The University of New Mexico is planning an exercise of its Campus Warning Siren System on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. At 11:02 a.m., UNM will sound the sirens for approximately one minute, then pause the sirens for approximately one minute, followed by an "all clear" siren, again, for approximately one minute. There are two sirens, which will be set off sequentially, approximately 30 seconds apart. The test will include all parts of the University’s warning systems including sirens, e-mail, text messaging, social media page updates and UNM web page updates.
To prepare for the test, all UNM and UNMH staff, faculty, affiliates and registered students are asked to log into the LoboAlerts site and update their emergency notification information and preferences. The LoboAlerts system can store and contact up to three cell phones and three e-mail addresses per person. Although one can choose to receive either text or e-mail messages, or both, one cannot completely opt out of the system. UNM will use this system only for important information related to the safety and well-being of the campus community, and wants to reach as broad of an audience as possible.
"UNM tests the system each semester to familiarize the campus community with our various systems, to remind people to update their emergency notification data and preferences, and to encourage everyone to review their individual and organizational preparedness measures," said Byron Piatt, University Emergency manager. "It also gives our first responders an opportunity to activate the various systems as part of their routine training."
The instructions to persons on the UNM Campus during an actual activation are to seek immediate shelter and look for additional information. This additional information could come through UNM's LoboAlerts System, email, the UNM web page and/or local media. If you receive a LoboAlerts text or e-mail, you are asked to follow any instructions it contains and to share the information with people around you, in case others have not received their alerts yet. Additionally, individuals should only contact the police department if they have first hand information about the incident that would aid in their response. All too often the phone lines get flooded with individuals asking questions, which could hinder their response. Similarly, there is no need to call the police during an exercise of the campus warning siren system.
Listen to Emergency Alert
Listen to All Clear
Piatt also suggests that individuals add the numbers 26787 and 67283 to their address books as LoboAlerts. The numbers are the common short codes used by the system to send the messages. It is helpful to see a text message coming from "LoboAlerts" rather than some unknown number.
"During the weather alerts last year, we received reports of people not receiving text messages," said Piatt. "In many cases we have found that the individual never entered their telephone number, entered it incorrectly or failed to check the text messaging box. We encourage everyone to select both the text and e-mail options."
On average, text messages are delivered 10 times faster than the e-mail messages. The timeliness of text message receipt can vary, however, based upon type of phone, carrier, location or battery strength.
"There is no single, guaranteed way to reach everyone all of the time, so we employ many different methods," said Piatt. "It is in everyone’s best interest to try and receive all of those types of messages."
Friends and family members and other non-UNM persons including those who work on campus, live in nearby communities or otherwise have an interest in receiving emergency notifications can receive LoboAlerts emergency notifications as well, either by following LoboAlerts and twitter pages or by creating an account on the community login site.
UNM exercises this system once each semester. The last exercise of this system was during the summer in June. The next planned exercise after this one will be next spring. Information about the test will be sent out in advance.
For more information and Frequently Asked Questions visit: Lobo Alerts.