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Nearby neighborhoods can expect additional sirens and messages when Eastern Kentucky University conducts a test of its own alert and notification system on Saturday, Aug. 6, at 12:20 p.m.

In addition to the regularly scheduled test by Madison County Emergency Management at that time, the University will test the four sirens strategically located on its Richmond campus. For those within hearing range of the EKU sirens, the additional campus-only testing at the conclusion of the brief county-wide test will mean an additional five minutes or so of sounds.

“As technology has changed and these changes are integrated into our own notification protocols, we want to ensure the functionality of our system,” said Gary Folckemer, emergency manager for the University.

Approximately 90 sirens are placed throughout Madison County to reach every resident. The four sirens on the EKU campus are audible in adjacent residential neighborhoods, along the nearby portion of the Eastern By-Pass, and downtown.

For those within range of the EKU sirens, the sequence will be as follows:

·         Live siren-only test (Madison County’s standard monthly test) – Westminster chimes

·         Siren Live PA broadcast (tests of text-to-speech engine, siren followed by seek-shelter message, siren followed by evacuate message, and closing message to note completion)

The exercise will conclude with a silent test of the communication path from dispatch to sirens and back.

The Aug. 6 date was selected so as to minimize disruption of campus events, Folckemer said.

EKU also uses the RAVE emergency communication system to communicate with members of the University community. The system allows users to receive text, voice and/or e-mails related to severe weather, campus threats and other incidents.