Emergency communication system to be tested at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 26

Tests to ensure WashU can effectively communicate with community in emergency

Washington University in St. Louis will test its emergency communication system, WUSTLAlerts, at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26.

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

For this test, WUSTLAlerts will send emails to @wustl.edu addresses and voice calls to cell phones. Emails will come from WUSTLAlerts@wustl.edu and voice calls from 314-935-9000.

It is important that community members respond to the tests per the instructions as quickly as possible. Timely responses will help the university gauge the effectiveness of the system.

The drill will include testing of the university’s yellow Alertus beacons, which are located in various large gathering spaces, common areas and classrooms. Also to be tested are the university’s desktop pop-ups on computers that have the software installed; indoor public address systems and Voice Over Fire Alarm systems; cable TV override on the Danforth Campus; and the RSS feed to the emergency website.

For more information on many of these emergency communications methods, visit the WUSTLAlert system site.

Washington University also will notify the community of the test via the emergency hotline (314-935-9000 locally or toll-free 888-234-2863) and emergency website.

In the event of an actual emergency, the emergency website and hotline will be updated regularly to provide information to the university community.

Time to check, update contact information

Washington University community members are strongly encouraged to enter or 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.

Community members who already have updated their contact information but have more than one cellphone or pager number are encouraged to log in and include all numbers in their HRMS or WebSTAC/SIS profile.

A new feature this past fall is the WUSTL Opt Out Portal. If you wish to opt out of certain methods of communication, such as personal cellphone or home phone, you can go to WUSTL Connect.

On this site, you can also see what contact information is listed for you in the WUSTLAlerts system. There are some contact points, such as campus phone, email and work cellphone, that you cannot opt out of because of university policy.

“In an emergency, WUSTLAlerts will use the contact information in HRMS and WebSTAC,” said Matt Arthur, director of incident communications solutions. “In preparation for the test, now would be a great time to check and update contact information.”

Students, faculty and staff also are encouraged to visit emergency.wustl.edu and learn more about how to prepare for and respond to severe weather and other emergencies.

“Having knowledge of what to do or where to go in case of emergencies when at home or at WUSTL is crucial for the safety of the Washington University community,” said Mark Bagby, director of emergency management.

For more information about the Feb. 26 drill, email Bagby at bagbym@wustl.edu.