University to test emergency notification system

East Carolina University will conduct a test of the ECU Alert emergency notification system at noon Friday, March 8.

The test will assess numerous emergency communication methods, including the ECU homepage announcement, email delivered to all accounts, indoor and outdoor loudspeakers, VOIP phone text and voice, SMS text messages, Twitter, desktop pop-up boxes and digital messages on campus display screens.

People on campus will hear a verbal message on loudspeakers, noting that it is only a test of the ECU Alert emergency notification system. Voice and text messages will be sent to campus VOIP telephones, and test messages will be sent to university email accounts. Display screens located throughout campus will also carry a test message.

Users who registered for ECU Alert cell phone messages by March 1 will receive an SMS text message. Registration for cell phone messaging is available at

In conjunction with the test and as required by law, the university is providing the following information regarding procedures for emergency notification, response and evacuation:

Emergency Notification

If an emergency occurs, ECU Alert messages will provide instructions and updates as the situation unfolds. When appropriate, in-depth information will be posted to the ECU homepage at

Emergency Preparedness and Response

Guidance for preparedness and response to specific hazards is available at

Faculty, staff, students and visitors are urged to remain calm and aware of surroundings, use common sense and avoid unnecessary risks when hazards occur.

Each campus unit should have evacuation and lockdown plans in place. Contact unit safety representatives for additional information.


Residence halls are required to conduct quarterly fire drills in compliance with state fire codes to provide practice for an actual emergency. Residents and visitors should learn exit routes from all buildings and evacuate immediately when a fire alarm sounds, following the guidelines below:

• Know at least two evacuation routes. Look for illuminated exit signs.

• When the fire alarm sounds, you must evacuate. Do not use elevators.

• Encourage others to evacuate with you. Do not wait for those who refuse to leave.

• Go to the designated evacuation assembly area for the building or move at least 100 paces away.


A shelter-in-place notification may come from the ECU Alert system, ECU Police, university employees or other authorities when severe weather or outdoor environmental dangers occur.

The shelter-in-place order means that all faculty, staff, students and visitors should follow the steps below, remaining in place until otherwise notified:

• If outside, move quickly to the closest building and follow the steps below for sheltering inside, or respond to directives provided by emergency personnel on the scene.

• If inside, stay where you are. Locate an interior room at or above ground level, with minimal windows. Collect a telephone and additional supplies if possible.

• Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.

• Close vents to ventilation systems if able.

• Compile a list of persons in the room. Have someone call in the list and location to the ECU Police.

• Turn on a radio or television and listen for further instructions.

• If possible, access the ECU homepage for further instructions.


A lockdown takes place when a hostile intruder or shooter has threatened or caused violence on campus. This includes individuals who committed violence off campus, but may have moved onto ECU property.

If a lockdown occurs, follow these steps:

• Remain calm. Take immediate responsibility for your personal safety and security.

• If outside, seek protection by establishing a barrier between you and the assailant. If a safe method of escape is available, consider escape.

• If inside, take cover in the nearest room behind solid objects such as tables and desks.

• Turn off lights, close blinds, block windows and silence cell phones.

• Call 911 to report what is happening, where you are located and the number of people with you.

• Treat injuries with basic first aid (apply pressure to wounds and elevate limbs if bleeding).

• Remain in place until an “All Clear” has been issued.

The ECU Office of Environmental Health and Safety and ECU Police Department provided this information. For additional information, visit