Lincoln Memorial University is testing a new way to warn students, and the surrounding community, of severe weather and other emergencies.
A warning siren has been installed on the roof of Tex Turner Arena. Officials will test the siren for the first time at noon on Wednesday, and they're hoping people will let them know if they hear it.
"Due to the diverse topography of our region, we can't be sure how far our siren will emit its alerts," said President B. James Dawson. "So, we are calling on our community to report if they can hear the siren during the test on May 21."
The university has set up a voicemail box at 423-869-6784 for the public to call and record a short message identifying the location you were at when you heard the siren. You can also post that information through social media, by tweeting with the hashtag #LMUSiren or posting a comment to the LMU Facebook page.
The LMU police and security control center will activate the siren when severe weather is expected to move through the area. It will work in conjunction with the university's existing alert system.
A steady tone will indicate a weather emergency, like a tornado warning. A low-high repeater tone will indicate a public safety threat. Both warnings should alert people to take appropriate action immediately.
"We want to make the siren as simple as possible. We will have a couple of codes. One for tornados or immediate danger, and one for if there is a threat on our facilities or campus," said LMU dean of administration Lisa Blair-Cox.
The LMU campus sustained some weather damage on April 28, when a severe storm moved through Claiborne County.
No one was injured, but several campus buildings had roof damage. The score board at the soccer field was also damaged.