Emergency Communication Protocol

Emergency Events

Occasionally, emergency events occur within the Tri-Cities region that may be of interest to WSU Tri-Cities’ students, staff, and faculty. Response and communication of these events may vary, based on the level to which they impact campus. Campus impact will typically be evaluated by the Campus Security Office, based on our direct observations and on information from Richland Police, Richland Fire, other emergency response agencies and local partners such as PNNL, Richland School District, and Columbia Basin College.

Most often, these events occur in areas that are geographically removed from campus, and pose no danger. In these cases, we will communicate—typically via email—verifying that we are monitoring the incident and that there is no known threat to campus. We will monitor the incident and update campus if conditions change.

Occasionally, situations occur closer to campus that do not pose a direct threat, but require some action on the part of our students, staff, and faculty. This may include emergencies in the vicinity of campus, requiring that certain areas be avoided (such as a fire response which closes roads nearby). It may also include crimes in the vicinity of campus requiring a heightened awareness, such as a series of car prowls in the adjacent neighborhoods. Impact to campus will be weighed as described above, and notification will be made to the community including the basic details of the situation and guidance on how to remain safe. Notification may be made via multiple methods, possibly including the Crisis Communication System.

In the event of an emergency or a dangerous situation that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of students or employees, an emergency notification will be issued. The Campus Security Office will be primarily responsible for confirming a significant emergency or dangerous situation on campus through victim/witness reports, officer observations, and/or on information from local emergency response agencies. Emergency situations may include law enforcement situations, fire and/or medical responses, hazardous materials releases, significant utility failures, computer systems/telecommunications failures, hazardous weather, infectious disease or public health hazards, natural or manmade disasters, civil unrest, or any other situation which poses an immediate threat to campus. Whenever possible, an emergency notification will include information that enables members of the campus community to take actions to protect themselves, including information about the type of incident, location, instructions on what actions to take, and other safety tips. However, in the event of an immediate threat, the initial messaging may include only an instruction that must be followed immediately. Details will follow in additional messages.

Emergency notifications may be issued by any of the following systems:

  • WSU Tri-Cities Alerts Webpage
  • Email
  • Campus Public Address system
  • The WSU Crisis Communications System connects directly to students, faculty, and staff using voice and text messaging by telephone and email to provide warning of an emergency.
    • Receiving emergency warning on your cellphone, landline, and/or email requires registration. To register, login to MyWSU, select “Emergency Information” then “Update now.” Complete the form. See wsu.edu for more information.

How do I sign up for Notifications?

  • Go to the myWSU portal and sign in using your network ID and password
  • Click on the “Emergency Information” box.
  • Click “Update now” to sign up or update your contact information.
  • Complete the Washington State University student emergency notification form
  • Once you have completed entering your contact information, please click ‘SUBMIT’. Your information has now been recorded and you are signed up to receive emergency notifications!

NOTE TO PARENTS: Our current system does not support parent or third party registration to receive notifications. However, we do allow each individual to list up to 9 different mechanisms for emergency notification. Have your student list your contact information as an alternate to theirs, and that will get you emergency notifications as part of your student’s contact file.