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February 10, 2020 - 11:33 am

The University will TEST the emergency sirens and Alert Carolina System on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 between 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. We test the sirens and messaging system regularly throughout the year to make sure the equipment and notification processes work as planned.

During the test, anyone outside on or near campus likely will hear the sirens. The sirens are not designed to be heard inside a building or vehicle. The sirens will sound an alert tone along with a brief pre-recorded voice message.

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 fire or hazardous material incident;
  • A tornado warning for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area issued by the National Weather Service; or
  • A different emergency, as determined by UNC Police.

The University will also send 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. The University will post safety-related announcements on this website, along with updates.

During this sirens test, NO ACTION is required. We encourage you to review the Carolina Ready website for information on what to do during an emergency.

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 in informing the campus community using four types of notifications – Emergency Warning, Crime Alert, Adverse Condition and Informational Messages.

In a real emergency, we strongly encourage students and employees to use the American Red Cross Safe and Well List to let their parents and families know they are safe 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.

Beginning Feb. 14, we are making the following changes to the Alert Carolina system:

Adverse Weather notifications will now be Adverse Condition notifications. The University will send adverse conditions notifications when circumstances exist that do not represent an immediate threat to health or safety, yet action may enable people to protect themselves and/or their property. These situations include adverse weather events such as approaching snowstorms or hurricanes, major campus utility outages or other situations that would require a change in the University’s normal operating status.

Tornado Watches and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings will be sent as Informational notifications instead of Adverse Weather notifications.