Baylor tests emergency sirens on Friday

BrenShavia Jordan | Broadcast Reporter

Emergency Management’s purpose is to make sure the campus is prepared and trained in times of emergencies and disasters.

Sirens are one of the ways Baylor alerts the community in case of a tornado. Starting March 6th, the campus will begin testing their sirens in coordination with the City of Waco-McLennan County. This routine test will be conducted every first Friday of the month at 10 a.m. from March through July.

George Nunez, Director of Emergency Management, explained the importance of emergency sirens.

“Regardless if you are a Texas native or whether you are brand new to the area, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings, especially during severe weather seasons, which runs in Texas from March to July,” Nunez said.

Nunez said Baylor has many ways to educate on safety precautions such as outreach and training, social media, group meetings and emails.

Baylor will host a free Skywarn Training Monday, March 16th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The training will be sponsored by The Waco-McLennan County Emergency Team and The National Weather Service in Forth Worth.

It is a course on spotter training, where participants can learn the basics about severe weather and precautions to take in case of an emergency.

“It’s a great way for students and community members to get involved,” Nunez said.

Baylor receives information directly from The National Weather Service. DPS sounds the alarms if the University is in imminent threat of a tornado.

“We will activate Baylor Alerts, which is text or email and then our other system which is our indoor alerting system and our outdoor alerting system,” Nunez said.

Baylor has eight sirens and encourages those who hear sirens, or receive an alert, to share with others. The protocol is to head indoors and check for a text or email for additional information on what the threat may be.

“We provide that guidance to go indoors [and] seek shelter, but we will also provide an all-clear after that threat has passed,” Nunez said

The Department of Public Safety works very closely to maintain the safety and security of student population, faculty, staff and visitors. They make sure the emergency systems are functioning properly and are a continuation of the safety they want to provide.

“While it may be one minute of inconvenience, it’s a lifetime of preparedness,” Nunez said. “So, we just ask for people’s forgiveness as we do the testing. Just be aware that we, as part of the Waco community, are testing our systems out so if something should ever occur we are well prepared.”

To sign up for Baylor’s emergency communication system, you can visit Baylor Alert.