Outdoor emergency sirens will be tested Tuesday afternoon

The EMU

Testing of a new, outdoor emergency alert system will take place near the Erb Memorial Union on Tuesday, Sept. 10, intermittently between 2 to 5:30 p.m.

“It’s similar to a tornado siren and is very loud,” said Krista Dillon, director of operations for UO Safety and Risk Services. “Since this is a new feature on campus, the testing may be surprising and scary to those in the area.”

The warning system is a feature of the new carillon system in the EMU. The carillon bells chime every quarter hour and can also play other tunes, like the UO fight song. The most recent carillon was installed in 1995 and stopped working about a year ago. The original carillon was installed in the EMU in 1954.

“The new carillon has a feature to issue outdoor sirens and audible emergency messages tied to our UO Alerts system,” Dillon said. “Having the ability to issue outside alerts during certain types of emergencies has been on the radar of Safety and Risk Services for quite a while. We won’t know how far the sound will carry on campus until we do the testing. This may be the first phase of an outdoor alert system.”

Both the chimes and the sirens will be tested.