Emergency Response Plan Mass Notification Procedure

Effective Date: February 20, 2009
Approved By: VP Finance Administration
Reviewed By: (IRC)


To enhance Lakehead University's ability to quickly alert students, faculty, staff and visitors of an occurring or impending emergency situation. The system described herein is designed primarily to get the attention of people outdoors who may not be reachable by other forms of crisis communication.

Communication is critical component of emergency response. The siren system on the Thunder Bay campus is part of the University's comprehensive crisis communication and emergency notification plan. The state of the art system features five strategically placed sirens with speakers that transmit warning tones and recorded or live voice messages to instantly alert people outdoors to take immediate action. The outdoor warning system will be supplemented with e-mail and/or telephone alerts, text messaging, campus TV and radio broadcasts.

System Activation:
Lakehead University's Security Department shall only activate the system to alert the University community about an immediate life-threatening emergency. The use of the siren system shall be limited only to emergencies involving imminent, verifiable threat to life.

In the event of an emergency, Security Services shall respond to the threat and advise the Manager of Security Services of the status of the situation. Should the Manager of Security Services determine that the mass notification system should be activated, he/she shall contact the Vice-President (Administration and Finance). The Manager of Security Services shall brief the Vice-President (Administration and Finance) of the situation and activate the mass notification system as directed.

Upon activation of the system, Security Services shall apprise other members of the Emergency Response team of the situation and relay any instructions received from the Vice-President (Administration and Finance). When the system is activated, siren tone will sound, and it will be immediately followed by pre-recorded voice message or live instructions directing recipients to take immediate action. The message shall be simple and give specific directions to individuals.

An example is as follows;

Your attention please, your attention please. This is not a test. The Security Services Department has initiated campus lockdown. Immediately go to the nearest area where you feel safe. This is not test.

Should the system be activated for other emergencies (i.e. tornado, major chemical/biological spill) live messages advising of the specifics shall be broadcasted at such time. The message shall continue to be repeated until directive is given to Lakehead University's Security Services Department by the authority having jurisdiction to cease broadcasting the message.

Siren Locations:

  • Chancellor Paterson Library
  • Lot 5 Parking Lot
  • Bora Laskin Building
  • C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse
  • 1294 Balmoral Street

Testing of the system

The siren system must be tested periodically, at minimum every six months. The University community, as well as the City of Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Police and emergency services, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre shall be notified well in advance of upcoming tests. The Communications Department shall be consulted as to notification of the media.

Testing shall be coordinated outside of scheduled exam periods. The message alerting the public of test shall be simple. Possible examples of pre-recorded test message are:

This is test. This is test of the emergency warning system. This is only test.

This procedure will be reviewed at intervals not exceeding three years under the auspices of the Vice-President (Administration and Finance)