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Bright yellow Alert Carolina posters are being hung in classrooms and classroom laboratory spaces across campus.

The new poster is part of the ongoing efforts to keep Carolina as safe as possible. It outlines what faculty and students must do when the sirens sound for a significant emergency or immediate threat to health and safety.

The poster responds to some confusion and uncertainty evident last fall when the University twice in one day activated the emergency sirens for separate tornado warnings in Orange County, said Chief Jeff McCracken, director of public safety.

A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted and is on the ground. Because the threat is real, people should take immediate action, he said, but that is not what happened across campus. The timing of the siren activation near the beginning or end of class periods was a major factor in people’s confusion, McCracken said. And it was the first time officials actually turned on the sirens for a real event.

The poster is an additional way for the University community to become familiar with emergency response issues and the need to think in advance about what to do in an emergency. Recent reports of crimes on other campuses, including last month’s deadly shooting at Virginia Tech, are a stark reminder of why this is so important, McCracken said.

The poster also is included on the Alert Carolina website.

Published January 11, 2012.