Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
As part of the ongoing efforts to keep Carolina as safe as possible, the University has produced a new poster to better communicate what you must do when the sirens sound for a significant emergency or immediate threat to health and safety.
The University is requiring academic units to place these Alert Carolina posters prominently in classrooms and classroom laboratory spaces. Distribution of the posters began last week, and our goal is to have them up to coincide as closely as possible with the start of spring semester classes this week.
The poster responds to some confusion and uncertainty evident last September 6 when the University twice activated the emergency sirens for separate tornado warnings in Orange County. A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted and is on the ground. The threat is real, and people should take immediate action. That is not what happened systematically across campus. A major factor was the timing mid-day and near the beginning or end of class periods. And it was the first time we actually turned on the sirens for a real event.
The poster is one more way for the University community to become familiar with emergency response issues and the need to think in advance about what you would do. Recent reports of crimes on other campuses, including last month’s deadly shooting at Virginia Tech, are a stark reminder of why this is so important.
Please take the time to look at the classroom poster. You can also view it online by visiting our Alert Carolina website, www.alertcarolina.unc.edu.
It is also a good time to remind everyone that we have added the Red Cross’ Safe and Well List to the ways in which you can let your family know you are okay during an extended incident in which cell phone service may be unavailable. To learn more about this important resource, see http://www.alertcarolina.unc.edu/go/doc/1395/1177155
Director of Public Safety
About Informational Messages: The University sends an Informational Message to inform the campus community about a situation that is not an emergency, but is expected to be of significant interest to the campus. An Informational Message is one of three tiers of communication under the University’s revised emergency communications plan. Emergency Warning refers to a siren activation for a significant emergency. And a Timely Warning is issued if there is a continuing danger AND notification will not compromise law enforcement efforts.