One of two sirens recently installed
on campus, which will be tested
on December 12
UNC Asheville is completing the installation of
a new emergency siren system and will conduct a full-volume test
during brief periods between 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. The
campus community as well as neighborhoods adjacent to campus may
hear intermittent warning tones and spoken announcements. The test
is to assess the volume and reach of the system.
The sirens, which are roof-mounted speakers activated by Campus
Police, are part of a comprehensive emergency notification system
being put into place at UNC Asheville, following recommendations
made by the system-wide University of North Carolina Campus Safety
Task Force. The task force was convened in response to the shootings
at Virginia Tech. UNC Asheville implemented a system for text and
voicemail alerts for students, faculty and staff in April 2009.
"UNC Asheville, just as other colleges and universities across the
nation, must be prepared for a wide variety of emergencies," said
Sylvia Farrington, UNC Asheville interim director of emergency
management. "Ensuring the safety of our campus community is one of
our top priorities. This audible alert system is one of many methods
of emergency communication efforts including text messages,
broadcast email, Internet postings and telephone messages. The
audible warning system would only be used if there is an active
threat to the safety of the campus, such as a tornado, explosion,
nearby hazardous materials spill or an active shooter. The audible
alerts can be heard in outdoor areas on campus and in neighborhoods
immediately surrounding the campus."
The City of Asheville is assisting the university with Saturday's
test by notifying adjacent residents and business owners through the
city's emergency notification service CodeRED. The CodeRED system
delivers customized pre-recorded telephone messages to targeted
geographic areas. The city plans to send out messages about the test
between 6 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, said Dawa Hitch, City of
Asheville public information officer.
With completion of the UNC Asheville siren installation, 16 of the
17 UNC campuses will have outdoor warning systems as part of their
campus emergency notification process. Funding for UNC Asheville's
$89,000 system was provided through campus safety funds allocated by
the state legislature.