Alert WesternU, the university’s mass communications tool for relaying campus emergency information, is expanding its reach to include an opt-in by visitors.
In the event of a campuswide emergency, the system’s safety messages will reach people who are on campus for appointments, events or conferences, said Campus Community Police Service Inspector J.C. Aubin.
Alert WesternU, powered by Everbridge, is already in place to notify students, faculty and staff via email, app and/or text message of campus emergencies needing their attention and action. It was used last summer to warn of a potential tornado approaching campus and advise people to take shelter.
To access, visitors need to download and configure settings in the free Everbridge Mobile app. They would then receive any notifications, whether on Main Campus or at Brescia, King’s or Huron affiliated university colleges.
“We’re happy to be able to offer this logical next step in emergency notifications for campus visitors, who still need to be aware of any safety issues while they’re here,” Aubin said.
“For example, we anticipate it can be helpful for those attending summer camps, contractors, sports fans attending Mustangs games and for the thousands of visitors who come here every year for academic and research conferences.”
Visitors can go to alert.westernu.ca/visitors for more information and instructions on how to download and configure the Everbridge Mobile App.
When configuring the app, visitors will be asked permission to ‘Share location for public alerts?’, which would trigger an alert notification if one is issued.
“This allows visitors to receive Alert WesternU notifications while on campus. What’s important to note for any privacy concerns is that data shared for public safety purposes won’t be shared with anyone else and no one will be able to track you or see your location,” Aubin said.
All current students, faculty and staff at Western and affiliated colleges are automatically enrolled in Alert WesternU and will receive email notifications to their @uwo.ca email address. Western urges all students, faculty and staff to add a text number and/or to download the Everbridge Mobile App to ensure they receive notifications quickly.
They can visit alert.westernu.ca/customize for more information and instructions on customizing their Alert WesternU account.
Anyone with questions about the notification system or their account can send an email to AlertHelp@uwo.ca.