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Washington State University Lockdown FAQs

What is WSU Alert?

WSU Alert is a system for quickly delivering emergency phone, text and email messages for students, faculty and staff on the WSU campus. WSU Alert will notify you when there is a campus emergency or there are circumstances that may affect campus closings, such as weather events.

Why would I be hearing the sirens or getting an alert?

You may be hearing the sirens or receiving an alert if there is an emergency situation, such as active shooter on campus or gas leak. You may also receive an alert if there is a change in WSU schedules, resulted from circumstances such as weather events.

What do the sirens mean?

The sirens indicate a test of the WSU Alert notification system, or an emergency on campus.

What should I do when I hear the sirens?

You should be receiving an alert with more information on your cellphone shortly. Pay attention and be alert to your surroundings. Make sure that others are aware of the potential danger. Do not rely completely on WSU Alert- these notifications are intended to support decisions for personal safety.

What is a lockdown?

A lockdown is the confinement of people inside secured rooms for safety measures. It is used when there is a serious threat to the campus that requires students, visitors and personnel to remain in a locked building/room for safety.

What should I do during a lockdown?

  • Run to a place of safety (Get away if it is safe to do so)
  • Find a space with a lockable door (classrooms and offices)
  • Lock the door
  • Cover the windows as well as possible
  • Silence all audio devices (phones)
  • Turn off lights
  • Quietly form a plan to attack if an intruder enters your space with hostile intent

Electronic locks will begin engaging at 11:45. Doors will unlock at 12:00 p.m on April 20th.

Why is WSU doing a lockdown drill?

It is important that our campus community is aware of WSU Alert and our abilities to lockdown campus in case of an emergency. Having this kind of drill allows our community to learn and practice lockdown procedures.

I have a lab/class during the drill. Does my class need to participate?

Participation by faculty teaching classes (interrupting teaching, covering windows and sheltering away from windows and doors) is encouraged but not mandated. Please use the time to educate students, staff and visitors about lockdown procedures and manually lock doors when the lockdown is announced.

How will I know when the lockdown drill is over?

An all clear message will be sent out via WSU Alert at 12:00 p.m. The doors will automatically unlock at this time and schedules will resume as normal. If you have manually locked a door to participate in the drill, please unlock it.

I received more than one notification when you do the semester test. Why is this? I don’t want to get the same alert a bunch of times.

There are many ways to sign up to receive alerts, and WSU Emergency Management tests all avenues to ensure that they are all properly working.

How fast will I get a notification?

The speed of messages vary with the time of the day, network connections, and sizes of the audience. Our system usually reaches approximately 23,000 within five minutes.

Where can I sign up for the notifications?

WSU students, staff and faculty can sign up for WSU Alert notifications through myWSU.

Can parents sign up to receive emergency messages?

Our first concern in an emergency is to get the word out as quickly as possible to students, faculty and staff on campus. When more people are added to the notification list, it takes longer for everyone to receive the message, risking the safety of those on campus who may be in danger. Students may put their parent’s phone number as an alternate contact when they sign up to receive alerts, but WSU encourages parents to watch the university homepage or for information during an emergency.