Campus Safety Siren

What is the alerting and warning system?

 The Alerting and Warning System (AWS) is a network of safety sirens and communications links that warn and inform the community of what to do in an emergency or disaster. This includes dangers resulting from natural or technical hazards such as chemical spills, flooding, fires, storms, power outages, transportation incidents, and other public safety incidents. Local systems are becoming operational in the Cities of San Leandro and Oakland, with additional Alameda County cities to join in the coming months and years.

The University of California, Berkeley has four hazard warning sirens strategically located on campus to cover the main campus and adjacent campus facilities. The University of California Police Department activates these sirens. Depending on the incident, sirens and/or public address announcements may be transmitted over this system.

What do you do when you hear a siren?

SHELTER: Go inside your office or residence, a nearby building, or your car and shelter inside to avoid exposure. If driving a car, safely pull over to the side of the road, turn off the engine and stay tuned.

SHUT: Shut all doors and windows. Building managers should turn off ventilation systems, if feasible.

LISTEN: Access one the following sites to obtain campus emergency information, such as disaster type, evacuation routes, shelter and aid locations, special instructions, etc.:

  • Scheduled Siren Testing
    First Wednesday of the month at noon
  • Emergency Information Line: 1-800-705-9998
    This out-of-area number allows recorded messages to be accessed by any standard, cell or pay phone, free of toll charges. Information about the emergency is recorded as an outgoing message, and is updated as the situation evolves.
  • Web site:
    The off-site alternate emergency Web presence is reachable anytime, from
    anywhere. Like the 800 service, local area power failures or other crisis conditions will not affect the operation of this web site.
  • Radio station: KALX 90.7 FM
    The campus radio station, broadcasting at 500 watts, will be utilized to disseminate emergency information during critical incidents and disasters. KALX normally broadcasts 24 hours every day with live programming. KCBS (740 AM), KGO (810 AM), and KNBR (680 AM) also carry Bay Area emergency information.


Since disasters are unpredictable, one must be prepared for an emergency whether at home, at work, at school, or in the car. Think about places where you spend your time and how you can best prepared for an emergency at any given location and time. It is wise to keep a battery operated AM/FM radio and extra sets of batteries at home, work, and in your car.


Two informational documents are available to print out and post in your work areas and departmental bulletin boards.

For more information, visit the Office of Emergency Preparedness’ web site.