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Baylor joins City of Waco, McLennan County partners in coordinated outdoor tornado siren test on first Friday in February through July

WACO, Texas (Feb. 3, 2021) – As severe weather season begins, Baylor University will join City of Waco and McLennan County partners, in cooperation with the Waco/McLennan County Office of Emergency Management, to conduct a regular test of outdoor tornado sirens, beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 5.

From February through July, Baylor will join city and county partners for this regular joint testing of tornado sirens at 10 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. If there is a weather-related emergency, including a tornado warning where a tornado is imminent, Baylor, the city and county will activate their outdoor sirens to alert the public to take action to stay safe.

On the morning of the Feb. 5 test, the Baylor Emergency Management team will send a Baylor Alert email from baylor@getrave.com at 9:30 a.m. and a Baylor Alert text message at 9:45 a.m. to members of the Baylor community alerting them of the outdoor tornado siren testing. The text message will come from one of the following short codes: 226787, 67283, 78015 and 81437.

At 10 a.m., the outdoor tornado siren testing will begin with a test voice announcement, followed by the outdoor siren test that will last about 60 seconds.

Feedback about the outdoor tornado siren testing can be directed to the Baylor Office of Emergency Management at Emergency_Management@baylor.edu or 254-710-2836 (BUEM).

More information about emergency preparedness, including safety procedures in the event of a tornado warning, and the Baylor Alert notification system is available at on the Baylor Office of Emergency Management website at www.baylor.edu/emergency.

How to Sign Up for Baylor Alert

Baylor University’s Department of Public Safety and its emergency management team use the multi-tiered Baylor Alert systems – from outdoor and indoor loudspeakers to text and email messages – to share important information and instructions for students, faculty, staff and visitors for all types of hazards, from severe weather to other dangerous situations.

Baylor students may log in to BearWeb to enter/update their Baylor Alert contact information. Instructions are available on the Baylor Office of Emergency Management website. Parents can be added as an “alternate Baylor Alert contact” by their student.

Faculty and staff can update their contact information online through Ignite

In addition, parents, visitors, contractors and other individuals can opt-in to receive Baylor Alert text messages by using one of following options:

  • Short-term visitors (1-3 days) can text Baylor1845 to 226787. *Note, subscriptions automatically expire after 3 days.
  • Long-term visitors (weeks, months, semester, etc.) can text Baylor76798 to 226787. *Note, subscriptions do not automatically expire. Users need to opt-out to stop receiving notifications.

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about City of Waco Emergency Management Warning Sirens are available on the City of Waco website.

Baylor University Severe Weather Safety Procedures:

Indoors

  • Seek shelter immediately on a ground floor, in an interior room.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Avoid any wide-span roof areas such as auditorium, gymnasiums, cafeterias and large hallways.

Residence Halls

  • Residence Hall Directors and available staff will gather all residents to the Severe Weather Assembly Areas (identified on Building Emergency Plan maps throughout the facility).
  • Residents should bring blankets for protection from debris.
  • Remain in the Severe Weather Assembly Areas until the tornado passes and an All Clear is issued via Baylor Alert.

Outdoors

  • Seek indoor shelter, if possible.
  • Parked motor vehicles are unsafe.
  • If indoor shelter is not available and there is not time for escape, lie flat in a ditch or low spot.
  • If you are on a flat ground and are caught in the path of a tornado, always move at right angles to its path.

Individuals with mobility/impairments or physical disabilities:

Supervisory personnel and course instructors are responsible for identifying and escorting individuals with mobility impairments or physical disabilities located in their offices/facilities or classrooms to safety in the event of a tornado warning.

The elevators may be used to transport individuals with mobility impairments or physical disabilities and their escorts to a safer location. Visually impaired and hearing impaired individuals may be escorted down the stairs, but may require assistance in moving in crowded staircases and in finding a safer location.

In the event of a power failure, individuals who are unable to use the stairs and their escorts should move to an interior location without windows and call the Baylor University Police Department (254-710-2222) who will notify the appropriate emergency personnel with the location.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

The Baylor University Department of Public Safety serves as an umbrella department for the Baylor University Police Department, emergency management and fire safety, global safety and security, technical security and parking and transportation. The DPS is set on providing students, faculty and alumni with excellent security and safety through instant notification systems, extensive surveillance cameras and highly trained staff.



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