Northern Arizona University participated in the national Great Shakeout event today. The Great Shakeout is an annual event that is meant to inform and prepare participants in the case of an earthquake. NAU participated in the event by testing safety procedures including testing the blue light system and an emergency notification drill.

The blue light system is an emergency phone system comprised of about 160 phones located throughout campus. When an emergency is perceived, anyone can go up to the phones and automatically be connected to NAUPD by pressing a button. Upon testing the operation of the blue lights, a delay was discovered within the system with alerts being sent out about 10 minutes late. Kurt Sitch, of the NAU Police Departments says, “That’s why you do tests to find out if stuff doesn’t work and why, which is good to know”. The alarm was late for a variety of reason but was helpful in educating police about how to be prepared in the case of a real emergency.

 The Federal Government requires that all universities have an alert system whether it be through email, text, voice announcement and so forth.