Orange Alert Siren System

Syracuse University Orange Alert Siren System – Frequently Asked Questions

Why did SU install a siren system?
Syracuse University (SU) places communication during an emergency situation as an important component of its emergency management program. Currently, the University uses an email/text message/voice message system to provide emergency notification to University community members in the event of a campus emergency. The sirens are an enhancement to the Orange Alert notification system that will also alert community members and visitors who may not be enrolled or have immediate access to electronic media needed for notification.

On what parts of campus have alert sirens been installed and what do the sirens look like?
Two Omni-directional sirens are installed on the roof of the Shaffer Art Building on North Campus and on a 60-foot pole near the Sky Halls on South Campus. The siren on the Shaffer Art Building is not readily visible from the Quad. The sirens look like a vertical cylinder with cones protruding in each direction.

What do the sirens sound like?
The sirens sound similar to a fire station siren or a weather siren. The emergency warning sequence will be eight seconds on and four seconds off, continuously repeating for two minutes. A sample of the siren tone as an .mp3 file. Click Here to hear the sample of the siren tone.

How far will the sirens be heard?
The sirens should be heard outdoors throughout both North Campus and South Campus.

What should I do when I hear the alert siren?
If the siren is activated for an Orange Alert you should immediately seek shelter indoors and look to electronic media for further information about the crisis. If you are in the building where the emergency is occurring you should leave the building if you can safely do so and proceed to an short term evacuation center (Hendricks Chapel or Schine Student Center on Main Campus, Goldstein Student Center or Manley Field House on South Campus). If you are a University community member registered for Orange Alert, check your email, voice or text. If you are a University neighbor registered for the “SU Cares” listserv, check your email.

Is it okay to go back outside after the siren warning sound stops?
No, not necessarily. An additional Orange Alert message will be sent indicating that the incident has concluded, and this will be accompanied by one long steady siren blast lasting sixty (60) seconds.

Will I hear the alert siren only in an emergency? Will the sirens be tested?
You  will hear the blast during each of the Orange Alert tests each semester. Orange Alert is tested once each semester; an announcement of the test is made a few days before each test. While the test will include a single seven-second blast, an actual Orange Alert emergency warning sequence will be eight seconds on and four seconds off, continuously repeating for two minutes.

Is there a difference between a real Orange Alert and a siren alert?
No, an actual siren activation will always be accompanied with an Orange Alert notification.

Who has the authority to activate the siren?
With the exception of the weekly system tests, the siren system will be used in direct conjunction with theOrange Alert system. Department of Public Safety (DPS) supervisors (or in the event that the supervisor is incapacitated a DPS campus peace officer) may activate the system upon verification or the existence of an emergency that presents an immediate threat to members of the campus community.

In what other ways does SU communicate during an emergency situation?
SU will communicate emergency notifications through the email, text, voice and siren systems of ourOrange Alert System. Additionally, information may be posted on the University website by SU News Services as well as through mass emails from News Services. Finally, DPS patrol officers have vehicles equipped with public address systems that they may use to announce critical information if they are not involved in the direct response to the emergency.

Who should I contact for more information?
If you would like more information about Orange Alert or other safety and emergency-related issues, you can check the DPS website or the University’s emergency preparedness website.

If you would like to talk with someone about Orange Alert or other safety and emergency-related issues, you can reach the Department of Public Safety 24 hours a day at 315-443-2224, and you can contact DPS Chief Tony Callisto directly at 315-443-5476.