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Northwestern Outdoor Alert System to be Tested Thursday, March 27

A new outdoor alert system for Evanston campus will be tested Thursday, March 27.

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March 25, 2008
A new outdoor alert system for Northwestern University's Evanston campus will be tested Thursday, March 27. The test is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. but could be delayed until the afternoon as installation is finalized.

The emergency alert system will consist of roof-mounted speakers at several locations on the main Evanston campus and at the athletic complex at Central and Ashland.

The alert system can make the traditional siren sound used by municipalities to warn of severe weather, as well as other sounds. It also can produce voice messages. In Thursday's test, different tones and voice messages will be used. The sequence will be: tone, voice announcement, tone.

The outdoor system is designed to enable the University to communicate in emergencies with those people who may be outdoors on campus or near the campus. It is expected that messages broadcast via this method will not be audible inside most campus buildings.

The new alert system is part of Northwestern's efforts to improve emergency communications. The University now has an emergency notification system that allows the University to quickly telephone, e-mail and send a text message via cell phone to students, faculty and staff.

If installation and testing of the system proceeds as planned, regular monthly tests of the system will occur the first Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m., starting Tuesday, April 1. Municipal outdoor warning systems in Illinois also are tested at that time.
Topics: University