UT Tyler Emergency Management

UT Tyler Emergency Management

Outdoor Warning System


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 (first Tuesday of each month) or other announced tests.

Who has the authority to activate the OWS?

The authority to activate the OWS rests with Emergency Management, Police, and Executive Leadership. 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 university 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.

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 Tuesday of every month at about 11:00 a.m. immediately following the City of Tyler monthly test.

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. All messaging will include the word "TEST".

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 or Office of Emergency Management.

The University of Texas at Tyler
Department of Emergency Management and Safety
3900 University Blvd.
Tyler, Texas 75799

Ph: 903.566-6458
1.800.UT TYLER