Siren and Emergency Communications Test on Wednesday, Sept. 2
Virginia Commonwealth University will conduct a full test of its emergency communication systems, including 10 sirens throughout the Monroe Park and MCV campuses, at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
The full test will include the sirens along with text messages, Alertus boxes, mass email, digital signs, social media and VCU website information – all part of a multichannel system for communicating emergency information to VCU students, faculty, staff, visitors and the community.
VCU remains committed to supporting a wide variety of emergency alert technologies to distribute emergency information in a timely and effective manner. These various technologies help inform the VCU community of the necessary and prudent protective actions in a comprehensive manner.
The following list contains more information about each of these alerting technologies:
Outdoor sirens: In a real emergency, the 10 sirens on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses will sound for four minutes to signal that an immediate, life-threatening emergency has occurred or may be imminent. The purpose of the siren is to alert people outside of campus buildings to immediately seek secure shelter and to receive additional information. No all-clear siren is utilized during tests, but one would sound in an actual emergency.
Text messages: These messages are short, protective action statements that will contain a link to http://alert.vcu.edu/, where additional information is located. Parents and community members may sign up for VCU’s text message alert system at http://alert.vcu.edu/signup/ to receive information about campus emergencies and cancellations.
Alertus: These small yellow devices are strategically installed in classrooms, residence halls and other high traffic areas throughout campus. They are designed to provide an auditory and visual alert when a threat has occurred or is imminent. Much like text messages, a protective action statement will scroll on the screen during the threatening event.
Mass email: All VCU email account holders will receive an email containing the safety recommendations related to the event.
Social media: Alerting information will be posted to the @VCUNews Twitter account and the VCU Facebook page.
Digital signage: Digital displays are located throughout campus with a particular focus in high traffic areas. These signs will display the emergency alert and reference information that is posted to Alertus boxes and text messaging.
After the semester test, monthly checks of the siren system are conducted at noon on the first Wednesday of each month consisting of a one-minute steady wail that also recharges the siren batteries.
It is essential to be prepared for emergency situations and to be cognizant of ways to prevent crime and avoid dangerous situations.
The Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department would like to remind students, in particular, to keep personal safety in mind. There are certain things you need to be aware of as residents of an urban environment, as crimes may occur in our community.
The best defense is to be prepared and to take responsibility for your own safety and for that of your friends and fellow students. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, walk with a friend and make use of RamSafe, VCU’s security escort service. For additional safety tips from the VCU Police, please see www.police.vcu.edu and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to read VCU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report and to share this information with other members of the community.
VCU is dedicated to promoting a safe and secure environment for learning, living, working or visiting.