As part of its emergency preparedness plans, Duke will test the DukeALERT mass notification system on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
Duke typically tests its emergency notification system once each semester in March and October and once during the summer in July. But those plans were postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now that we have completed the fall semester, we want to take the opportunity to test our systems and ensure that those who may have joined us in the last year and all others in our community understand how they will be notified during an emergency incident,” said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for Administration and Duke’s emergency coordinator.
The test will begin at 10 a.m. and will include activation of the outdoor sirens and distribution of an email to all students, faculty and staff. In addition, a text message will be sent to the mobile phones of all students, as well as faculty and staff who have registered to receive the service. Registering for text messaging is simple for those who have not yet signed up. Duke's information line (919) 684-INFO will provide a recorded message, and the emergency DukeALERT website will be activated.
When the sirens wail for a test or emergency situation, Duke community members and visitors who are outside will hear a tone as part of the alert, which may be repeated during real emergencies. The 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 to be prepared and how they will be notified in the event of a life-threatening emergency like a tornado sighting or active shooter on campus.
Duke community members are also encouraged to download Duke's free LiveSafe mobile safety app for real-time, two-way communication with Duke Police. LiveSafe is available for download through Apple and Android app stores.
“Knowing what to do during an emergency before one happens is the most important thing we can do now to be prepared,” Cavanaugh said. “It is worth taking a few minutes as part of this test to know where to evacuate or shelter in place, if needed one day.”