Emergency communication system to be tested

Test to take place at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16

Washington University in St. Louis will test its emergency communication system, WUSTLAlerts, at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16. 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 text messages to cell phones. Emails will come from WUSTLAlerts@wustl.edu and text messages from 89361.

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 Sept. 16 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 will be 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; the WUSTL App; 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.

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.

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

Employees and students can also use the Opt Out Portal. If you wish to opt out of certain personal methods of communications, such as personal cell phone or home phone, you can go to WUSTL Connect.

On this site, one can also see what information is currently being fed into the WUSTLAlerts system. Some contact points such as campus phone, e-mail and work cell cannot be opted out of due to the updated university policy.

A new feature this year is the ability to send emergency alerts as a push notification to the WUSTL App. Students, employees and even parents of students can download the WUSTL App to their smartphone and receive the WUSTLAlert on their phone through their WiFi.

“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 on campus is crucial for the safety of the Washington University community,” said Mark Bagby, director of emergency management.

For more information about the Sept. 16 drill, email Bagby at bagbym@wustl.edu.