MSU to begin testing two-tone emergency siren system

Published 6:30 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mississippi State University will begin testing on Nov. 6 a new siren system that will distinguish between drills and a real emergency.

“During a recent severe weather incident on our campus, there was much confusion about whether we were in a drill or in an emergency situation,” said Jim Jones, a coordinator of MSU’s Crisis Action Team.

“We hope distinct tones — a continuous tone for tests and a warbling tone for real life emergencies — will go a long way toward resolving that issue for those on and off campus.”

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Jones said that the Oktibbeha County Emergency Management Agency, which also participates in MSU’s crisis action response team, regularly tests the emergency notification sirens and, along with the city of Starkville, is supporting the effort.

“We want to provide a single tone that immediately signals ‘take safety precautions,’” Jones said.

When an emergency occurs, MSU provides notifications and information through MSU’s Web site, e-mail, instant messaging, and text messaging, as well as through local broadcast news outlets.

“One of the safest things to do is to exercise caution and to make personal safety a top priority,” Jones said. “We encourage students, faculty and staff always to err on the side of caution.”

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