Western to test emergency notification system, hold lockdown drill

Western Washington University students walking to class in Red Square.
Western Washington University students walking to class in Red Square. The Bellingham Herald file

Western Washington University plans to test its emergency notification system while also holding a voluntary all-campus lockdown drill on Oct. 19 at 9:35 a.m.

The emergency notification system, known as Western Alert, is a group of ways used to reach students, faculty and staff with important safety information, according to a Western news release.

The lockdown will take place at the same time Western Alert is tested.

The university’s Central Health and Safety committee recommends three safety drills – lockdown, fire and earthquake – each academic year.

The following Western Alert systems will be tested during the drill:

▪  Desktop notifications installed on computers throughout campus, including in offices, classrooms and computer labs where a test message will be broadcast. Users can click on the green “Acknowledge” button to make the message disappear.

▪  Voice messages over the campus fire alarm system.

▪  Text messages sent to everyone who has registered in Web4U at MyWestern.

▪  Test emails to students, faculty and staff.

▪  A Western Alert message posted on the emergency communication webpage, emergency.wwu.edu, and university homepage.

▪  A message posted on Western’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Amber fire alarm strobes will also flash in the main corridors of academic buildings and bathrooms, according to the news release.

Students who have not updated their personal information are asked to do so via the Web4U application. Employees can call the Human Resources Department at 360-650-3774 for assistance in signing up. Information can be found on Western’s emergency information page.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt