By: Lindsay Mulhollen
The University will test their outdoor warning system Wednesday, September 14, at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Students do not need to take any precautionary actions when the alarm is tested; it is being tested to confirm that students, faculty and staff are familiar with the siren.
“I wasn’t even aware that it existed,” said Senior, Erin Buck who feels that it’s nice to know that the system is in place for when it is needed, but also thinks more should be done to make people aware of its existence.
The emergency alarm system is tested on the second Wednesday of each month unless threatening weather is present. If the siren is heard any other time than the second Wednesday of the month, Emergency Management Coordinator, Mark Beers, urges students to take shelter in an interior room of the lowest reachable level of a nearby building.
“Once indoors, students should try to find out more info,” says Beers. Students should stay until the all clear signal is sounded via the outdoor warning system, over campus two-way radio system or over the indoor warning system, available in most buildings.
The outdoor warning system is in place to alert people on or around campus of emergencies including, but not limited to: tornados, active shooters and bomb threats.
“It’s a way for us to alert the campus when there is an immediate threat present,” Says Beers.
The system is run by The University of Akron’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, that controls emergency planning for Akron’s campus and its buildings.
Although not run by the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, another way for students, faculty and staff to be aware of emergencies on campus is through the Z-Alert system; once subscribed, they will be sent a text message any time campus closes or there is major event that affects immediate security. The Z-Alert service is free, but standard text messaging fees apply.
One can sign up at uakron.edu/safety/z-alert.dot, or search key word “z-alert” on the uakron.edu homepage. Z-Alert is also available via Twitter.