February 8, 2010

Homewood campus set to test emergency alert systems

Homewood Campus Safety and Security will conduct a test of the campus siren/public address system and the Johns Hopkins Emergency Alerts text messaging system at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9. The tests will be a full-scale simultaneous activation of both systems.

The siren/PA system, which is activated by radio signal from the Homewood Communications Center, is composed of speakers on Garland Hall, Whitehead Hall and the O’Connor Recreation Center. The sirens will sound the alert tone and then broadcast the voice message, announcing, “This is a test of the Homewood campus emergency warning system.”

Those who have subscribed to the text message alert system will receive a brief message that reads, “This is a test of the Johns Hopkins Homewood Emergency Alert text message system. There is NO emergency at this time.”

Shortly after the public address broadcast, an all-clear alert tone will sound, followed by the message saying, in part, “This has been a test of the Homewood campus emergency warning system. Had there been an actual emergency, you would have been given specific instructions on what to do.”

Because the public address system incorporates a silent self-test feature that will exercise each module on a weekly basis, Campus Safety and Security will schedule “live” tests only three times a year. The main purpose of the exercise is to familiarize the Homewood community with the sound of the system.

Except for these periodic tests, the system will be used only in the event of an incident or situation that presents a significant threat to the lives or safety of the campus community.

To register for emergency text alerts, go to  webapps.jhu.edu/jhuniverse/today/text_alert .pdf.