Longwood University’s public address/siren warning and text messaging system will be activated Tuesday, March 12, at 9:45 a.m. as part of a statewide tornado drill.

The Longwood emergency notification system will transmit a 30-second siren tone preceded by and followed by a voice message announcing that a tornado test is being conducted. The alert siren and voice message will be transmitted through three strategically placed speaker arrays across campus and at Longwood’s off-campus apartment complexes (Lancer Park and Longwood Village) and the athletic fields on Johnston Drive. It is anticipated that the siren tones will be heard within a half-mile of the main campus and within a quarter-mile of the off-campus residence locations.

The public address/siren warning system is designed to be heard by people who are outside buildings. People who are outdoors will be asked to go to the nearest building and go to the severe weather safe area. Those in the vicinity of the parking garage may utilize the garage but are asked to stay at least 25 feet away from the entrances and go to the exterior walls.

The emergency alert siren system will be tested simultaneously with a university text message alert sent to those enrolled in the system. After the drill is over, an "all clear" voice message will be broadcast over the speakers, and a text message announcement will be sent. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for the emergency text message alerts.

A statewide tornado drill is sponsored annually by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service. The drill assists in gathering data to determine the effectiveness of the emergency notification system, evacuation methods and any limitations of designated safe areas. For more information, call Longwood’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 434-395-2940.

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