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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Oct. 19, 2007

ISU to beef up siren system by summer

by Diana Pounds

New sirens that will go up on campus next year will not only blare, but "speak." The outdoor message notification system will come with the usual array of warning tones, as well as the option to broadcast live or pre-recorded messages throughout campus.

Dave Miller, director of facilities operations, said the new system offers an effective way to reach and inform the campus community during emergencies.

Iowa State's system likely will consist of four towers, positioned to be heard on central campus, university housing to the north, and the Iowa State Center and Veterinary Medicine complex to the south.

The towers will replace old weather sirens on campus. Each tower will consist of a 50-foot pole with an additional 8 feet of omni-directional speakers on top, Miller said. Warning sirens and messages could carry as far as 4,000 feet, outdoors, from each tower. Miller emphasized the system is meant to warn those who are outside during an emergency.

"If you're in the middle of the library, you may not hear much," he said.

ISU officials hope to have the new system in place by early next summer. It will be integrated with City of Ames systems, so that warnings originating from the city automatically will sound on campus.


Four outdoor towers are part of a comprehensive communication system ISU will use in emergencies.