On Wednesday, UNC-Chapel Hill will conduct a drill on the outskirts of campus so police can practice what to do in the event that a gunman is loose on campus.
Naturally, the university is trying to let the community know. Again - this is JUST A DRILL.
Linda Convissor, the university's local relations director, wrote a letter explaining the event.
Here it is.
On Wednesday, April 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the University will hold a drill to simulate a real emergency on campus. The emergency drill will take place at the Outdoor Education Center off Country Club Road. Our Department of Public Safety is coordinating the exercise, which will include local law enforcement and response agencies. Officers will be stationed around the perimeter and will block access to the drill site.
During the drill, actors will portray gunmen, hostages and victims to simulate a response to a shooter on campus. Part of this exercise is to remind everyone on campus what to do in a real emergency. Students, faculty and staff will be asked to spend five minutes responding as if the situation was real: stay, or go, inside. Close windows and doors. Stay until further notice.
There should be little direct impact on the community. You may hear the sirens and see emergency vehicles driving to and from the Outdoor Education Center. During the drill, residents will have full access to Country Club and Laurel Hill Roads. No impact on traffic or Chapel Hill Transit service is expected.
Remember that www.alertcarolina.unc.edu is the go-to source for information on a campus emergency. Director of Public Safety Jeff McCracken discusses the emergency drill in a video on the AlertCarolina site (link is on upper right corner). Please note that the text messages he describes are for University students, faculty and staff.
Emergency planning is an important element of our efforts to enhance campus safety. We are committed to conducting regular exercises and updating our plans so that we will always be ready. All of the UNC campuses are participating in these full-scale drills.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where bad things happen. It’s our job to be ready for all scenarios and this training is an important part of that readiness.
If you are a contact person for your neighborhood or community group, please share this information with them and others who may be interested.