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F.A.Q.s for AU Desktop Alerts

What is AU Desktop Alert? AU Desktop Alert is a program that will display emergency alerts on your computer. It can be installed on computers running Mac or Windows operating systems.

Will it slow down my computer? No. It is a small program that will use very little of system resources.

When will AU Desktop Alerts be sent? AU Desktop Alerts will be triggered in the event of a campus emergency. It will not be used to communicate routine messages. (Note: Test runs of AU Desktop Alerts will be performed two to three times a year, but you will be notified in advance that it is only a test via Today@AU announcements).

What will AU Desktop Alerts look like? They will look something like the image below:

Screenshot of AU Desktop Alert

This is an example of what an AU Desktop Alert looks like.

If an alert is sent, will I lose what I was working on? No. The alert simply becomes the top window on your screen. As soon as you press the green acknowledge button, you will be returned to your desktop exactly as it was before the alert.

What if I have more questions about AU Desktop Alert? Contact the OIT Helpdesk at (202)885-2550 or If you have general questions about emergency preparedness at American University, visit or e-mail