Emergency communication system to be tested Oct. 26

Alertus beacon photo

Washington University in St. Louis will test its emergency communication system at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26.  These tests are to ensure that the university can effectively communicate with the community in an emergency. 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 cellphones. Emails will come from WUSTLAlerts@wustl.edu and voice calls from 314-935-9000. Please respond as quickly as possible per the instructions, as that will help the university gauge the effectiveness of the system.

The Oct. 26 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.

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.

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.

If you wish to opt out of certain personal methods of communications, such as personal cellphone or home phone, you can go to https://connect.wustl.edu/selfservice/SECURE/Profile.aspx. On this site, one can also see what information is currently being fed into the WUSTLAlerts system. Some contact points, such as campus phone, email and work cell, cannot be opted out of due to the updated university policy.

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 Ty Davisson, director of Washington University emergency management.

For more information about the drill, email emergency management at WashUready@wustl.edu

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