WCU to begin monthly tests of campus siren system Aug. 26

Ready….set….WHOOP! On the fourth Tuesday of every month at noon, beginning Aug. 26, police at Western Carolina University will be testing the university’s new siren system. During each test, people on and around the WCU campus should hear a high-pitched, repetitive whooping sound for about three minutes.

“The sirens will broadcast sound in a 360-degree pattern from three towers located around campus,” said Tom Johnson, chief of WCU’s police department. People who are outdoors should hear the sirens clearly; those who are indoors may hear a more muted sound, depending on the level of noise from nearby computers, radios, phones and other equipment, Johnson said.

In addition to the whooping sounds, police are planning to test a spoken message on the university’s radio station, WWCU-FM (Power 90.5), which is programmed to accept messages directly from police headquarters during an emergency.

“We want people to get used to the routine siren test on the fourth Tuesday of every month so they’ll be attuned to the sound of sirens at other times to signal a true emergency,” Johnson said.

(Outdated text: During the monthly tests, people should log into WCU’s emergency notification Web site, and leave their contact information so that they can be notified quickly in the event of a real emergency.This system has since been replaced with WCU Alerts.)

For a preview of the sirens’ sounds, go to Emergency Sirens. For more information, call Tom Johnson at (828) 227-7301.