Emergency communications tests March 13, 14 and 21

Tests part of Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week March 12-16

Washington University will test its emergency communication systems three times in March: at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13; at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 14; and at noon Wednesday, March 21.

Testing the university’s sirens, including the one on top of Brookings Hall, is part of the March 13 drill. (Credit: David Kilper)

The tests will take place unless there is the potential for severe weather that day or some other emergency is occurring at that time.

The March 13 drill at 1:30 p.m. will test the university’s emergency sirens as part of a Missouri statewide tornado drill. WUSTL’s warning sirens are located on Brookings Hall, Seigle Hall and Nemerov House. St. Louis City and County sirens will be activated as well.

The March 14 drill at 12:15 p.m. will test new emergency communication methods introduced during this academic year, including Alertus beacons on all campuses; desktop pop-ups on computers that have the software installed; Danforth Campus outdoor warning sirens; indoor public address systems in the Danforth University Center, Athletic Complex and Olin Library; cable TV overrides; and some digital signage.

For more information and a video explaining these new methods, visit news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/23155.aspx.

The March 21 drill at noon will test part of the WUSTLAlerts system, which will send text messages to registered cell phones and e-mails to @wustl.edu addresses.

The drills are being held in conjunction with Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week March 12-16.

The university also will provide information about the tests on the emergency website, emergency.wustl.edu, and the emergency hotline, (314) 935-9000.

The March 14 drill will include testing of WUSTL’s yellow Alertus beacons, which are located in various large gathering spaces, common areas and classrooms across the university. (Credit: David Kilper)

WUSTL community members are strongly encouraged to update their contact information via HRMS and WebSTAC/SIS. The university uses the information in HRMS and WebSTAC/SIS to contact individuals when necessary in an emergency.

During Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to visit emergency.wustl.edu and click on “severe weather” to learn more about preparing for severe weather and safe ways to react during and after a weather emergency.

During a tornado warning, the WUSTL community should follow these instructions:

  • Evacuate to the basement, an inside hallway or an interior bathroom on the lowest level possible with a flashlight and radio.
  • Avoid places with wide-span roofs.
  • Once evacuated, get under heavy furniture (if available).
  • Use arms to protect your head and neck.

“Having knowledge of what to do or where to go in case of severe weather when at home or at WUSTL is crucial for the safety of the Washington University community in a weather emergency,” says Mark Bagby, emergency management coordinator.

“More information on how to stay safe during a tornado or other emergencies can be found on the university’s emergency website,” Bagby says.

For more information about the drills, email Bagby at bagbym@wustl.edu.