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8/24/2010: Upgraded Emergency Notification System

In conjunction with IT and Facilities, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has upgraded the Emergency Notification System to include new, state-of-the-art ADA-compliant Emergency Phones and Wide-Area Emergency Broadcast System (WEBS). These systems provide highly visible towers and wall units, emergency communication, mass notification, and increased CCTV surveillance.

The WEBS component of the Emergency Notification System allows DPS to broadcast important messages and instructions in the event of an incident or emergency that adversely affects the campus community.

When activated, a siren will be followed by an announcement instructing individuals on what action(s) to take. Mass broadcast messages may include, but are not limited to the following samples.

“The National Weather Service has issued a severe weather warning for our immediate area. Seek safe shelter and shelter in place until the severe weather has passed.”
“A police emergency has been reported. Seek immediate indoor shelter, remain indoors and shelter in place until further notice.”

Once the incident or emergency has passed an all clear signal will be given.

To ensure the integrity of the system, a weekly test will be performed at noon on Fridays; the test is a bell that will toll 12 times. A full test of the system will be conducted monthly and will include warning chimes and the following message:
“This is a test; I repeat this is a test of the USciences Emergency Broadcast System. During an actual emergency additional information will be provided – thank you for your cooperation.”

The new WEBS is just part of the University’s Emergency Notification System designed to communicate information pertaining to an incident or emergency to all members of the USciences community. The Emergency Notification System utilizes the e2Campus Rapid Notification System (text messaging), e-mail, an internal phone system, video display systems, the Campus TV cable network, the University web site, information flyers, and local TV and radio.

Once an incident occurs or an emergency has been declared, DPS will work directly with other University departments and local agencies in determining the extent of the incident or emergency and what means of communication will be employed to alert the campus community. Depending on the emergency, DPS may elect to initiate one or all parts of the Emergency Notification System when communicating to the campus community during an incident or emergency.

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to register for the free e2Campus Rapid Notification System (text messaging) by visiting: http://alert.usp.edu .