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October 6, 2009

Stanford to test outdoor siren warning system on Oct. 15

Stanford plans to test its outdoor siren emergency warning system on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 12:05 p.m.

During the 60-second test, people on campus and some nearby residents of surrounding communities will hear a warning tone followed by a verbal message, according to Larry Gibbs, associate vice provost for environmental health and safety.

The new outdoor sirens, installed in August, are part of a comprehensive emergency warning system called AlertSU. The system can be used to notify the community of an immediate life-safety situation, such as a fire, chemical or biological spill, or an armed or dangerous person. In addition to the outdoor emergency warning sirens, the AlertSU system allows Stanford to send emergency announcements via phone, email and text message.

The outdoor emergency warning system consists of seven sirens distributed across the campus. Three sirens are atop 50-foot-tall poles along Arboretum Road, in Frenchman's Park near Gerona Road and on Stanford Avenue across from Nixon Elementary School. The other four sirens are mounted atop the Lyman Graduate Residences, the Beckman Center, Meyer Library and the Hoskins mid-rise in Escondido Village. The high-intensity sound created by the sirens can travel up to a half-mile.

The system is tested twice annually during April and October. Residents of neighboring communities can receive advance electronic mail notifications of future tests by sending a blank email to Future test dates also will be announced on the university emergency website at



Kate Chesley, Stanford News Service: (650) 725-3697,


Keith Perry, manager of Environmental Health and Safety Training and Communications, (650) 723-0448

Larry Gibbs, associate vice provost of Environmental Health and Safety, (650) 723-7403

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