Northern Michigan University will test all of its emergency notification systems at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8.

“We want to alert NMU students, faculty, staff and community members that this will be taking place,” said Cindy Paavola, university spokesperson. “Every message will clearly be marked as a test and we are making a significant effort to get the word out about this so that nobody is alarmed by the test process.”

During the test, messages will be sent via the university’s emergency mass e-mail system, its new cell phone text message alert system, a program that freezes operating NMU computers with a red screen and an emergency message, the NMU home page and home page of NMU Public Safety and Police Services, and informational messages on the LCD screens located in high-traffic areas of various NMU campus facilities.

“We’ve tested these systems independently as each became available to the university over the years, but we’ve never tested all of them at one time, which of course is how we would use them during an actual emergency,” Paavola said. “Hopefully we’ll have no breakdowns, but if we do, we want to know about them and fix them now before we need to use them in a true emergency situation.”

NMU Public Safety will send out requests for input on how the various systems worked – such as how fast the text messages and e-mails arrived, how the program to freeze computer screens functioned – immediately following the test period.

Prepared By
News Director
October 6, 2008