By George Mauzy
Ohio University's Athens campus will test both its outdoor emergency notification and emergency text-messaging systems early Friday afternoon.
Like all of the university's emergency communication tools, the systems are tested periodically to ensure they are working properly and to help familiarize the campus community with how they will operate in an emergency.
During the outdoor notification system test, system will broadcast a tone, followed by a pre-recorded test message over speakers located at various points on campus. The system is designed to notify people who are outdoors at the time of an emergency and is not intended to inform those who are indoors.
The university also will test the emergency text-messaging system for the first time since fall. A text message will be sent to the cell phones of all faculty, staff and students who have signed up for the service. Anyone who has not already signed up for text messaging can do so at www.ohio.edu/emergency. Registrants can also visit the site to update their cell phone numbers or service-carrier information whenever either changes.
Currently, 5,770 people (4,909 students, 861 employees) have registered for the emergency text-message service.
The text messaging system serves as a communication tool for the campus community during an emergency affecting the Athens campus only. Regional campus employees and students may sign up for the service if they need to know about Athens campus emergencies.
Other emergency communication methods in place include CATVision alerts, emergency messaging via the Web, e-mail distribution, and an emergency telephone hotline featuring a recorded message.
For more information on emergency preparedness, visit the university's emergency page at www.ohio.edu/emergency.