WILMINGTON -- If you were anywhere near UNCW's campus at noon, you most likely heard the university's newest safety measure. The Seahawk warning siren system is the latest addition to UNCW's emergency preparedness system. Monday the sirens were put to the test. UNCW Environmental Health and Safety Director Stan Harts said, "We think the test went real well. We got a lot of positive feedback that everybody throughout the campus was able to hear it outdoors." University police sounded the new siren system for about five minutes. Harts said, "To make sure that it functions properly. That mechanically, it functions properly. We will test it three times a year. Also to let the campus community know what the tone sounds like, what actions to take during it." The university and surrounding communities received prior warning of the test and Harts says police received only one call asking about the sirens. UNCW student Chelsea Mortimer said, "I was in class, we did hear it. We could hear it from inside the building." Many students say they're happy to know the university is taking precautions like this. Mortimer said, "I think it's really great because a lot of people at Virginia Tech had no idea people were even shooting at the school." UNCW student Tristan Hoagland said, "If something happens where we need it we'll be glad that it's there." School officials also tested the lines of communication that would be used in an emergency such as campus TV, emails, and web sites. Harts said, "It is fully functional and if we had an emergency at any time, university police is able to activate it from two locations." Representatives from n-c state were on campus for the sirens' testing. They are looking to implement a similar system. UNCW also has plans to add an emergency text message system -- that could still be a few months away.
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