The University of Iowa

UI DPS will conduct Hawk Alert Test on Wed. March 24 at 11 a.m.

UPDATE: The University of Iowa Department of Public Safety will conduct a Hawk Alert test tomorrow (Thursday, April 8) at 10 a.m. in conjunction with the rescheduled Johnson County siren test. The sirens on campus will be briefly activated in conjunction with other sirens in the area and registered users will receive Hawk Alert messages, if weather permits.

Previous tests, including the one scheduled for March 24 and described below, were postponed due to weather.

As we enter severe weather season and recognize Severe Weather Awareness Week (March 22-26), it is important for those on campus to get re-acquainted with the University of Iowa's emergency  notification systems, how to properly prepare for severe weather, and where to find additional information.

At approximately 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 24, the UI Department of Public Safety (DPS) will conduct its annual Hawk Alert test, as required.  This will be in conjunction with the National Weather Service (NWS) and Johnson County severe weather emergency notification drills.

The sirens on campus will be briefly activated in conjunction with other sirens in the area and registered users will receive test Hawk Alert messages. This aids in the verification of your ability to receive timely emergency notifications. Please take a moment to update your Hawk Alert preferences and make sure you are signed up to receive text messages, which are the quickest method. To update your settings or learn more, visit the Hawk Alert website:

Although the drill this year does not include the practice of seeking shelter, DPS encourages everyone to pause when the sirens are activated to consider what actions they would take, including where they would go, if it were an actual tornado warning or other severe weather warning prompting siren activation. If you hear a siren or receive other alerts during an actual incident or otherwise know of the threat of dangerous wind-related conditions, consider the following actions recommended by the National Weather Service:

  • Inside: Go to the basement or a safe room and assume a tornado safety position. If you don't have either, proceed to the lowest innermost room away from windows. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums, or auditoriums.
  • Outside: Seek shelter inside a sturdy building immediately if a tornado is approaching.
  • In a vehicle: Being in a vehicle during a tornado is not safe. The best course of action is to drive to the closest shelter. If you are unable to make it to a safe shelter, either get down in your car and cover your head, or abandon your car and seek shelter in a low lying area such as a ditch or ravine.
  • Stay Weather-Ready: Continue to monitor local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about watches and warnings.

Additional items to keep in mind:

  • Emergency information is posted to the UI's emergency website ,, following a Hawk Alert. Please refer to this page during active Hawk Alerts for the most updated information.
  • The outdoor warning (siren) system is designed to notify those who are outdoors of the emergency condition. When indoors, the best way to receive severe weather notifications is through a NOAA weather radio.
  • Be mindful of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, or of those who may not be aware of emergency notifications because they are sleeping, watching TV, or listening to music.
  • If you know of others in the building, please inform them of emergency conditions as you make your way to safety. If you can do so safely, help those who may need assistance to a safe area.

Additional sources of information pertaining to severe weather can be found at:

If severe weather is forecast for the area on the day of the scheduled siren activation, or if there is another active emergency, UI will coordinate with Johnson County Emergency Management and NWS to either postpone or cancel the sirens sounding and Hawk Alert test.

For more information on how to respond to various types of emergencies that could affect the university, see the Emergency Response Guide on the UI Department of Public Safety website.