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Outdoor Emergency Warning System Will Be Tested Today at the U of M
For release: August 14, 2007
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As part of its continued emphasis on campus safety, the University of Memphis has installed an outdoor warning system to communicate quickly with the entire campus in case of an emergency.  The system consists of large public address speakers on poles placed strategically around the main campus and on the Park Avenue campus.

Testing of a new outdoor emergency warning system will take place Thursday, August 16, on the U of M’s main campus and on its Park Avenue campus. The test will consist of several voice messages and several tones, such as sirens or horns that will be broadcast from loudspeakers on the campuses.  This will only be a test.

The speakers are being tested before the start of the fall semester to minimize disruption to faculty and students.  Safety officials have notified persons currently on campus, but the speakers will likely be heard in the neighborhoods beyond the campus.  “We want to notify residents who live near the campus,” said Dr. Teresa Hartnett, director of Administration and Business Analysis, “so they won’t be worried if they hear this test.

“It would actually be helpful if people who hear the tests would let us know,” Hartnett added.  “They can give us feedback on the Web by filling out a short form at Web site www.memphis.edu/crisis.”

Bruce Harber, director of University Police Services, added that the speakers will be used to warn the campus of weather emergencies as well as other types of emergency situations that might endanger the campus.  “In case of severe weather, we will coordinate our warnings with those of Shelby County,” Harber said, “so residents may hear the county sirens and our system, too.

 “But there may be other times when we would need to use the system to notify people on campus about an incident taking place only on the campus, such as a fire, when the surrounding neighborhoods would not necessarily be affected.

 “Either way, though, we want the campus community and our neighbors to be aware of the new system and to know how it will work.  It can emit a tone, such as a siren, or a voice message that delivers certain specific instructions.  It is just one more way we can help ensure the safety and security of our campus.”

Questions about the new campus alert system should be addressed to Hartnett at 901/678-3888.

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Last updated: 03/19/2008 16:41:00
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