Western Alert test planned for April 20

Officials at Western Washington University plan to conduct a test of the school's Western Alert emergency notification system at 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, April 20.

Western Alert is a group of ways to reach students, faculty and staff with important information about safety. Multiple ways to provide information is considered best practice.

The elements of the Western Alert system that will be implemented April 20 include:

  • Desktop notification on computers throughout campus, including in offices, classrooms and computer labs. Users need to only click on the green “Acknowledge” button to make the test message disappear.
  • Voice messages over the fire alarm system.
  • Text messages sent to everyone who has registered a cell number in Web4u at MyWestern.
  • Emails to every university email address.
  • A message posted on Western's emergency communication webpage, emergency.wwu.edu.
  • A message posted on Western's Facebook page and Twitter feed.

With the addition of newer Western Alert elements such as outdoor speakers, building enunciation and desktop computer notification, the Big Ole steam whistle is no longer be used in Western Alerts.

Concurrent with the Western Alert test, a small group will be participating in a lockdown drill to practice response actions in the unlikely event of an act of violence on campus.Participants are receiving advance guidance. Feedback from participants will be gathered to further improve on future lockdown drills. People on campus may see a few offices and classrooms practicing lockdown procedures; please know this is only a drill.

Representatives from the Counseling Center (360-650-3164) and state Employee Assistance Program (877-313-4455) are available to provide support as needed to participating students and employees. Please contact them directly for assistance.

More information:

  • Preparing. When each of us is better prepared, Western will be collectively more resilient. Please take 8 minutes to watch Western's emergency management video (scroll down). Check this web link for additional personal preparedness resources.
  • Concerning Behaviors. Western has a 20-minute video called Flash Point specifically to help you recognize behavioral warning signs of potentially dangerous individuals and reporting options.
  • What to do should violence occur. The U.S. government has provided an under 4 minute video on your options if violence occurs called Options for Consideration