Cougar Alert Emergency Notification System

The College of Charleston operates an emergency notification system that can reach students, faculty, staff and others within minutes of a campus crisis. This system is called Cougar Alert.

Cougar Alerts are used to communicate emergencies taking place on campus, with direct call to actions, such as evacuations, building closures and/or class cancellations. Alerts are also employed for emergencies or major events taking place in the greater Charleston community that might impact our campus community.

What you need to do to receive emergency notifications:

  • CofC students, faculty, and staff are automatically enrolled to receive alerts.
  • Add (843) 805-5507 to your Contacts/Address book on your mobile phone and label it Cougar Alert
  • Update mobile phone and email address in MyPortal

Parents, families, visitors, and others can receive Cougar Alerts  

  • Non-CofC members can subscribe to receive Cougar Alerts by texting the word cougaralert to 333111. You will automatically receive Cougar Alerts via text message. To also receive the alerts by email, reply to the confirmation text with your email address.

There are three types of notifications sent to the campus community:


A Timely Warning is sent via campus email and other electronic means in response to crimes that pose a serious or continuing threat to students and/or employees, pursuant to the federal Jeanne Clery Act. Examples of incidents that may warrant a Timely Warning are criminal homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and burglary.


Cougar Alerts are sent via campus email and other electronic means for major emergencies or life-threatening situations occurring on or immediately near campus. Types of emergencies that may warrant the issuance of a Cougar Alert include active shooter, assault, homicide, fire, and certain severe weather events (e.g., hurricane warning, tornado warning). Cougar Alerts may be issued when members of the campus community are directed to take immediate action, such as shelter in place or evacuate a particular building or area of campus.


 Campus Advisory examples could include case updates on ongoing public health matters (e.g., mumps, COVID-19), facilities-related issues affecting large numbers of people (e.g., parking garage problems), isolated gas leaks and fire alarms and other incidents that do not rise to the level of a Cougar Alert. This advisory may also be used for incidents occurring off campus. Examples of off-campus incidents that may warrant an advisory include flooding, major structure fires, major gas leaks, hostage situations, shootings, widespread street closures and other large-scale events that may impact access to or departure from campus. Campus Advisories will be issued to students and employees through the College’s email system.


Technical help 

For technical support on receiving Cougar Alerts and other types of notifications please contact the IT Service Desk at 843.953.3375 or