WSU Spokane Important Announcements
During weather-related or other campus emergencies, staff monitor conditions constantly. We update this page and our recorded message at 509-323-2474 with information about any changes in normal campus operating hours or special conditions.
Campus Information Sources
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/WSUSpokane
- Recorded message:
- CougAlert crisis communication system - used to send select emergency warnings/notifications to the WSU community through voice messages, text messages, instant messages, and/or e-mail. Requires voluntary registration of your (cell) phone, device or e-mail—register here.
Responding to Emergencies
To review information that can help you during various types of emergencies that might occur while you are in class or on campus, go to the emergencies page.
Road and Pass Conditions
A reminder to all WSU students, faculty and staff: Before traveling, it is recommended to check current road conditions. Go to these web sites to find current conditions or call 5-1-1 for Washington road and pass conditions from your landline or cell phones.
- State of Washington traffic alerts - WSDOT
- State of Washington pass reports - WSDOT
(or call 5-1-1 on your phone for the latest travel information)
- State of Idaho traveler information
Updated Weather Information
Check the National Weather Service-Spokane Web site for up-to-the-minute weather information.
Inclement Weather Personnel Processes
For information regarding personnel processes during times of inclement weather, go to the Human Resource Services inclement weather & suspended operations Web page.
WSU CRISIS COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
WSU has added a statewide crisis communication system (CCS) as a tool to reach the university community about developing or impending emergency situations.
Features of the CCS
CCS contacts members of the WSU community via
- Landline and cell phones, using voice and text messaging
- Computers and PDA units, through e-mail and instant messaging.
- The system also has the capability of connecting with pagers and faxes.
So we can contact you with emergency warnings and notifications, all communications devices, whether personal or business-related, must be registered.
Registration for Communications Devices
Inclusion of your WSU landline phone, WSU e-mail, personal cell phone number, personal landline phone number, and your non-WSU e-mail address in the WSU ALERT Crisis Communication System is voluntary. If you do not register these devices with the system, you will not receive any warning or notifications provided by the system.
2. On the COMMUNICATIONS NOTICES page find the section for Emergency Notification
3. Click Register to go to the page where you can enter your personal information.
4. Be sure to read the TERMS OF SERVICE prior to registration. If your cell phone service charges fees for text messages, you are responsible for those charges. WSU will send approximately 12 messages a year to test the system.
The WSU ALERT CCS is offered on a best effort basis. WSU offers no guarantee that it will be able to send voice or text messages during every crisis or emergency or that such messages will be received on your wireless or landline devices.
PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES
Preparing for Emergencies in Class or on Campus
As adults, college students should always be prepared to take steps to maintain their own safety during an emergency situation. They should also be prepared to assist others as long as it does not jeopardize their own safety.
The following information can help you during various types of emergencies that occur when you are in class or on campus.
General Evacuation Information for all Emergencies
- When fire alarms sound, you are required to evacuate the facility. Never assume it is a false alarm.
- Take personal belongings (purses, keys, wallets, etc.).
- Secure any hazardous materials or equipment before leaving.
- Evacuate the building using the nearest exit or alternate if nearest exit is blocked. For each classroom or building you are in, locate at least two exits from the building!
- Do not use elevators!
- Follow directions given by instructor (for academic facilities), building personnel and/or emergency personnel.
- Get at least 50 feet from building and watch out for and stay out of the path of emergency vehicles and personnel.
- Assist persons with disabilities. If unable to get disabled out of the building, locate signs for refuge areas and assist the disabled to that area. Inform emergency personnel that a disabled person is still in the building and where they are.
- For academic facilities, the instructor should check that all students have exited the classroom.
- Do not reenter building unless authorized by emergency personnel.
- If smoke or fire is visible activate the nearest fire alarm (if available) and follow evacuation instructions (above).
- Call 9-1-1 from a phone outside the building if possible to provide more information to dispatcher.
Hazardous Materials Release
- If it is an emergency or if anyone is in danger, call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Move away from the site of the hazard to a safe location.
- For laboratories, follow procedures in the laboratory’s Chemical Hygiene Plan.
- Follow the instructions of instructor (for academic facilities) and/or emergency personnel.
- Alert others to stay clear of the area.
- Notify emergency personnel if you have been exposed or have information about the release.
