Brush fires this week in northeast Irvine prompted many calls to campus asking if classes would be held Monday. Such emergencies are exactly why campus administrators created “zotAlert,” an emergency alert system that uses text messages to quickly notify the campus community of a natural disaster, crisis response or need to secure the campus. To be used only in an emergency, zotAlert adds to the university’s existing emergency communications network. Had the campus been closed, anyone signed up for zotAlert would have received a text message on their cell phone. Faculty and staff can sign up for zotAlert messages by visiting PhUpdate, logging in and updating their profile with an emergency cell phone number. Students are strongly encouraged to provide their cell phone numbers to the university by visiting StudentAccess, clicking “Change of Address” and updating their contact (including emergency) information.