Contact: Paul Cocke, Director, Office of Communications and Marketing, (360) 650-3350; Paul.Cocke@wwu.edu
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University plans to test its emergency notification system known as Western Alert at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18.
Western Alert is a group of ways to reach students, faculty and staff with important safety information. The following Western Alert elements will be tested on Oct. 18:
- Test voice messages over the campus fire alarm system (building enunciation).
- Sounding Big Ole steam whistle for outdoor alert – a signal to seek information.
- Sending text messages to everyone who has registered in web4u at MyWestern.
- Test emails to students, faculty and staff.
- Posting a Western Alert message on the emergency communication webpage, emergency.wwu.edu.
- Posting a message on Western’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.
In conjunction with the Western Alert drill, members of the campus community are urged to take some time to review their personal emergency plan. Through a U.S. Department of Education grant, Western has created a new video to help students, faculty and staff be more ready for an emergency. A link to Western’s new emergency management video is here. Western's Emergency Management Committee recommends you view this eight-minute video.
Also, Western is participating in the Great Washington Shakeout, though at 10:45 a.m., a time better suited to class schedules. Please review how to drop, cover and hold, and practice if you are able at some point on Oct. 18.
A critical element of Western Alert, a text message is one of the most reliable ways to quickly provide emergency information. Even if users do not regularly text on their cell phones, most phones are capable of receiving text information. Western students, faculty and staff who have not yet registered to receive Western Alerts via text message are asked to update their personal information via the Web4U application. Employees may also call the Human Resources Department at 650-3774 for assistance in signing up.
To date, 93 percent of WWU students, 59 percent of staff and 52 percent of faculty members have provided their cell phone numbers to Web4U to receive emergency text messages.