VCU Will Conduct a Tornado Preparedness Exercise on Tuesday, March 2

All emergency communications will be tested

Virginia Commonwealth University will conduct a tornado preparedness exercise on Tuesday, March 2, as part of statewide emergency preparedness efforts.

The VCU exercise will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the activation of 10 sirens on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses along with text messages, digital signs, Web site information and social media that are part of a multichannel system for communicating emergency information to VCU students, employees, parents and neighbors.

Tuesday’s test is a departure from the regular noon tests each semester and will serve as the Spring 2010 full-scale test. The sirens will sound a fast, up and down wail for four minutes, and after a three-minute pause the sirens will sound a steady wail for two minutes to signal “all clear.”

In addition, VCU is currently conducting its first Campus-Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) class with the assistance of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Virginia Department of Transportation. Student volunteers will simulate tornado “victims” at a designated site on campus, providing the C-CERT students an opportunity for the triage portion of their final class drill.

The tornado “victims” will be staged at Park Plaza, between Cabell Library and Hibbs Hall on the Monroe Park Campus. The location also will serve as the site for an incident command post location where the university’s incident response team will join leaders of City of Richmond fire, police, emergency medical service and other key first responders in coordinating response and recovery operations — as they would in a real event.