February 13, 2009

Vanderbilt’s warning system ready as severe weather season approaches

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It’s that time of year again.

More than 750 tornado posters have been distributed across Vanderbilt University and Medical Center to let people know what to do if the institution's outdoor warning sirens sound.

If you hear the sirens, overhead announcements in the Medical Center or receive AlertVU notices, warn others around you of the severe weather conditions and:

• Seek shelter inside the closest building;
• Move away from windows, lobbies and doors to the most interior portion or designated safe area;
• Assist special-needs persons; and
• Monitor television, radio and the Internet for additional information.

VU has contracted with a commercial weather monitoring company to warn about any severe weather that approaches the Vanderbilt campus. If tornadic weather is within 15 minutes of reaching campus, the sirens will sound for three minutes. This weather warning is specific for Vanderbilt and is not a general Nashville alert.

If there is a National Weather Service tornado warning for any part of Davidson County, the county sirens are activated, and will sound for three minutes. The Nashville sirens that are closest to the Vanderbilt campus are located in Fannie Mae Dees Park and Centennial Park and may be heard on the Vanderbilt campus.

To watch a slide show about what to do during a tornado warning and to learn more about preparing for severe weather, visit the Emergency Preparedness and Planning Web site at http://emergency.vanderbilt.edu/.

To sign up for AlertVU, the campus emergency notification system, visit http://www.vanderbilt.edu/alertvu/. AlertVU rapidly sends messages to the delivery points a subscriber chooses-cell phone (voice or text), land line or e-mail account.