AlertTraveler App - User Guide

 

AlertTraveler is a mobile application for iOS and Android devices that utilizes GPS and your travel itinerary. AlertTraveler provides you with country and city intelligence to help you make informed decisions while traveling, safety and security alerts to let you know of any events that could potentially impact your travel or safety, and an instant check-in option allowing you to report your status back to administrators and travel advisors at your institution in case of an incident.

 

Installing AlertTraveler (iOS devices)


You can go to the Apple App Store

and search for AlertTraveler by name. Once you find the app, download and install it on your iOS device. You will need to obtain a Registration Email and Password before configuring the app (See “Registering AlertTraveler” below).

In order for AlertTraveler to be fully functional, you will need to allow Notifications, Location Services, and Health and Motion Services. In order to enable these services, respond as indicated below to the following messages during initial activation:

  • “AlertTraveler Would Like to Send You Notifications”  - Tap “Allow”

  • “AlertTraveler Would Like to Access your Motion & Fitness Activity”  Tap “OK”

  • “Allow “AlertTraveler” to access your location while you use the app”  Tap “Allow”

  • “Background location is not enabled”  Tap “Settings” then tap “Location” and then select “Always.”

Note:  If you need to revise these settings, you can go to the iOS Settings app and select AlertTraveler where you can enable each of these services.
 

Installing AlertTraveler (Android devices)

 

You can go to the Google Play store

and search for AlertTraveler by name. Once you find the app, you should install it on your Android device. You will need to obtain a Registration Email and Password before configuring the app (See “Registering AlertTraveler” below).

In order for AlertTraveler to be fully functional, you will need to allow location services. In order to enable these services, you should respond as indicated below to the following message during initial activation:

  • Allow AlertTraveler to access this device’s location? - Tap “Allow”

Note:  If you need to revise these settings, you can go to the Android Settings app, the “Apps” section, select AlertTraveler, and open the “Permissions” section  where you can enable or disable this setting.

 

Registering AlertTraveler

 

You will be presented with an “AlertTraveler Registration” panel on your Applicant/Registrant Home page on the site in which you registered your travel with your institution. Click “Generate” on this panel to create your password. Then you will use your email address and generated password, as shown on this panel, to log in to the AlertTraveler mobile app, available for free on the App Store and Google Play Store. You can also opt to have your password emailed to you by clicking ‘Email me my password’ on the AlertTraveler Registration panel or ‘Forgotten password?’ on the login page of the AlertTraveler app. This email and password combination is required to pair your institution application and profile with the AlertTraveler app. If you view that email on your phone, you can choose to log in automatically from the email to the AlertTraveler app. Or, if you log in to the site in which you registered your travel with your institution on your mobile device, you can click on the button labeled “LOGIN TO ALERTTRAVELER." This will launch the AlertTraveler app and log you in automatically.

Note: It may take up to 30 minutes after you become eligible before the AlertTraveler Registration panel is visible. If you do not see the registration panel, please contact the study abroad or travel registry system administrator at your university.

This registration panel also allows you to opt into receiving SMS alerts while providing your mobile number. At the bottom of this panel you can also opt to receive an email with your AlertTraveler registration password.

 

Navigation Menu


A hamburger menu (☰) on the top left of the screen serves as the navigation menu throughout the app. Menu options include Location Info, Subscriptions, My Alerts, Emergency Contact, Profile and Help. Each of these options is described below.
 

Location Info

 

Upon selecting Location Info, you will land on a Country Intelligence page for the country you are currently in, based on your GPS-reported location.

The Location Info page displays the flag of the country, the current risk rating for the country (giving you an indication of the general security level at the time) and the number of active security alerts for the country. Tapping "Read More" expands this section.   The Risk Details tab provides a dashboard-like view of six factors that contribute to the country's overall risk rating.  Tapping "Show full assessment" expands this section to fill in more details.

  • Tapping the Alerts icon takes you to a page that displays all active alerts for your currently country sorted by the the time they were issued.

  • The Contacts button at the top of the screen takes you to a page that displays Emergency Contact information for the country displayed, including icons programmed to call police, fire, ambulance, and emergency numbers. Tapping any of the icons displays the appropriate emergency service phone number for that location at the bottom of the screen. Tapping that number causes the mobile phone to call that number. This page also displays the Institution Emergency Contact phone number and  information configured iby your system administrator.  Finally, links to information for select diplomatic embassies are provided at the bottom of this page.  See also: "Emergency Contact" below.

  • The Subscribe button on the Country Intelligence page allows you to create an opt-in subscription to alerts for that country. See information on configuring subscriptions below. 

  • The bottom of the Country Intelligence page displays icons that will allow you to tap and access further information about the political conditions, security issues, travel logistics, cultural factors, health advisories, and other security and practical travel information about the given location.

  • The magnifying glass at the top of this page allows you to search for other Countries, Cities, and Territories, and view the Country Intelligence pages for those locations.
     

Subscriptions

 

The Subscriptions page allows you to view and configure the subscriptions that determine the notifications and alerts you receive through AlertTraveler. Subscriptions apply to particular cities and countries and alerts are deployed as events impact those areas.

