Emergency Systems

GC Alert

The Georgia College GC ALERT system is used to disseminate mass emergency notifications to all of its users. This service will provide you the opportunity to include multiple phone numbers and email addresses to enhance your awareness during emergency conditions. 

GC ALERT is a free service provided to keep you better informed in the event of severe weather and campus emergencies or closings. This program will allow us to reach you directly by sending a text message, email, and text to speech call to your cell phone. All faculty, staff and students are automatically enrolled into GC ALERT with their Georgia College email. To ensure your information is accurate or to add additional contact information, please follow these steps:

  • Log into PAWS
  • Click on the “Personal Information” tab at the top
  • Click “GC Alert Notification Contact Information”

What is GC ALERT? 

GC ALERT is an emergency messaging system that can send text messages and text to speech calls directly to your cell phone in the event of severe weather, campus emergency or emergency closing. It will not be used for routine communications.
    
Am I automatically enrolled to receive the emergency text messages? 

Yes, all faculty, staff and students are automatically enrolled into GC ALERT with their Georgia College email. To ensure your information is accurate or to add additional contact information follow these steps:

  • Log into PAWS
  • Click on the “Personal Information” tab at the top
  • Click “GC Alert Notification Contact Information”

What does it cost? 

The only cost is the amount your cell phone company may charge you to receive a text message. However, Georgia College will ONLY use the GC ALERT system for emergency notifications.     
    
What if my cell phone number changes?

You must update your cell phone number by following the steps above.      
    
How will I be alerted if I don't have a cell phone? 

Georgia College has proactively layered the emergency notification system. If you do not have a cell phone, you may receive information via other emergency notification systems.
    
Will the GC ALERT system cover the other Georgia College locations in Macon and Warner Robins? 

Yes, all students, faculty and staff can receive emergency messages, regardless of their location.     
    
Can my family sign up for GC ALERT? 

This system will allow you to include up to six phone numbers and three email addresses. You may use them however you wish to ensure your loved ones get an emergency communication as quickly as you do.     
    
How do I opt out of GC ALERT?

To opt out of GC ALERT, simply text STOP to 67283.


Emergency Call Boxes

Outdoor Emergency Call Box:

Georgia College is extremely dedicated to enhancing your safety while on and around our campus. We have over 60 outdoor emergency call boxes to date. These call boxes provide instant communication between you and our Communications Officers. Simply press the red button and it will instantly call the communications center. A blue strobe light will flash and you will be able to get help. If, for whatever reason, you are not able to safely stay and talk to a Communications Officer, press the red button and run to the next call box. We know the exact location of each call box and will get help to your location quickly.

Classroom Phone System:

To enhance safety in our classrooms, the Department of Public Safety and Division of Information Technology partnered together to provide a solution to create instant contact with the Department of Public Safety. We have deployed VoIP phones in every classroom on campus so you may access Public Safety at anytime.


Panic Alarms

All on-campus residence halls and apartments are equipped with panic buttons. The panic buttons are to be used during any type of emergency when public safety assistance is needed. This can include the need for police, fire or ambulance services. When pressed, a signal will be sent to the Georgia College Police Dispatch Center. This signal will indicate where the alarm is located. Our Georgia College Police Department is open 24/7 and is ready to respond by having an officer dispatched immediately to the emergency.


Surveillance Camera System

Georgia College believes that safeguarding the personal welfare of its students and employees is of paramount importance at all campus locations and in all buildings. In an effort to discourage those behaviors which threaten personal safety or a potential loss of campus resources, selective use of video surveillance is engaged. We currently manage over 330 surveillance cameras throughout our campus. While video surveillance can serve as a crime deterrent and as an investigative tool, absolute immunity from crime or malfunction cannot be guaranteed at all times in video surveillance areas.


Outdoor Warning Siren System

Georgia College utilizes an outdoor warning siren system to greatly enhance our emergency notification capabilities. Since some emergencies occur with little to no warning, notification of these events must be delivered quickly and decisively. The outdoor warning siren system will provide the GC community and surrounding area this quick delivery of emergency notification. Outdoor siren systems are intended to alert those who are outdoors of a potential emergency requiring them to seek shelter; they are not designed to be heard inside a structure, especially modern structures that typically feature high insulation values.

GC installed three warning sirens, two for central campus and one for west campus. These sirens are preprogrammed to broadcast emergency tones and voice messages.

During a tornado warning, the system will sound the tone "ALERT" followed by the "TORNADO WARNING" message and then the "ALERT" tone again. This sequence will occur approximately every five minutes until the warning is canceled or expires at which time an all clear will be issued. The system will be activated when the National Weather Service issues a “tornado warning” for Baldwin County

The system also can be used to warn of an armed assailant. When activated, this will sound the message "ARMED ASSAILANT" followed by the "WHOOP" tone. This will be initiated when there is reason to believe the Georgic College campus is threatened by an armed assailant.

To ensure sirens are operational, GC will conduct monthly tests. Test will be conducted between 10 a.m. and noon on the first Wednesday of every month. Test will only be conducted when clear skies are present.  If clear conditions are not present or severe weather threatens the area for the day of the scheduled test, the test will be cancelled for the month.

Georgia College is dedicated to ensuring everyone knows what to do when they hear the sirens, so below are answers to frequently asked siren questions. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Georgia College Public Safety at 478-445-4054 or email publicsafety@gcsu.edu.

When are the sirens tested?

The system tests take place between 10 a.m. - noon on the first Wednesday morning of the month. You do not need to take any action during the test. If severe weather is predicted or the skies are anything but clear to partly clear on a scheduled test day, the test will be canceled for that month.

What should I do during the monthly test?

You should continue your regular activities during a test. You do not need to take any special actions during a test.

How can I tell the difference between a monthly test and an emergency?

Monthly tests will begin with the announcement, “This is a test.” If you hear the sirens, and do not hear, “This is a test,” this means there is an emergency.

A system test will only take place in the morning on the first Wednesday of the month and will not last longer than a minute, unless prior notice has been given. In the event of an emergency, the sirens will cycle until the emergency is over, at which point you will hear an “all clear” announcement.

What should I do when I hear the sirens?

When you hear the sirens you should seek shelter immediately. Enter the nearest building and move to the lowest level of the building into interior rooms or corridors away from windows. Remain inside until an “ALL CLEAR” notification is issued.

If you hear a siren test, do not take any action.

What types of emergencies do the sirens indicate?

The sirens indicate emergencies that make it unsafe to be outdoors and require you to seek immediate shelter. The most likely cause of these unsafe outdoor conditions is severe weather, but other causes may include the unlikely occurrences of an armed assailant on campus.  Public Safety also has the capability to use the siren system to make emergency announcements similar to a public address system.  Remember the outdoor siren system is used to notify individuals who are outdoors of an emergency requiring them to seek shelter.

Where are the sirens located?

Two siren speakers are located on main campus and one speaker is located on West Campus. GC does not have sirens located at the East (Lake Laurel), Macon or Warner Robins campuses.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Contact Georgia College Public Safety at 478-445-4054 or by email publicsafety@gcsu.edu.