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February 11, 2016 - 1:25 pm

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

The University will TEST the emergency sirens and emergency communication procedures on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 12:30 p.m. We test the Alert Carolina System and sirens each semester to make sure the equipment and notification processes work as planned.

During the test, anyone outside on campus or near campus likely will hear the sirens. Please note that the sirens are not designed to be heard inside buildings or while you are in a vehicle. The sirens will sound an alert tone along with a brief pre-recorded voice message. When testing is complete, a different siren tone and voice message will signal “All clear. Resume regular activities.”

Other than these regular tests, the sirens sound only for a major emergency or an immediate safety or health threat such as:

  • An armed and dangerous person on or near campus;
  • A major chemical spill or hazard;
  • A tornado warning for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area issued by the National Weather  Service; or
  • A different emergency, as determined by the Department of Public Safety.

The University also sends a text message to cell phone users who registered their numbers in the online Alert Carolina Contact Information page available through the ONYEN services website. In an emergency, the University will post safety-related announcements on the Alert Carolina website, alertcarolina.unc.edu, along with updates. A mobile-friendly version of the Alert Carolina website can be found at http://m.alertcarolina.unc.edu/

During this siren test, no action is required. We do encourage you to review the poster, “What You Should Do For An Emergency Warning,” posted in University classrooms, offices, hallways, residence halls and laboratory spaces. It is also accessible online: https://alertcarolina.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/AlertClassroomPoster.pdf . The poster outlines what faculty, staff and students should do when the sirens sound for a significant emergency or immediate threat to health and safety.

The sirens are part of the University’s Emergency Notification System and an integral element of the University’s communications strategy that uses multiple channels to reach students, faculty and staff, as well as visitors, local residents, parents and the public. To support that system, we follow the Emergency Notification Protocols (https://alertcarolina.unc.edu/go/doc/1395/1184039/) in informing the campus community using four types of notifications – Emergency (sirens), Timely Warning, Informational Messages and Adverse Weather Messages.

Please note: In a real emergency, we strongly encourage students and employees to use the American Red Cross Safe and Well List (https://alertcarolina.unc.edu/go/doc/1395/1177155) to let their parents and families know they are okay while keeping cell phone lines open for emergency calls. The Safe and Well list is especially helpful in communicating with family members who are outside the emergency area.

Thank you.