KU News Release
April 23, 2012
Contact: Jill Jess, KU News Service, 785-864-8858
KU to test public address system, external speaker array
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will broadcast a test of the emergency public address system, including a demonstration of an external speaker array, at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24.
The public address system is part of the comprehensive emergency notification system at KU. During the test, a three-second alert tone will sound, followed by the test message. Building occupants should continue with normal activities during the tests.
The external speaker array will be tested about a minute after the public address system test. The array can be heard at an approximate half-mile radius and provides coverage both outside and within buildings. The university is considering adding such a service to its emergency notification system.
The array will be in the west parking area of Murphy Hall and will reach all buildings and parking areas in that vicinity. The array test is expected to be very loud and will be heard indoors and outdoors.
Speakers for the public address system have been installed in and about 80 buildings, reaching 98 percent of KU’s academic areas. The buildings comprise the highest concentration of students, faculty and staff.
The public address system allows emergency dispatchers in the 911 center to provide real-time voice messages to an individual building, a group of buildings or to all equipped buildings.
In the case of inclement weather, the test will be rescheduled to April 26.
Other facets of the university’s multitiered emergency notification strategy include
• Text message alerts: More than 20,000 students, faculty and staff are signed up to receive emergency text messages. Those who have not yet signed up are encouraged to do so online.
• Email alerts: The university’s emergency broadcast email system can reach about 33,000 KU e-mail accounts.
• Web page alerts: The university will use alert.ku.edu as a centralized location for information updates.
• The university has established protocols to use local media to help inform the public in the event of an ongoing crisis.
The university also maintains the 864-SNOW hotline that is activated if bad weather forces the delay or cancellation of classes or the closure of campus.
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