Outdoor Warning System

Why did Duke install the system?

The system is part of the University’s campus-wide crisis communication plan and emergency notification response. It targets people outdoors who may not necessarily have access to other DukeALERT notification methods such as email, text messages and the emergency Web site.

Under what circumstances will the Outdoor Warning system be activated?

The Duke University Police Department will activate the system periodically for testing and to alert you about immediate life-threatening emergencies. These emergencies may include but are not limited to:

  • an armed and dangerous person on campus
  • a major chemical or biological hazard
  • a tornado sighting

What should I expect to hear?

When the system is activated for an emergency, you will hear a siren tone to get your attention. Please seek shelter immediately. Obtain information from the DukeALERT notification system, including text messages, emails and updates on emergency.duke.edu. And stay tuned for further instructions and information.

What should I do when I hear a siren?

You should stop your activity and seek shelter immediately. Obtain information from the DukeALERT notification system, including text messages, emails, updates on emergency.duke.edu and through Duke’s emergency hotline, (919) 684-INFO. Stay tuned for further instructions and information.

Where are the sirens located?

The sirens are strategically placed and mounted on seven, 40-feet-tall galvanized poles. They are at:

  1. East Campus: off West Markham Avenue in an area near the tennis courts and Pegram-Carr parking lot.
  2. East Campus: near Epworth residence hall.
  3. Central Campus: off Pace Street and Oregon.
  4. Duke Gardens: off Anderson Street, across from the Gardens.
  5. West Campus Quad: Allen Building tower
  6. West Campus: off Frank Bassett Drive, near the grounds office and Duke Sports Medicine.
  7. West Campus: off Science Drive, near Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy.
  8. Medical South: near the intersection of LaSalle and Circuit, behind the North Building parking area.
  9. Medical North: near the hospital and VA, at the corner of Fulton and Elder Streets.

Click here to view a map of siren locations.

Where will I hear the sirens?

The pole-mounted sirens have been designed and placed to allow for campus-wide coverage. The high intensity sound can travel up to one-half a mile from each pole. Sound range may vary based on location and conditions, such as terrain, buildings and outdoor noise. Neighbors in close proximity to campus may hear the system when it is activated and can check http://emergency.duke.edu for more information.

Will I hear the siren indoors?

No. The outdoor warning system is designed and intended for individuals who are outdoors.

Sign-up for text messaging here.

When will the sirens be tested?

The siren system, which is installed in accordance with Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines, will be tested periodically. The Duke and Durham communities will be notified in advance.

What should I do during a system test?

Duke community members are encouraged to respond to an online survey to assess the effectiveness of various DukeALERT communication methods. When the test begins, the survey will be posted on the DukeALERT website at emergency.duke.edu.