Emergency notification system test set for Friday, Oct. 18

Oct. 17, 2013 8:55 a.m.

The University will conduct a campus-wide test of its emergency notification system beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, to ensure that members of the University community can receive information during a campus crisis or emergency.

The test will include both the Princeton Telephone and E-mail Notification System (PTENS) and the blue light tower outdoor notification system. Testing of the individual towers will be done by broadcasting a tone followed by a voice message: "Attention please. This is a test of the Princeton University emergency notification system. This is only a test."

Members of the campus community should not take any action if they hear the test messages.

Although the message will advise that it is a test, individuals should give advance notice of the test to anyone who may receive the message instead of the intended recipient, such as family members or roommates, as well as visitors to the campus.

All of the University's faculty, staff and students are expected to receive their messages within minutes of the distribution. As is the case during a true emergency, members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to avoid making phone calls or sending text messages during the test period to avoid unnecessarily delaying important communications. Also, individuals should not respond to the test message.

As an additional precaution, it is important for individuals who receive official emergency alerts to share information with others nearby, in case they have not yet received the communication. Individuals also should avoid the use of telephones to prevent overloading the telecommunications system.

In the event of an actual emergency, the University would continue to relay critical information using the most appropriate options from a range of notification resources, such as Web announcements, email, an automated message line, the Tiger TV emergency alert system, local radio stations, door-to-door notifications and posters. The manner of notification would depend on the nature of the emergency.

To ensure inclusion in the test, all faculty, staff and students should update their personal contact information through the appropriate self-service websites no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17. Options for adding phone and email contact information are provided through the Student Course Online Registration Engine (SCORE) database, where undergraduate and graduate students enter their information, and also through the Office of Human Resources self-service website for University employees.

For more information about the notification system, visit the PTENS Frequently Asked Questions page. People with further questions about the PTENS system should contact PTENS@princeton.edu.

Princeton Township and Princeton Borough Police Departments have been notified about the test. Any member of the campus community who has questions or concerns should contact the Department of Public Safety at 609-258-1000.