by Geoff Larcom, Published February 19, 2010
YPSILANTI — The problem that caused Eastern Michigan University’s newly installed public address system to inadvertently activate last Friday morning has been diagnosed and eliminated, says Greg O’Dell, executive director of public safety.
At approximately 8:10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, the EMU emergency notification system was activated at several locations around campus, broadcasting a non-specific alert to “evacuate the building.” That alert, based on a generic drill message, was not a specific, targeted warning. It was inadvertently activated by a police dispatcher, O’Dell said.
The possibility of inadvertently triggering another drill alert has been eliminated through procedural and system changes, O’Dell says. The drill function itself has been deactivated.
In the event of an actual emergency, the alert system will give out specific directions, and will clearly indicate the alert is not a test. It will be synchronized with internal building alerts to notify building occupants to evacuate a building or buildings. The alert system is expected to become fully operational this spring.