This is only a test

Posted on: 3/3/2014; Updated on: 3/3/2014

The University of South Carolina’s emergency management team will conduct its spring test of the Carolina Alert Emergency Notification System sometime between Tuesday (March 4) and Friday (March 7).

Last semester’s test was conducted at a specific date and time, but the upcoming test will be unannounced even to the personnel activating the system. Provost Michael Amaridis, who serves as co-chairman of the Emergency Management Team, will activate the test and campus police will begin mass notifications.

The communication vehicles used in this test include: Carolina Alert website, Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed, text messages, email, indoor and outdoor warning sirens, television message crawler and AlertFM.

Even though the university will test 10 different communication devices during the exercise, in an actual emergency text messages – along with sirens and other disruptive media – are used only if there is a life-threatening situation that requires people to change their behavior (seek shelter, evacuate, etc.)

In situations that are not life-threatening, the community is notified through the Carolina Alert website, Facebook and Twitter. Those notifications can be sent directly to mobile phones by following Carolina Alert on Twitter and adjusting account settings to have tweets sent directly to mobile devices.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to log into or VIP before the test to update their contact information, as well as join the Carolina Alert Facebook and Twitter groups.

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