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New emergency alert system will be tested Thursday

March 1, 2010

KALAMAZOO--At noon Thursday, March 4, members of the Western Michigan University will get a sample of a recently installed campuswide speaker system that has been installed for emergency notification.

Exterior building speakers have been installed on Miller Auditorium, all three Goldsworth Valley residence complexes, the Siebert Administration Building and the Seelye Athletic Center . Those 62 exterior speakers are connected to 3,546 interior building fire alarm speakers located in many campus buildings. Both the exterior and interior speakers are connected through a dedicated network controlled by the WMU Department of Public Safety Dispatch Center and supported by battery back-up.

The March 4 test will exercise the entire network and will feature a "testing" message that is one of a series of preprogrammed messages that can be immediately activated campuswide in case of an emergency. The test message will be repeated 10 times during the two-minute test.

"We've been working on this addition to our arsenal of emergency notification tools for the past several months," says Pete Strazdas, associate vice president for facilities management. "With this development, we will have the most extensive campus audible mass notification system in Michigan that we can use to inform our campus occupants of severe weather and other public safety emergencies."

Strazdas says the test was planned to begin familiarizing the campus community with the new system, even though there is at least one major building still to add to the network. The initial test will take place during WMU's spring semester recess. Another test will be scheduled when students are on campus.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400