- Do not touch or disturb object.
- Call 9-1-1; report the object.
- Notify your instructor (in academic facilities) and/or security, if possible.
- Be prepared to evacuate the building if so ordered.
- Remain calm; provide assistance to others as you are able.
- Turn off and unplug computers and other sensitive electronic equipment.
- For laboratories, follow procedures in the laboratory’s Chemical Hygiene Plan.
- Move cautiously to a lighted area. Exits may be indicated by lighted signs if the emergency power is operating.
- Follow directions from your instructor (for academic facilities), building personnel, and/or emergency personnel. Report outage to 509-358-7995509-358-7995.
- Do not physically confront the person.
- Do not let any person into a locked building or office unless that person is known to you to have a specific reason and approval to be there, including any suspicious person.
- Do not block the person’s access to an exit.
- Call Campus Security (509-358-7995509-358-7995). Provide as much information as possible about the person and their direction of travel. If you believe the person poses an imminent threat, call 9-1-1.
Preparing for Emergencies in your Home or Apartment
Planning ahead and taking some basic steps can help insure your safety during major or minor emergency situations that occur when you are in your home, apartment, or dorm room.
Washington State has produced an excellent guide to emergency planning and preparedness.
The following are things you can do to help yourself when emergencies occur:
- Learn about home safety information.
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning.
- For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside the sleeping area.
Also, smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling or six to eight inches below the ceiling on side walls. Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible.
Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions. Know how to get out of your living unit if a fire or other emergency occurs.
Be sure to identify at least two ways out in case one is blocked or inaccessible. Those living in basements should check to be sure they have proper egress windows. Those living on upper floors should consider acquiring portable escape ladders.
- Keep flashlights, extra batteries and a battery operated radio in your living unit in case there are power outages or other circumstances where you will need to receive emergency information via radio.
- Be especially careful with electricity and electrical connections for appliances and electronics. Overloaded electrical outlets cause serious fires every day.
Take an active role in your own safety and security. Take time now to be fully aware of your surroundings and what you can do to help get yourself out of emergency situations as they occur. Take basic steps now to plan and prepare for emergencies.
Where can I get the things I need to prepare for emergencies?
Everyone should prepare to be on their own for at least the first 72 hours of any major emergency situation. Recent disasters like Katrina Hurricane show that it can take at least 72 hours for organized emergency help to arrive after a major disaster.
By preparing your own 72 Hour Kit you can help ensure your survival. Here's what you need for a very basic kit:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day
- Food: non-perishable canned goods with can opener, granola bars, protein bars, "comfort" foods like cookies or hard candy
- NOAA Tone Alert Weather radio
- Extra set of clothes with sturdy shoes
- Flashlight with extra batteries and/or light sticks
- First aid kit, including a three-day supply of prescription drugs
- Entertainment items like a deck of cards
- Shelter-in-Place supplies like duct tape and plastic
- Cash: ATMs won't operate if power is out!
Put together small versions for the office, school. and car.
Remember, emergency supply kits should be designed to fit your needs.
- If you have pets, be sure to have food, water and supplies for them, too.
- If you or a family member requires prescription medicine, make sure you keep an extra supply on hand at all times as pharmacies may be affected by the disaster and not functioning.
- If you have children, take into account their special needs, such as food, diapers, or medicine.
There are many other things you can include. Check out these web sites for more information:
How will I know what I should do during an emergency and how will I be kept informed?
Or, you can call the campus alert line at 509-323-2474509-323-2474 for information on campus closures and emergency situations.
Your best source for general information during a major emergency when the power is not functioning is an AM/FM radio that can run on batteries and plenty of extra batteries to keep it running. Radios designed specifically for emergencies that can be hand cranked or run on solar power may be useful.
How do I contact my family in case of an emergency?
Communications systems will usually be disrupted to some degree in any emergency situation. Many people have wireless telephone in their homes that function with a base station that require electricity to operate. During a power failure, these will not work.
Cell phones are a great alternative, but cell phone systems may be jammed due to overuse or may only function for a short time if electrical power is out. If phone lines are functional, it may be easier to call, long-distance, than it is to call across town.
Families and friends can lose contact during an emergency very easily. It is important that you have a plan for emergency communications and all the numbers regularly updated to implement that plan.