University of Nevada Tests Emergency Alert System - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

University of Nevada Tests Emergency Alert System

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Thursday afternoon University of Nevada police tested the emergency alert system on campus. Sirens sounded from three different buildings around campus.

The drill was done to improve safety and preparedness for students and making sure all the alerts are working correctly year round.

For Deandre Seals the day started off pretty quiet...."I was at work and then I decided to go on my lunch break and then..."

an alarm sounded at 1:00 p.m.

"Did it catch you off guard?"

"Yeah honestly it did. I was really wondering what was going on."

Luckily this was just a drill.
   
University of Nevada Police Commander Todd Renwick says it's important the university practices emergency scenarios. This is the second time they've tested this alert system. Students and staff can receive a notification through text, email, all public campus computers, the university website, Facebook, Twitter and the campus audio alert system.

"We need and we want to be able to tell our student body, our faculty, our staff there is a potential threat going on...an armed assailant that could be somebody who came onto campus that is violent, it could be a severe weather warning, it could be a natural disaster."
 
For students like Gabreella Friday who works late, the alert is more than just a way to stay informed. "Somebody was assaulted earlier this year on campus and it was nice to have that alert so I could know whether I should bike home because I do bike a lot as you can see or take campus escort."

There's over 18,000 students attending the university with around 6,000 on campus now for summer. Only about 18% are signed up for alerts.

The police department plans to expand the service by having all students to sign up with an opt out option.

"I feel safer in a sense. I feel more knowledgeable of what's going on around me," says Seals.

Emergency alert tests like today are done twice a year. The university has also been expanding these emergency blue lights around campus. They started off with 26 in 2008. Now they have around 100 and plan to add more next year.

For more information about general safety tips and training, visit http://www.unr.edu/police/safety-and-training.

Written by Chloe Beardsley
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