College of Charleston Police Chief Chip Searson sent the following message to the campus community regarding a planned test of the Cougar Alert emergency notification system on Thursday, March 25, 2021:  

Dear Campus Community, 

In an effort to maintain the safety and security of our students, employees and visitors, the College will conduct a test of the Cougar Alert emergency notification system at 10 a.m. this Thursday, March 25. You can help us ensure that the technology is working properly by responding to the alerts when you receive them. Confirmation instructions will be included with each test message.  

The emergency notifications will be sent to all members of the campus community through email, text, phone and the Everbridge mobile app. The return e-mail address will be displayed as “College of Charleston,” and text message will be displayed as 893-61 (campus members may want to add that as a contact), and the phone number will display as 843.805.5507. 

If you do not receive a Cougar Alert after the test is conducted, please go to for information on updating your contact information. If you have technology-related questions or concerns, you can reach the CofC Service Desk by phone at 843.953.3375 or through the IT Help Portal at 


The College will also be testing a new system called Alertus during this test of the emergency notification system. When the College issues a Cougar Alert, all campus computer workstations and laptops running the Alertus system will display a full-screen pop-up alert providing messaging about the Cougar Alert on campus. Users will need to click “acknowledge” on the screen to remove the full-screen Alertus notification. The test messages will also appear on digital display screens throughout campus. These pop-up alerts are in addition to those the campus will receive by email, text, phone and the Everbridge app and are not meant to replace these notifications.  

Cougar Alerts for Non-CofC Community Members 

Parents, visitors, prospective students, community members, downtown businesses and others who wish to receive Cougar Alerts can opt-in to receive notifications by texting the word cougaralert to 333111. Message and data rates may apply. Opt-in users can also receive Cougar Alerts by email. To receive alerts by email, reply to the Everbridge confirmation text with your email address. 

Thank you for helping to keep the College of Charleston community safe and informed. 


Chip Searson
Chief of Police
College of Charleston