Jill Harris

Photo courtesy of: Emergency Programs

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Emergency communication systems to be tested Friday at Athens Campus

Ohio University's Athens campus will test several of its emergency communication systems around noon on Friday, Sept. 5.

The University will test emergency communication through text messaging, outdoor notification system, CATVision, email and a new emergency notification tool, Alertus Desktop.

The new mass notification system, Alertus, which is currently in the pilot project stage at the University, sends a pop-up full screen alert message to all computers in centrally scheduled classrooms.

When the message pops up on the computer, the recipient must click the "Acknowledge" button to disable it. The University will then analyze those statistics to determine the effectiveness of Alertus.  

"We recognized in the past that reaching students and professors in classrooms has been difficult, so this Alertus software will improve our chances of accomplishing this task during an emergency situation," said Jill Harris, Ohio University emergency programs manager.

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, the 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.

For more information or to sign up for emergency notifications, visit www.ohio.edu/alert.