‘Where to Go’ campaign continues

This fall, Washington University launched the “Where to Go” campaign to inform students, faculty, staff and others about how to prepare for an emergency and how the University will communicate information in an emergency.

One key method of communication is the Emergency Notification System (ENS), which sends text messages to cell phones and to e-mail addresses with information about an emergency. As of Nov. 1, 36.5 percent of faculty and staff and 42.5 percent of students have provided the University with cell phone numbers for ENS.

“We encourage those in the WUSTL community who have not done so to visit emergency.wustl.edu and provide their cell phone number as soon as possible,” said Steven P. Hoffner, assistant vice chancellor for operations and chair of the Crisis Management Team, a committee appointed by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton to ensure WUSTL is prepared to cope with a variety of emergencies.

“Text messaging has proved to be an effective and efficient way to reach members of a university community in a crisis,” said Matt Arthur, director of incident communications solutions. “That’s why it’s vital that each WUSTL student, faculty and staff member visit the emergency Web site and update their contact information.”

Students, faculty, staff and others can register their cell phone numbers at emergency.wustl.edu by following the link on the left side of the Web page.

All WUSTL e-mail accounts already are registered to receive e-mails about emergency situations, but adding a cell phone number will ensure that the person will receive the latest information on an emergency situation, even if he or she is away from a computer.

Emergency messages will only be sent about situations that pose a substantial threat to the campus community, Arthur said.

The University has other means of communicating in an emergency as well. In January, WUSTL will install outdoor warning sirens on the Danforth Campus.

An emergency hotline, which people can call to hear recorded messages, has also been established and will be updated regularly in the event of an emergency. The hotline number is 935-9000 or toll-free 888-234-2863.

Additional information about a serious emergency also is available from campus media (WUTV Channel 22 and KWUR 90.3 FM) or KMOX (1120 AM), which is the regional radio station identified for emergencies.

WUSTL is investigating the use of other methods of providing information in a crisis, such as posting messages on TV monitors in the Danforth University Center and placing loudspeakers inside buildings to broadcast messages indoors.

“We will continue to explore options to best keep the University community informed before, during and after a crisis occurs,” said Mark Bagby, University disaster coordinator. “We welcome any feedback, ideas and support from students, faculty and staff.”

In August, the University sent faculty and staff members and students informational packets about the “Where to Go” campaign, explaining what to do in an emergency and where to go to update contact information.

Officials from the offices of Public Affairs and Environmental Health and Safety also visited meetings and orientations at schools and departments this semester to show a five-minute video on the “Where to Go” campaign and to discuss how the WUSTL community can be prepared in the event of an emergency.

For more information about WUSTL’s emergency preparations, to obtain “Where to Go” packets or to schedule an emergency communications meeting for your department, contact Bagby at 935-9261 or bagbym@wustl.edu.