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[February 04, 2013]
Wrong message sent on emergency system
AMERICUS, Feb 03, 2013 (Americus Times-Recorder - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- In the midst of a quickly developing storm situation early Wednesday evening, the emergency notification siren/loud speaker at Georgia Southwestern State University accidentally dispersed the wrong message.
Instead of sending a second severe weather warning message (a correct one had been sent earlier that day), a message was announced saying a gunman was on campus and that the university was in lockdown.
tephen Snyder, director of media relations for the university, confirmed Wednesday night that a siren/loud speaker warning had been sent in error, but was quickly corrected by Campus Safety who alerted each academic building, the library, cafeteria, residence halls and the sheriff's office that there was no active shooter, encouraging students to stay inside because of ongoing severe weather. Snyder said the university is taking steps to make the system less vulnerable to human error.
The Americus Times-Recorder received a recorded phone message from the university at 4:29 p.m. Wednesday concerning the severe thunderstorm warning.
The wrong siren/loud speaker message, about a shooter, was disseminated at 6:30 p.m.
GSW installed the siren/loud speaker system in 2008, following the devastating Americus tornado of 2007. They incorporated a separate telephone, email and text emergency notification system later that same year.
Facebook was ablaze Wednesday evening with the message about a shooter.
___ (c)2013 The Americus Times-Recorder (Americus, Ga.) Visit The Americus Times-Recorder (Americus, Ga.) at www.americustimesrecorder.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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