Western Alert system adds capability to message campus computers

[ Update: The Alertus Desktop client was distributed to campus computers on Thursday, Jan. 29. It will be installed on Windows PCs the next time they are rebooted. ]

Adding to the university's Western Alert emergency notification system, Western Washington University officials are rolling out a new desktop alert platform called Alertus. The program will be remotely installed on Windows PCs throughout campus, including in offices, classrooms and computer labs.

Users shouldn't notice the installation, and the program will run in the background. Some users may experience a longer boot time on their next reboot. Mac users should contact the ATUS Help Desk or their departmental IT staff to get the Alertus program installed.

In the event of a Western Alert on campus, the technology will allow a message to be broadcast on the screen of any computer on which the Alertus Desktop client is installed. Users need only click the green "Acknowledge" button to make the alert disappear.

Other methods of disseminating Western Alert messages to campus remain the same:

  • Voice messages and light strobes via the campus fire alarm system
  • Voice messages on outside speakers at the university tennis courts, the south campus oval at the Communications Facility and the Old Main lawn
  • The Big Ole steam whistle
  • Text messages to every cell phone registered via Web4U
  • Email messages to students, faculty and staff via official WWU email accounts
  • Messages posted on the emergency communication webpage, emergency.wwu.edu, and on the university homepage
  • Messages posted on the myWestern portal
  • Messages posted on Western's Facebook page and Twitter feed

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 360-650-3774 for assistance in signing up.