DukeALERT Emergency System Test Scheduled for Wednesday, July 17

Test will focus on what to do in the event of a utility failure

Duke Alert graphic

The outdoor warning system for Duke’s campus will also be activated during the test. The siren’s tone is considered an “all hazards” alert used to encourage community members to take shelter immediately.

Duke Emergency Management offers advice on what do to stay safe during a range of scenarios, including utility failures that involve power, water, steam or sewer disruptions.

Over several decades, Duke has built a utility infrastructure that prioritizes safety, reliability, resiliency and sustainability. This power distribution system provides reliable service to most of campus and includes a robust emergency back-up system that minimizes the risk of power failures and allows systems to recover quickly when failures do occur. However, with the potential for disruptions to the larger power system which supplies electricity to Duke, the possibility for temporary power failures to Duke facilities does exist.

In the event of an outage, Duke’s emergency power systems would prioritize critical medical and research buildings, so administrative and academic buildings could still lose power. In such scenarios, members of the Duke community should consider where and how to continue essential operations for their units.

“Failures are rare, but it is important that members of the Duke community be prepared in the event that there is a power outage on campus,” said Duke Facilities Management Director of Utility and Energy Services Casey Collins.

Precautions that can be taken in advance of a power failure include equipping your work area with flashlights, keeping your smart phones and laptops charged and identifying workarounds in the event of certain types of IT outages. Sensitive electronic devices, such as computer equipment, should also be connected to power using surge protectors, which can prevent them from being damaged energy spikes that can occur when power is restored.

In the event of a power outage that’s confined to a single building or less, get assistance by calling Duke Health Engineering & Operations at 919-684-3232 for Duke Health facilities or contact Duke Facilities Management at fmd-report-power-out@duke.edu or 919-684-2122 for Duke University facilities.

“Taking a minute to think about what to do when things like power outages occur can be incredibly important,” Helton said. “The better you understand what can happen, the more likely you’ll be to stay safe when these situations occur.”

During the July 17 test, community members enrolled in LiveSafe, the free mobile safety app available for Apple and Android devices, will also receive a test message.

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