University News

Alert Carolina sirens test to be held Oct. 11

The test will introduce important changes to the Alert Carolina system.

Alert Carolina

The University will TEST the emergency sirens and emergency communication procedures on Thursday, Oct. 11 between 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. The University tests the sirens regularly throughout the year to make sure the equipment and notification processes work as planned.

During this sirens test, NO ACTION is required.

Anyone outside, on campus 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. When testing is complete, a different siren tone and voice message will signal all clear.

The University will also send text messages 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 the Alert Carolina website, alertcarolina.unc.edu, along with updates.

This fall semester test will also introduce important changes to the Alert Carolina system. Previously, when a thunderstorm warning or tornado watch were issued by the National Weather Service for Orange County, registered users received an email and text message notifying them of the warning. Now, the text message will be eliminated and only an email will be sent to notify the community of the thunderstorm warning or tornado watch.

Another important change this semester is the renaming of the “Timely Warning” category to “Crime Alert” to be more consistent with common practices. A “Crime Alert” is used to notify the campus community of any Clery Act crime that poses a continuing danger to the campus community as soon as the information is available so people can protect themselves and/or their property from similar crimes.

As a reminder, the four types of notifications in the Alert Carolina system include:

Emergency Warning—The University will issue an Emergency Warning after confirming that a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to health or safety is occurring on campus. Because these situations call for people to act immediately, safety officials will sound the emergency sirens, which are intended to be heard by people who are outdoors.

Crime Alert(formerly Timely Warnings)The University will issue a Crime Alert to notify the campus community of any Clery Act crime that poses a continuing danger to the campus community. The Crime Alert will be issued as soon as the information is available so people can protect themselves and/or their property from similar crimes, provided that doing so would not compromise efforts to address the crime.

Informational Message—When a situation is not an emergency or pose an immediate threat to the campus community, but is of significant interest to campus, the University will issue an Informational Message. Be Informed.

Adverse Weather—An Adverse Weather message is issued when a tornado watch or severe thunderstorm warning is issued by the National Weather Service for Orange County. The University may also send adverse weather notifications, including email, when other 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 may include approaching snow or ice storms or hurricanes.

For more information on these changes and the Alert Carolina system, visit alertcarolina.unc.edu