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College to test new alert system and siren

The College of William and Mary will be testing its new emergency alert system and campus-wide siren Monday, Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m. The 120-decibel siren will sound for about one minute and is expected to be heard on the campus and in the neighboring community in Williamsburg.

The drill will allow campus officials to verify the number of William and Mary students, faculty and staff who have signed up to be notified by the alert system, and it will test the campus community’s knowledge of what to do in a real emergency situation. Additionally, the siren test will allow both the campus and the local community to become familiar with its sound. During the drill, the College will also activate its emergency static Web page at

“This test of the new alert system will enable us to continue educating our campus community on what to do in the event of an emergency and to verify the contact information we have collected,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Sam Sadler, who also chairs the College’s emergency response team. “We also want both our campus and local community to become familiar with the sound of this siren, which will only be activated in the event of an emergency of imminent danger.”

The test is part of an ongoing effort to increase emergency preparedness at the College. In July, William and Mary signed a contract with the The NTI Group, Inc., for an emergency alert system that will provide rapid communication to the campus community. NTI’s Connect-ED® service will be used by William and Mary officials in emergency situations to send immediate messages to students, faculty and staff members, including those at the Williamsburg campus and at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester. The NTI system allows the College to send simultaneous messages to the entire campus community through cell phones, land phones, e-mail and text message. Each person in the system can load up to six contact numbers.

In the event of a real emergency, people in the community who hear the siren may check for information, instructions and updates on a static Web page, which will be put up in place of William and Mary’s usual home page found at