The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday May 10th

Who you gonna call? With 911 down in Orange County, University should have used Alert Carolina system on campus

The Orange County 911 emergency number crashed for about three hours Thursday. And this wasn’t even the first time this year.

The emergency number went down around 9:40 a.m. and was back up around 12:30 p.m.

The county was without the 911 number the entire morning. During this time, people were still able to call a backup number.

But many people in the UNC community were unaware of this.

The University should be prepared for situations like this with its Alert Carolina program of text messages and Web site updates.

This system is supposed to be the go-to source for information in an immediate life-threatening or severe situation involving safety on our campus.

But the Alert Carolina Web site didn’t post anything about the problem, and no mass text message was sent out.

Considering our modern society’s sophisticated level of technology, this lack of communication is completely unacceptable.

Lt. Robert Patton of Orange County Emergency Services told the DTH that the reason for the outage is unclear.

Granted, the service was back up and running by that afternoon.

But the three-hour gap without an easy alternative is a major hole in Orange County Emergency Services’ ability to serve citizens.

And here on campus, the lack of response from Alert Carolina should spur officials to re-evaluate how they use the emergency response system.

If the system crashes again, citizens can call the backup number, (919) 732-5856.

You might want to save it in your address book.

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