Topics: Alert Carolina

Alert Carolina is an initiative started at UNC in 2008 as a way to improve campus safety in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting. Alert Carolina includes a text-alert system and sirens.

There are six sirens spread across campus that are designed to be heard by people outside. The sirens are used for four situations: an armed and dangerous person on or near campus, a major chemical spill or hazard, a tornado sighting or a different emergency determined by the Department of Public safety. The sirens are tested several times a year.

If the department determines a situation is serious but doesn’t warrant sirens, notifications are placed on the Alert Carolina website. The emergency situations committee determines if a text message is necessary.

They will send four different kinds of messages.

  1. Emergency warning is issued if there is a significant emergency or immediate threat to the health or safety of people on campus — such as an armed and dangerous person on campus, major chemical spill or a tornado warning issued for Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
  2. Timely Warning is issued if there is a continuing danger affecting the campus community and notification will not compromise law enforcement efforts — such as reports of a homicide, sex offense or robbery.
  3. Informational messages are issued if a situation is not an emergency and does not pose an immediate threat to the campus community, but is of significant interest to the campus. These messages are intended to tell people to be aware of a particular situation. For example, an alleged assault occurring on or near campus
  4. Adverse weather messages are issued when a tornado watch or severe thunderstorm warning is issued by the National Weather Service for Orange County.

Alert Carolina message not sent for East Rosemary Street bank robbery

Following an armed robbery of PNC Bank on East Rosemary Street Tuesday afternoon, the University did not send an Alert Carolina message to students via text or email.

Alert Carolina balances threat with proximity to avoid unnecessary alarm


In the 24-hour period following the off-campus shooting of Deah Barakat and Yusor and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha in February 2015, four Alert Carolina emails were sent to notify community members of the triple homicide. No text messages were sent.

Attempted break-ins and one successful break-in at Spencer dorm over break


Over winter break, someone broke into a room in Spencer Residence Hall and attempted to break into six other rooms in the dorm. 

Staying informed — how UNC prepares in an emergency


North Campus buildings lost power in the midst of a thunderstorm Monday morning. While power was restored relatively quickly, there is still no information on the cause of the outage.

One Button alert system working well after tests

After testing new changes to Alert Carolina, University officials said the One Button system is working well.

Alert Carolina makes major changes to system

The Department of Public Safety is debuting the “One Button” system change to Alert Carolina towards the end of this summer.

Board of Trustees discusses Alert Carolina, renovations and applied sciences

The Board of Trustees convened on May 18 and 19 for their May meetings. Members heard presentations across many topics, including the University’s security system and funding for the Applied Physical Sciences department.

Another UNC student robbed at gunpoint, sirens not sounded

At roughly 1 a.m. Wednesday, a UNC student was robbed at gunpoint — the second time this has happened in less than a week.

Elon student died after falling at Morrison


Students formed prayer and support groups on Wednesday evening after an Elon University student was found on the ground outside Morrison Residence Hall earlier in the afternoon. 

Communication failure to blame for July alert problems


College students might face the threat of sexual assault, armed robberies, gun violence and other crimes. Alert systems, like Alert Carolina at UNC, are designed to keep students safe. 

Officer said there were two armed robberies on UNC campus

Alarms went off around 11 p.m. Wednesday night on UNC's campus accompanied by a voice message about an armed person on campus.

Student Congress passes resolution about Alert Carolina's timeliness

“I heard from a lot of people who were upset about how Alert Carolina handled the situation,” said Peter McClelland, speaker pro-tempore of student congress.

McClelland introduced a resolution calling for answers in regards to the delay in email notification and the absence of text notification, he said.

“To my knowledge, there are some students that didn’t get this information at all, until it was on the news,” said Ivy Hardy, speaker of student congress.

UNC Student Congress questions Alert Carolina

Student Congress will hold an emergency meeting Friday to call for more answers from police about Tuesday’s triple homicide at an off-campus condominium complex.

UNC students say Alert Carolina is not useful


When students heard through Facebook about Olu Fatolu, the nursing student found dead in her parked car Thursday, many questioned the value of Alert Carolina.

UNC students weigh in on Alert Carolina

In its last test run, Alert Carolina sent out more than 44,000 text messages and 55,000 emails.

Greenlaw Hall recovering from flood


Students with classes in Greenlaw Hall were greeted with a large hole in front of the building Tuesday morning thanks to a water main break that occurred on Sunday evening.

Student Stores thefts may be linked

UNC’s Department of Public Safety sent out an Alert Carolina message Monday seeking information related to two incidents at UNC Student Stores: a larceny on April 4 and an attempted larceny on Aug. 30.

Alert Carolina sends notification about a false sexual assault report

Students received an Alert Carolina message Monday about a falsely reported sexual assault because the Department of Public Safety wanted to assuage heightened concerns about the issue.

Student Congress’s Alert Carolina plan is right for UNC

Student Congress’ nearly unanimous decision in December to pass a resolution that would identify any gunman within a mile of campus as an Alert Carolina emergency deserves the administrative consideration it recently received.

Students may receive more Alert Carolina messages

Following a handful of shooting incidents on Franklin Street last semester, many students received what they considered a not-so-timely warning from Alert Carolina.