Some subscriptions will be created for you automatically based on your program and travel dates. You will also have the option to subscribe to alerts from specific locations yourself. This section lists the different types of subscriptions and how they are created.

The top of the page displays the country of your current location based on GPS.  You will automatically be subscribed to alerts for this location unless this setting is disabled by tapping the slider in the “My Location” heading.

The subscriptions under the “My Itinerary” panel are based on your travel itinerary as stored in the Terra Dotta software (TDS) site, and will include any locations included in any TDS itinerary.  Current and future itineraries will be displayed, but alerts will only be received for currently active itineraries. 

The “My Subscriptions” section will display any opt-in subscriptions you have created.

You can create an opt-in subscription by tapping the green “plus" (+) icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.

  • You are presented with a search screen where you can type the location to which you wish to subscribe. As you type, suggested locations will populate on the screen, accompanied by a “Subscribe” button. Tapping the “Subscribe” button will bring you to a screen where you can configure your subscription settings (refer to “Subscription Settings” below).

You can unsubscribe from a subscription under “My Subscriptions”  by tapping the arrow to the right side of the subscription box, tapping “Unsubscribe," and then confirming.

 

Subscription Settings

 
The settings for any subscription on the Subscriptions page can be accessed by tapping the arrow on the right side of the subscription box and tapping “Settings”.  

The following settings are available on the subscription settings page:

  • Start and End Date - you can set a start and end date for your subscription to alerts for this location.  Note:  GPS-location-based subscriptions do not have start and end dates.  Itinerary-based subscriptions show start and end dates, but they cannot be edited in the app.  In order to edit itinerary-based subscriptions, you need to edit the appropriate itinerary in the Terra Dotta software.

  • Alert Preferences - you can decide whether to be alerted via mobile-device notification and/or email for each level of alert severity by checking the appropriate boxes. Note: preferences for your email alerts can be overridden by administrators and advisors at your institution, however, if they feel that a situation is urgent enough that they wish to ensure that you are informed.

  • Categories - tapping "Select Categories" opens an interface in which you can disable alerts for specific categories for this particular country by selecting/deselecting the appropriate categories and tapping “OK.”

Changes on this page are saved by tapping “Submit” at the bottom of the screen.

 

My Alerts

 

The My Alerts page will display any alerts impacting you, based on your GPS, Itinerary, and opt-in subscriptions (See "Subscriptions" above). Newer alerts will appear on the top. Alerts will be displayed with their incident type, severity level, alert headline, and time the alert was issued (in UTC). If a check-in request has been issued, a green “Check-in” button will also be displayed with the associated alert (see “Check-in Requests” below).

Tapping an alert from this screen will take you to the full details of the alert, arranged under four tabs: General, Detail, Advice, and Analysis. A zoomable map of the impacted area, the severity level, and the alert headline will be displayed above the tabs. (Note: Some alerts will not have all four tabs).

  • The General tab displays the start and end date and time of the alert, the alert categor(ies) (e.g. Natural Hazard, Travel Transport, etc.), links to sources of information about the incident, and a link to the Country Intelligence pages of impacted countries.
  • The Detail tab will provide a detailed synopsis of the incident for which the alert was issued.
  • The Advice tab provides advice impacted travelers.
  • The Analysis tab provides a broader view of the incident and insight into potential for further disruptions.
     

Emergency Contact

 

The Emergency Contact page will display emergency contact information for your current region based on your device’s current GPS location. Across the top of the page are police, fire, ambulance, and emergency icons. Tapping any of the icons displays the appropriate emergency service phone number for that location at the bottom of the screen. Tapping that number causes the mobile phone to call that number. This page also displays your institution’s emergency contact number information.  Finally, links to information for select diplomatic embassies are provided at the bottom of this page.

 

Profile

 

The Profile will display your contact information and allow you to set or change the mobile phone number associated with your AlertTraveler profile. This is the number to which SMS messages will be delivered when initiated by an administrator. You are also able to set your alert preferences for the institution-created alerts from this page. This functionality is the same as for regular subscription alerts configured through the Subscriptions page.

 

Help
 

The Help page opens the device's default web browser and directs you to an AlertTraveler FAQ. This FAQs includes's questions about the app’s usage to provide assistance for navigating the app.
 

Check-in Requests

 

When a check-in request is issued for an alert that is relevant to you, a notification will be pushed your device regardless of whether or not you would normally be notified of that alert. Upon opening the app, you will need to acknowledge the check-in request. If you choose not to check in right away, a green “Check-In” button will appear under the associated alert on your Alerts page.

These requests are issued by administrators and advisors at your institution and are intended as a quick way for them to check on your status in light of an urgent event and for you to quickly request assistance from them if needed.

After opening the check-in page, you will see the headline and severity level for the alert and the message provided by your institution when the request was generated. Tapping the “See Details” link, will allow you to see the full details page for the alert.

Two buttons are provided for you to report your status: “I’m Safe” and “I Need Help.” A field is also provided so the you can provide further details about your status.

Upon tapping the “Submit Check-In” button at the bottom, your institution’s administrators will be able to see your updated status plus the notes you provided.