WWU to test its Western Alert emergency communications system May 16
Western Washington University plans to test its Western Alert emergency communications system at 8:50 a.m. on Tuesday, May 16. The Western Alert system is a group of ways to reach students, faculty and staff with important safety information.
In conjunction with the Western Alert Test drill, Western will conduct an earthquake drill. The campus community is encouraged to practice how to drop, cover and hold on at this time if you are able, or at some other time on May 16. For more information on recommended actions, see https://www.earthquakecountry.org/step5/.
Western Alert test: The following Western Alert elements will be tested on May 16:
- Desktop notification on installed computers throughout campus, including 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 campus fire alarm system (building enunciation).
- Text messages to everyone who has registered in Web4U at MyWestern.
- Emails to every university email address.
- Messaging on the emergency communication webpage, emergency.wwu.edu and university homepage.
- Messaging on some digital information boards.
During the test, a test voice message (building enunciation) will be repeated several times in buildings as well as some outside speakers at the university tennis courts, the south campus oval at the Communications Facility, and at the Old Main lawn. Amber fire alarm strobes also will flash in the main corridors of academic buildings and bathrooms.
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 360-650-3774 for assistance in signing up. For more information, visit Western’s Safety and Emergency Information webpage.
Messages from the Western Alert emergency communications system come in three warning levels, plus weather advisories:
- Western Alerts are sent when an imminent threat to the health and safety of campus exists. These alerts are always sent via both text and e-mail and may include other notification methodologies, depending on the severity of the incident. The texts will almost always point you to your WWU email for more information. These messages may incorporate follow-up information as it becomes available.
- WWU Crime Notices at Western shall be distributed to students and employees for any of the 15 Clery Act crimes that pose a serious or continuing threat to the Western community.
- WWU Campus Advisories are sent out for situations when there is not an imminent threat but a situation of concern.
- Western Weather Advisories are sent to campus when inclement weather such as snow has occurred, and the campus community may need to adjust their schedules due to closures or delays, or when the university is operating on a normal schedule but more time may be needed to get to campus. Weather notification is also posted on the WWU home page, the WWU Inclement Weather page at https://emergency.wwu.edu/inclement-weather. See the Inclement Weather page for more information about policies and procedures regarding how the campus reacts when bad weather arrives.