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SU 'Orange Alert': What to do when you hear the siren

August 28, 2009

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

Directed by Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Orange Alert emergency notification system is designed to provide rapid notification and instruction to SU students, faculty and staff, and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry community in the event of a crisis in progress—an instance in which there is immediate threat of physical harm to members of the campus community. When activated, “Orange Alert” uses various communications mechanisms—including e-mail, text messaging and cell/landline phone calls—to send a brief notice about the situation and instructions of what to do.

The University recently installed sirens as an enhancement to the Orange Alert system that will help in alerting community members and visitors who are outdoors when a crisis notification is activated. The two omni-directional sirens are installed on the roof of the Shaffer Art Building on North Campus and on a 60-foot pole near the Sky Halls on South Campus. The siren system will be fully activated in mid-September, and will be tested every Saturday at 1 p.m.

The following information is provided to inform the University community and visitors to campus on what to do at the sound of a full Orange Alert siren alarm (these instructions are also provided as a PDF, “What to do when you hear the “Orange Alert” Siren,” on the DPS website; University community members are encouraged to print the PDF and post this information in their campus working and living areas):

  • Scan the area around you for threats.
  • Immediately seek shelter indoors and encourage others to do the same.
  • Rapidly check your communication devices for Orange Alert activation information.
  • Emergency information and instructions will be updated through Orange Alert.
  • Notify SU Public Safety or ESF Police if you observe any suspicious activity: SU Public Safety at 443-2224; ESF Police at 470-6666.

The Orange Alert siren has three modes that the University community should be aware of:

  • Active Emergency—Two minutes of the siren wailing up and down at eight-second intervals, indicating that there is an emergency on campus and you should go indoors.
  • All Clear—Sixty-second single alarm indicating that the emergency is over.
  • Test—Seven-second single alarm every Saturday at 1 p.m. and in conjunction with Orange Alert tests each semester.

For information about the new siren system, please visit “Syracuse University Orange Alert Siren System – Frequently Asked Questions,” which also contains an audio file of the siren sound.

Orange Alert contact information for students, faculty and staff is drawn from the MySlice online information system. University community members are encouraged to review and/or modify their contact information by logging into MySlice—using your NetID and password—and clicking on the “Orange Alert” link to review/modify and save personal contact information.

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