Love it or hate it, TCU Alert is meant to keep you safe


By Luke Morand

It is a sound, email or text the TCU community has become all too familiar with in the event of an emergency.

The following notification has been sent by TCU Alert. This is an emergency TCU Alert.  Tornado emergency, seek immediate indoor shelter away from windows, lowest level possible.  More updates to follow as available.

According to their information website, TCU makes the decision to send out TCU Alert based on the following weather-related emergencies:

  • When wind speeds reach 50 mph or above or wind gusts are 58 mph or above
  • When hail is ¾ of an inch or penny size
  • When the campus ThorGuard Lightning Detection System indicates dangerous lightning in our area

When a severe thunderstorm came through Fort Worth early March 29, it fit the criteria with high winds and the potential for tornadoes.

But, there are irritated feelings from students who don’t like TCU Alert because it wakes them up and sends too many notifications.

Some take their frustrations out on twitter.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Kathy Cavins-Tull says its all part of the notifications efforts to keep the TCU community safe.

“You’re getting notified in multiple ways because we want to get your attention,” Cavins-Tull said. “By design, it is a disruptive system.”

When a TCU Alert is sent out, recipients can expect text messages, phone calls and emails detailing the events.

The notification system asks for a “yes” response so that it knows you are safe from harm.

The Vice Chancellor wanted to assure recipients that there is a reason for the incessant alerts.

“It saved people from really dangerous conditions,” Cavins-Tull said.  “It delayed their trip to campus to stay out of that weather pattern.”

But there are some TCU alert recipients, who wish they didn’t get the notification.

Ashley Winther, a May 2016 TCU graduate, said her mom still gets the alerts whenever TCU sends them out.

Winther’s mom lives in southern California.

“It wakes her up in the middle of the night,” Winther said.  “She lives in California and so she doesn’t need to be alerted that there is a tornado warning in Texas.”

Those who receive TCU Alerts in error, can go to, fill out the form, and begin the steps to be removed from the alert system.

As for students who are not fond of the system, the Vice Chancellor said that it is something she understands but is just part of being safe.

“I’ll apologize for someone being annoyed,” Cavins-Tull said. “But I don’t apologize for trying to keep our campus safe and our students, faculty and staff safe from whatever is impending.”

There are no anticipated changes to TCU alert.

The system will continue to be deployed as usual in emergency situations.