Writing an ITS alert

All ITS Alerts will be generated using the ITS Alert Tool

Entering status information into the tool will generate an ITS Alert in the proper format.

An effective IS-ALERT notice has three things:

  1. Clarity—any layman should understand what is going on
  2. Brevity—it’s a notice, not a novel
  3. Completeness—it states the facts about an event, as it they currently known and the expected outcome


When reporting an outage or planned service upgrade to IS-ALERT, follow this acronym:


A – State the APPLICATION affected and the resulting problem :

Application:   ie: the Network, Office 365, Blackboard, etc;      
The Problem: experiencing an outage, is receiving an upgrade and will be offline. etc

L- Identify the LOCATION/scope  of the the problem—is it limited to an application, a building or does it affect other applications?

E- EVENT time/date- scheduled or unplanned .

R- RETURN to service expected when?

T- Who can users TALK TO: Who can I contact for more info?


When sending an ITS Alert, the subject line is the “headline” and should clearly state the problem. The subject line should contain the following information:

Subject line: [Application/ Location /Problem] + [Date/Time] 

• List the application or service affected first, using the full name (ie: Office 365, not email)
• If the outage only affects a specific location—list the location first. (ie: The Beadle Center or East Campus, etc)
• Then state the problem—an outage, upgrade, etc.


The Body of Message :

Body of message for planned outages:

[Application/ Location] will be down; will not have access; will not be operational; beginning [Date/Time] This will effect [name any other applications/systems affected]. Information Technology Services will be [upgrading system, performing maintence, etc] during this time.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [ITS employee’s name, phone & email] .


Example of a PLANNED outage:

Beadle Network Upgrade Outage--Sat, 2/6 8:30am-4:00pm

The Beadle Center (2nd floor, north-south wing only) will not have access to the campus network on Saturday, February 6 from 8:30AM until 4:00PM . This will effect both campus wired and wireless connections in this location. Information Techology Services will be upgrading a network switch during this time.

All other areas of the Beadle Center will have normal network access.

Please contact Kent Eitzmann at 472-5665 or keitzmann@unl.edu if you have questions or concerns about this scheduled downtime.


Example of an UNPLANNED outage:

Network Connection Problems-ABEL HALL 5/4/2009  8:23AM
We are experiencing wired network connection problems in Abel Hall this morning.  Wireless connectivity is still working.  Network technicians are working to restore service shortly.


With UNPLANNED outages—follow up on results:

RESOLVED-Network Connection ABEL HALL 5/4/2009 12:33PM
All network connectivity has been restored to Abel Hall.