This is a test ... of the DukeALERT system
Shortly after 8 a.m. on Sept. 28, a student at the University of Texas walked onto the Austin campus with an assault rifle and fired shots into the air.
He then retreated to the library, where he took his own life. No other injuries were reported.
Such incidents highlight the importance of having an effective notification system that can disseminate information quickly to help people understand when an emergency arises and what they should do.
As part of its emergency preparedness planning, Duke conducts periodic tests of the various communication tools of the DukeALERT notification system to help raise awareness about how Duke community members will be notified of an emergency.
The next test is 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
"We continue to see examples of situations at other institutions that reinforce the importance of being prepared to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies when they arise," said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for Human Resources and Duke's emergency coordinator. "The DukeALERT tests help ensure members of our community understand how they will be informed and what they should do during such times."
The notification methods used in the DukeALERT system include emergency email, an emergency website (including blog capability and an RSS feed), a telephone recording, the outdoor warning system and text messaging.
Emergency text messages will be sent only to those who have registered to receive them. Duke students, faculty and staff can sign up for emergency text messaging on the DukeALERT website.
As part of the test, Duke community members will be encouraged to respond to an online survey to assess the effectiveness of various DukeALERT communication methods. The survey will be posted on the DukeALERT website once the test begins.
The results will help determine how people were notified, which methods worked best for different groups and whether staff members know their severe weather/emergency conditions service category. The results will also help identify areas for improvement.
Print and post a flier to help raise awareness about the DukeALERT test.