Emergency System To Be Tested March 19

Outdoor sirens will no longer include prerecorded message

The DukeALERT system will be tested on Oct. 23 at 10 a.m.

As part of its emergency preparedness plans, Duke will test the DukeALERT mass notification system on Wednesday, March 19.

Beginning at 10 a.m., outdoor warning sirens will sound and the emergency DukeALERT website will be activated. Shortly afterward, faculty, all students and staff will receive a test email. In addition, a text message will be sent to the cell phones of all students and those staff who have registered to receive the service. Duke's information line (919) 684-INFO will also provide a recorded message.

Beginning with the March 19 test, the sirens that comprise the outdoor warning system will no longer include a pre-recorded message.

When the sirens wail for a test or emergency situation, Duke community members and visitors who are outside will only hear a tone as part of the alert, which may be repeated during real emergencies.

The new siren tone is considered an "all hazards" alert to get the community's attention and will be activated for any type of emergency that requires people to take shelter immediately.

Since this is a functional test of the system, Duke community members do not need to seek shelter or evacuate. Instead, they should take time to understand how they will be notified in the event of a life-threatening emergency like a tornado sighting or active shooter on campus. Visit the DukeALERT site for details about how to respond to different emergency scenarios. 

A test is conducted during the spring and fall semesters and during the summer, when the audience is significantly different with various camps and programs on campus.

As part of the test, Duke community members are encouraged to respond to an online survey to assess the effectiveness of various DukeALERT communication methods. The survey will be posted on the DukeALERT website once the test begins.

Survey results will help determine how people were notified, methods that work best for different groups and whether staff members know their severe weather/emergency conditions service category. The results will also help identify areas for improvement.

Print and post a flier to help promote the DukeALERT test.