Public safety officials use timely and reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters. This page describes different warning alerts you can receive and the types of devices that receive the alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts During an emergency, alert and warning officials need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), made available through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) infrastructure, are just one of the ways public safety officials can quickly and effectively alert and warn the public about serious emergencies.
What you need to know about WEAs: WEAs can be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the President of the United States WEAs can be issued for three alert categories – imminent threat, AMBER, and presidential WEAs look like text messages, but are designed to get your attention and alert you with a unique sound and vibration, both repeated twice WEAs are no more than 90 characters, and will include the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, as well as the agency issuing the alert WEAs are not affected by network congestion and will not disrupt texts, calls, or data sessions that are in progress Mobile users are not charged for receiving WEAs and there is no need to subscribe To ensure your device is WEA-capable, check with your service provider Visit the FEMA Media Library and download these tools: Emergency Alert System The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), is a modernization and integration of the nation's existing and future alert and warning systems, technologies, and infrastructure.
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency. EAS may also be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, imminent threats, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.
The President has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level EAS will be activated. FEMA is responsible for national-level EAS tests and exercises. EAS is also used when all other means of alerting the public are unavailable, providing an added layer of resiliency to the suite of available emergency communication tools. Emergency Alert System fact sheet NOAA Weather Radio NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office.
NWR broadcasts official warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also broadcasts alerts of non-weather emergencies such as national security, natural, environmental, and public safety through the Emergency Alert System. Related ContentSee Also: Types Of Interior Walls
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VCU uses a variety of communication methods to alert the campus community about emergency situations and safety threats. Alertus These small yellow devices are strategically installed in classrooms, residence halls and other high-traffic areas throughout campus. They are designed to provide an auditory and visual alert when a threat has occurred or is imminent. Much like text messages, a protective action statement will scroll on the screen during a threatening event.
Desktop Alerts The majority of VCU supported computers (and many “Mac” products) now support full screen notification on computer workstations in offices, laboratories, classrooms, and study spaces. These messages will contain protective action statements related to the event. Digital signage Digital signage includes large television monitors located in high-travel areas throughout campus such as major academic buildings, the University Student Commons and all residential housing facilities on both campuses.
During an emergency, these devices will display emergency warning information, with additional information available at www.alert.vcu.edu. LiveSafe LiveSafe is a free app for iOS and Android smart phone devices. Once users download the app and choose VCU as their school, they will receive broadcast messages for emergencies. (LiveSafe users can use the app to send in tips to VCU Police 24/7, including photo and video files.
) Mass email During an emergency, all VCU email account holders will receive an email containing the safety recommendations related to the event. Outdoor sirens In a real emergency, sirens on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses will sound for four minutes to signal that an immediate, life-threatening emergency has occurred or may be imminent. The purpose of the siren is to alert people outside of campus buildings to immediately seek secure shelter and to receive additional information.
No all-clear siren is used. Social media Text messages All students are given the opportunity to enroll in the text messaging system to receive emergency alerts. Other community members may manually register to receive notifications. These messages are short, protective action statements that contain a link to www.alert.vcu.edu, where additional information will be located. The majority of these text alerts are about crimes that occur off campus, but because many students, faculty and staff live in these neighborhoods, VCU feels it is important to inform the community of existing threats so that proper safety measures can be taken.