Emergency Communications

Westminster has a comprehensive system of resources to notify the campus community in the event of an emergency.

Westminster College uses Blackboard Connect as its Emergency Notification System (ENS). The Blackboard Connect service is used to transmit brief urgent messages to a large segment of an institution's population as quickly as possible. The service disseminates messages via email, voicemail and text messaging.

The purpose of the service is to inform the Westminster community of emergency situations on campus. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that all faculty, staff, and students keep their contact information updated in Webadvisor to ensure they receive any emergency notifications.

Emergency notifications may include but are not limited to:

  • Bomb threats or other imminent violent threats
  • Fire alarms, natural gas leaks and hazardous spills affecting the entire campus
  • Building evacuations and lock downs affecting the entire campus
  • Biological or pandemic emergency notifications
  • Natural disasters
  • Power outages and utility failures resulting in an imminent threat
  • Unexpected campus closures
Emergency Notification System Frequently Asked Questions
How do I sign up for the ENS service?

All Westminster faculty, students and staff will automatically be signed up for this service. We encourage everyone to update their personal information via Webadvisor to ensure all emergency messages are sent to the correct phone numbers and email addresses.

How do I update my personal information?

Log into WebAdvisor and go to Emergency Notification System to update your personal information. There you can add up to six telephone numbers for contact, one additional email address and one phone number for text messages. Your Westminster phone and email addresses will automatically be included.

Can I opt out of ENS notifications? If so, how?

Yes, you will be allowed to opt out of the ENS system with your personal phone number and email. However, for security reasons, you will NOT be able to opt out of your official Westminster College email address. You can opt out using Webadvisor by following the log in procedures described above.

Why should I update my information in the ENS System?

You have the option—it is highly recommended that our campus community add their cell phone and personal emails, as well as phone contact information for their emergency contact, to be informed in the event of an emergency.

How many contact numbers can I input into the ENS service?

You are allowed to input 1 phone number for text messaging, 6 phone numbers for voicemails, and 2 email addresses (1 personal and the official WC address).

Can I sign up for only one form of communication?

You will automatically be signed up for your official Westminster College email, but you have the option of including 1 additional email address and 6 phone numbers. You are not required to sign up for the voicemail and text messaging options.

Will I get spam messages from ENS?

No, the ENS service is used for emergency messages only. On occasion, test messages may be sent out to ensure the system works, but you will not receive any spam mail.

Can I include my parents' information in the system?

The ENS system allows students to input up to 6 phone numbers. You may include your parents', spouse's, etc., numbers if you want.

Important Message for all T-Mobile customers. All T-Mobile customers who subscribe to voicemail or text messaging through the ENS service will receive an initial text message which will require a confirmation. It is important that customers respond to that message confirming that you wish to receive emergency messages.

Additional emergency measures on campus includes a campus loudspeaker system or Giant Voice, a system that can broadcast emergency messages to the entire campus. This system is checked annually and helps communicate emergencies, or instructions to the campus at large.

Every building on campus has been assigned Building Guardians, who are responsible for communicating urgent messages and securing the buildings in the event of a power outage and/or emergency. This includes the residential halls as well. Building Guardians have received training in emergency actions, such as the location of emergency exits, pull stations, and the use of fire extinguishers. They are the primary liaison to the building occupants.

Campus surveillance cameras (Pelco IP) are strategically placed both indoors and out to help keep students, staff and visitors cognizant of their surroundings. Visible cameras can help deter crime, and if crime does occur, the presence of surveillance cameras can help identify criminals quickly.

Emergency Response Systems

The Emergency Operation Plan will include prior mitigation and preparedness, appropriate response, and timely recovery from natural or man-made hazards affecting the campus. The college will respond to an emergency situation in a safe, effective and timely manner. Westminster personnel and equipment will be utilized to accomplish the following priorities.

  • Protection of life and the health of people
  • Support of Health & Safety Services
  • Protection of Westminster College assets and property
  • Communicate with the College community and its various constituencies
  • Assessment of damages
  • Recover and restore normal College operations

Shelter in Place
Choose an interior room or one with as few doors and windows as possible. Remain there until the danger has passed. Examples: Earthquakes or other severe weather, nuclear alert, hazardous material spill.
Lock-down
Get into a lockable space, like an office or classroom and remain there. Lock and barricade doors, turn off lights cell phones to silent or vibrate mode. Get under desk or other surface to hide. Wait for further instruction from law enforcement. If the threat is in your building and you can safely flee, then do so. Examples: Active shooter or dangerous person immediately threatening the campus.
Evacuate
Immediately leave the building that you are in, exiting through the nearest and safest exit. If the fire alarm has been activated, do so. Examples: Fire, smoke.
Avoid Area, Warn Others
In these types of incidents, the emergency is localized on campus. College officials do not want anyone near the area and want you to alert others of the emergency. Examples: Hazardous material spill, flooded roads, aircraft accident, bomb threat, civil disturbance, fire, gas leak, or power lines down.