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Purdue to conduct Safety and Preparedness Day, test emergency alert system

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s annual National Emergency Preparedness Month, Purdue University will test its emergency notification system and conduct safety-related activities for the campus community on Thursday (Sept. 9).

Purdue’s Safety and Preparedness Day is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Memorial Mall. The day will include activities and demonstrations designed to engage students and allow the campus community to see the university’s safety features and emergency equipment, said Ron Wright, director of emergency preparedness. Personnel from the Purdue Police and Fire departments, and other campus and county safety and emergency units will have informational tables and be available to speak with people.

Activities, equipment and participants include:

  • The Purdue Fire Department’s aerial truck, command vehicle and mobile command center.
  • The Purdue Police Department will have demonstrations with its two K-9s – Nicky, trained in narcotics detection, and Macho, trained in explosive device detection. The department also will display its alcohol awareness car.
  • The Tippecanoe County bomb squad’s bomb truck with robot.
  • A Materials Management Distribution Services vehicle that displays a backup camera.
  • Tippecanoe County chapter of American Red Cross.
  • Tippecanoe County Health Department.
  • Motorcycle safety.
  • Student Wellness Office.
  • A Purdue Radiological and Environmental Management and Physical Facilities Safety Committee display.
  • A high-voltage display.
  • Purdue Student Government will have a table at which the campus community can register for emergency text messages.

The test of Purdue Alert, which is the university’s emergency notification system, begins at 10 a.m. and will be used to ensure that the various layers of the system are working properly and to simulate a live situation for practice, Wright said. Sirens will be included in the test.

The alert system includes campus-wide e-mailing, text messaging, the Purdue home page, Purdue’s Facebook emergency notification group, sirens, and alert systems in the residence halls and on Boiler TV.

The text message will read: “This is the semi-annual TEST of the Purdue emergency warning notification system. In a real emergency, check http://www.purdue.edu for details.”

This is only a test, and no action is necessary. If there is inclement weather, the siren test will be canceled.

“Purdue is a very safe campus,” Wright said. “However, we all should take a few moments each semester to think about how we will take action if something unexpected happens.”

To register to receive emergency text message notifications, go to http://www.purdue.edu/securepurdue, click on “Change My Emergency Contact Number,” enter your Purdue account name and password, click on “Emergency Contact Information” and enter your cell phone number. Scott Ksander, executive director of information technology networks and security, recommends that Verizon Wireless subscribers update the network information in their cell phones quarterly to help ensure they will receive the text messages. To do so, call *228 (“star” 228) and select option 2, “Update Roaming Capabilities.” No action is necessary for other wireless carriers.

Wright recommends that the campus community takes time to do four things to help prepare for emergencies:

  • Review the Emergency Procedures Handbook that provides “how to respond” information for natural and human-caused incidents.
  • Review their Building Emergency Plan to ensure they know evacuation routes and shelter in place locations.
  • Review the Purdue Alert procedures.
  • Develop an individual plan.

For more information on Purdue’s Emergency Preparedness programs, see the Emergency Preparedness website at http://www.purdue.edu/emergency_preparedness/

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