Stanford to conduct test of campus emergency notification system

Oct. 13 test will include activation of siren warning, text and email alerts

Stanford University will conduct a test of the campuswide AlertSU mass-notification and siren system on Thursday, Oct. 13, noon-12:30 p.m., according to a Stanford University Department of Public Safety official.

Messages will be sent via text and email to members of the Stanford community. A link to a short survey to evaluate the effectiveness of the AlertSU system will be included in the email message, Public Safety Administrator Linda Saunders said.

The test will also feature the activation of the seven emergency sirens located on the Stanford campus. The sirens will likely be audible in neighboring areas, including Palo Alto and Menlo Park, Saunders said.

At the time of the test, the sirens will sound for approximately 60 seconds followed by a verbal message, Saunders said.

The AlertSU system's new Cisco VoIP speaker phones will also be tested, Saunders said. The speaker phones are found in many of Stanford's academic and office buildings, she said.

"If you have a Cisco phone in your area, the AlertSU message will broadcast from the speaker phone and a banner message will appear in the display," Saunders said.

Stanford is required by federal law to issue timely warnings whenever crimes specified in the federal Clery Act occur on campus or in the surrounding area. The purpose of the warning system is to alert the community to incidents and provide information on precautions people can take to keep themselves safe, according to the Department of Public Safety's website.

In the event of an emergency activation, individuals on campus should follow the directions of the AlertSU messages unless doing so will place them in greater harm.

"When you become aware of a warning, make sure others around you are also aware of the potential danger. Do not respond to the scene of an emergency unless directed to do so," the website states.

For more information on the university's AlertSU notification system or to sign up for emergency alerts, visit the Department of Public Safety website.


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Like this comment
Posted by Park Blvd
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 18, 2016 at 6:45 am

Why the eerie test just after 3:00 this morning?

Like this comment
Posted by Brian
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

I copied the following message from Stanford's emergency website:


Community Alert - Siren Activation
Date Posted: Tuesday, 18-Oct-2016 06:51:34 PST

Dear Stanford Community Member,

This morning, Stanford's outdoor emergency warning system malfunctioned, resulting in an activation of the entire siren system around 3:10am. We were able to deactivate the system; however, the tower on Stanford Ave continued to malfunction. We immediately began working with technicians to remedy the problem. Unfortunately, it has taken several hours to diagnose and resolve the malfunction.

I want to extend my sincere apologies for the inconvenience. We are investigating what caused the malfunction and will take steps to avoid future disruptions.

Updates will be posted on this website when available.

If you have questions, you may contact the Stanford Department of Public Safety at or 650-723-9633.


Laura Wilson Chief of Police, Stanford

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2016 at 12:24 pm

According to Nextdoor, this was alerted by a fault at 3.10 am today. It seems it was heard all over town.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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