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Campus emergency siren test to be conducted Feb. 1

By Kesha Williams

BOONE, N.C.—Appalachian State University will conduct a full test of its emergency notification system – including siren, email, voice and text messaging and the Alertus desktop notification system – at 11:55 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb.1.

The siren test will consist of a 75-second discontinuous air horn tone followed by a pre-recorded voice message that says, “This is a test. This is a test of the emergency warning system. This is only a test.”

The all-clear activation will consist of a 20-second alert tone followed by a pre-recorded voice message. An all-clear email will also be sent to campus accounts.

Following the test, faculty, staff and students will be asked to respond to a brief survey regarding their preferred method of receiving emergency alerts and other information related to emergency messages. A link to the survey will be included in the all-clear email notification.

Appalachian uses multiple methods to notify and communicate emergency information to the campus community. The AppState-ALERT siren warning system is designed to provide campus students, staff, faculty and visitors with an audible notification of an emergency event that affects campus. Other than tests, the siren warning system will only be activated during a high risk, life-threatening emergency such as:

  • An active shooter on or near campus
  • A major hazardous material spill on or near campus
  • A tornado warning for campus

In the event of an emergency activation, individuals on campus should:

  • Seek safe shelter immediately
  • Seek more information by going to the university’s emergency website (
  • Check cell phone or email for AppState-ALERT messages (if registered to receive these messages)
  • Monitor cell phone, email or the emergency website for updates until the “all clear” is given

Examples of the tones that will be used in an emergency or during tests can be heard at

More information about emergency preparedness at Appalachian, including how to register for mobile phone and email AppState-ALERT emergency notification system is available at

The siren tests are conducted on the first Wednesday of the month. Scheduled dates for Appalachian’s upcoming tests are March 1 and April 5.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.