WSU Tri-Cities

Campus Alerts

Crisis Communication — What to do & not to do

For the Crisis Communication System

If you get a call, text message or email from the Crisis Communication System (CCS):


  • First, follow the instructions to CONFIRM you received the message. This is important as it helps us know if the message is getting out to the campus community.
  • Second, follow the instructions given in the message. This will vary depending on the circumstances.
  • Third, go to the WSU ALERT website (, call the WSU Hotline or check other official internal sources to get more information on what is happening and what you should do in response. We can only provide a brief bit of information in the CCS message so you will want to get more details on the situtation.
  • Finally, follow the instructions of emergency personnel and comply with your unit’s emergency procedures as appropriate.

For the Campus Outdoor Warning System

If the Siren/PA system (COWS) sounds:


  • Pay attention when the siren sounds, it will always be followed by a voice message.
  • Follow the voice instructions. Be alert and pay attention to what is happening around you.
  • If you cannot hear or understand the voice instructions from the PA system, the default is always to SEEK SHELTER, FIRST, AND THEN GET MORE INFORMATION FROM WSU SOURCES SUCH AS THE WSU ALERT WEBSITE, WSU HOTLINE OR OTHER OFFICIAL SOURCES.
  • Always follow the instructions of emergency personnel and comply with your unit's emergency procedures as appropriate.

For all Types of Alerts


  • Don’t ignore the message. You won't get one unless it is important so pay attention and be alert!
  • Please don't get on your cell or land-line phone and call your family and friends to talk to them about what is going on. WSU and Pullman have limited phone resources that will be overwhelmed easily by a high volume of use. Please stay off your phone as much as possible as the lines and cell phone capacity will be needed to get the word out to the campus community about the emergency as well as for critical emergency communications.
  • Also, ask your friends and family to not call you during an emergency. The same issues apply from above to incoming calls from outside the area. Ask them, instead, if they hear about an emergency at WSU to go to the WSU ALERT website ( for information. Ask them to not call the University for more information during the emergency. The best place for current and accurate information will be the WSU ALERT website.