • Text Messaging Service (NOVA Alert)
  • Fire Alarm (Strobes)
  • Phones (classrooms and offices)
  • Computer Pop-Ups (networked computers)
  • Public Address System Announcements (where available)
  • Digital Flat Panels

NOVA Alert

NOVA Alert allows members of the NOVA community to receive emergency notifications from the College.  We strongly encourage you to go to to register for this important text-messaging service.


The College is able to send an emergency alert to every computer connected to the College computer network. It allows emergency messages to be sent to classrooms where the instructor is using the computer during class to all the students in computer labs, and to all the staff in their offices.

Emergency messages can be broadcast directly into any IP phone on a campus and emergency calls can be made from phones that have been installed college wide. The activation of this system can be local (campus) or central.

Emergency messages can be displayed on flat panel screens that are strategically located on every NOVA campus. The messages can be locally or centrally controlled.

During emergencies, email can be sent to all faculty and staff, adjuncts and students. Separate distribution lists are also maintained for each campus.

Emergency messages can be put on the NOVA Website quickly from any location. The alert appears at the top of the page. The large picture can be changed to allow text in case additional information is so urgent that it needs to appear on the NOVA home page.

A message is posted to NOVA's Facebook and Twitter sites.

Emergency messages can be put on the College’s Cable-TV channel from remote locations. The NOVA Channel appears on the Cox and Comcast systems in Fairfax County and Alexandria and on Verizon FiOS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is also available in other jurisdictions on a more limited daily schedule.

Low-power radios were installed on all six campuses that can deliver a signal over 1630 MHz to AM radios within 2 to 3 miles of the campus. Each campus radio can be programmed independently. The primary purpose of these radios is to deliver information to visitors as they approach the campus.

However, emergency messages can be recorded and set to play from any telephone. Signs are in place that let the public know about the system on roads approaching the campuses. These signs do not have flashing lights to indicate an emergency message since that capability on the highways is reserved for the local jurisdictions.

The College Public Information Office sends press releases and makes calls to contacts on a local media list. Due to the transient nature  of the population in our area, the College depends a great deal on broadcast media to notify our students, faculty and staff of emergencies before or during their commutes.