The University of Texas at Tyler
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UT Tyler Emergency Management

Outdoor Warning System

System Guidelines (PDF)

For what types of situations will the OWS be activated?

The system will be activated for any threat that directly impacts the safety of the campus community, provided the activation of the system would not hamper response efforts. Potential reasons for activation include weather emergencies (tornado warning, severe thunderstorm warning, flash flood warning) and other emergencies (law enforcement threat, hazardous materials release, other dangerous situations). The only other time the system will be activated is for the monthly test or other announced tests.

Who has the authority to activate the OWS?

The authority to activate the OWS rests with the Chief of Police or his designee. For weather emergencies, the system will automatically be activated if the UT Tyler campus falls within the warning area for the severe weather (tornado) as defined by the National Weather Service. For other emergencies, the Chief of Police or his designee may activate the OWS when a clear and present danger to the campus community is identified. Law enforcement actions, such as the response to an active shooter, may or may not necessitate the activation of the system.

What should I do when I hear the warning tones? What if I can’t understand the voice instructions?

Whenever you hear the tones or voice instructions, the default action should be to immediately take shelter and seek out further information. The activation of the OWS will normally occur concurrently with information being released via the University web site, text messages, and e-mail and voice notifications. Read more about PatriotALERT.

What will the tones and instructions sound like?

Examples of the siren tones and voice instructions are as follows (.wav files):

Listen Tone - Wail

Listen Tone - Steady

Listen Tone - Pulsed Steady

Listen Tone - Chimes

Listen Voice - Campus Alert

Listen Voice - Campus Emergency

Listen Voice - Severe Weather Warning

Listen Voice - Tornado Warning

Listen Voice - Hazardous Materials Release

Listen Voice - Law Enforcement Emergency

Listen Voice - Campus Evacuation

Listen Voice - All Clear

Listen Voice - System Test Message Start

Listen Voice - System Test Message End

When and how will the system be tested?

A full-scale (audible) test will be conducted once per month. System tests will last less than five minutes and are scheduled to take place on the first Friday of every month at about 4:00 p.m. On the first Tuesday of February and September, the monthly test will be conducted at about 11 a.m.

No action is expected during the monthly test. To avoid confusion, monthly tests will be cancelled whenever there is a chance of severe weather on the scheduled test day.

What is the difference between UT Tyler’s outdoor warning system and the City of Tyler outdoor warning system?

The two systems are completely separate and may or may not be activated at the same time. The City of Tyler will activate its system when an incident occurs within the city – usually dangerous weather. The University system will be activated when an incident occurs or is expected to occur that directly impacts the campus. The City system may or may not activate when the University system does and vice-versa. The City system is activated by the Tyler Police Department while the University System is activated by the University Police Department.

The University of Texas at Tyler
Office of Emergency Management
3900 University Blvd.
Tyler, Texas 75799

Ph: 903.566-7060
1.800.UT TYLER