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NCCU Emergency Alert Warning System Siren Fact Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions
NCCU Emergency Alert Warning System Siren Fact Sheet

NCCU has installed a new Emergency Alert Warning System Siren, which is part of the university’s crisis communication plan and emergency notification system. It targets people outdoors who may not have access to other Eagle Alert notification methods such as email, text messages and the emergency web site.

Under what circumstances will the outdoor warning system be activated?
The University Police will activate the system periodically for testing and to alert you about immediate life-threatening emergencies. These emergencies include but are not limited to:

  • An armed and dangerous person on campus;

  • Major chemical or biological hazard; or a

  • Tornado sighting.

What should I expect to hear?
When the system is activated, you will hear a siren tone, followed by a voice message directing you to take immediate action. When emergency officials determine the threat is over, you will hear a second siren and an announcement signaling the all-clear message and directing you to resume normal activities

What should I do when I hear a siren?
You should stop your activity and listen for instruction. Be prepared to take immediate action to seek shelter in a secure location. After you are in a secure area, call NCCU’s Public Information hotline at (919) 530-7220, monitor www.nccu.edu, or tune to local media for updates and further instructions.

Where are the sirens located?

  • The sirens are strategically placed and mounted on three, 40-feet-tall galvanized poles. They are located at:

  • The north side of Benjamin Ruffin Residence Hall near the corner of Lawson and Concord Streets;

  • The south side of Alfonso Elder Student Union on Nelson Street by the loading dock driveway; and

  • East of the track by New Residence II and the Leroy T. Walker Complex.

The system was designed to deliver high-intensity warning signals over a large area using Omni-directional speakers. Those speakers are capable of producing a high sound level while making moderate demands on the battery power source. Activation is by dedicated radio frequency and the sirens run on batteries that are continuously charged by a solar panel on each siren pole. These characteristics ensure continuous operation regardless of power outages.

People on or near campus can expect to hear two different sounds — one to signal immediate action and another to indicate the all clear. Testing will determine the exact tones to be used. When finalized, audio samples of the tones will be added to this fact sheet.

Distance for the Sounds
Until testing is completed, it is unclear how far the siren sound will carry off the main campus and near surrounding communities and businesses. Product specifications indicated that the signal from each of the three siren locations could be expected to carry approximately one-quarter to one-half a mile. The system is designed to be most effective for people outside. Many people inside buildings or in cars or vehicles likely will not hear the siren sound.

The University Police will activate the siren system based on conditions on campus or that emergency officials believe will affect campus. They will also be able to activate the siren from a portable remote system in case conditions warrant. The siren will sound only in an immediate life-threatening situation or during testing.

The university plans to test the siren system regularly. The corresponding public address announcement will say, “This is a test of the NCCU Emergency Alert System. This is only a test.” Tests will be announced in advance to the campus community and nearby neighbors.

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