Emergency Management News & Highlights

Lightning Detection Alert System Testing at Noon on May 23, 2019

A new lightning alert system has been installed on West Campus (Fairfax) to provide weather warnings to students, employees, and visitors who are outdoors on recreation fields, athletic fields, or attending outdoor sporting events. When lightning is detected within 10 miles of campus, a loud 15-second siren will sound. Thirty-minutes after the last lightning strike within a 10-mile radius of campus, three five-second siren bursts will sound to signal that it is safe to resume activities outdoors. Although this system is installed on the West Campus, the siren will be heard throughout the Fairfax Campus and surrounding area. This system is currently scheduled to be operation from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily. For an overview of the system please see the following link:

A test of the system will occur on May 23rd at noon. During the test, both the 15-second siren and the three five-second siren blasts will be sounded. After 12:30 on May 23rd the system will be fully operational. When you hear the siren, for your safety seek shelter in a building or vehicle.

For additional information about emergency preparedness at George Mason University, please visit or contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office at 703-993-8448, or

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