Emergency Preparedness: Planning Ahead

While the University is committed to managing any crises the campus might encounter, we can increase our efficiency as a campus if each individual creates their own personal preparedness plan. Students with disabilities should discuss emergency preparedness with their Residence Director and/or Disability Services.

1. Emergency Notification System

An important first step for Westfield State University community members is to sign up for Emergency Notifications. This system is activated whenever there is a university-wide emergency. The system sends a voice message to all on-campus phones, an e-mail to all Westfield State University e-mail addresses, and a text/voice message to cell phones. During activation, additional audible systems will be activated, including in-building alerts and an outdoor alert system, audible across campus.

2. A Communication Plan

Talk with your family, roommates and colleagues to create a plan for efficiently alerting each other to your current status in the case of an emergency.  This can be especially important in an evacuation scenario, when it’s important to know whether an individual has safely exited the area.  Be sure to consider two alternative methods of communicating other than the phone, in case phone lines are down.

  • Designate a single family contact outside your area – be sure family, friends and/or roommates know who this contact is and how to reach them.
  • Notify family or friends if you are affected by an emergency so they know where you are – if you can’t reach them, notify your family contact person.

3. An Evacuation Plan

Know your immediate surroundings and form an exit strategy.  Be sure to know alternative routes in the case exits are blocked or unsafe. Watch the Run, Hide, Fight video on active shooter response. Evacuation Assistance: Individuals who believe that they may need assistance, even if only on a temporary basis, from emergency personnel to evacuate campus buildings may request that assistance in advance by filling out and submitting the Evacuation Assistance form.
4. Build Your Own Emergency Kit

When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

  • Emergency contact and medical information
  • Battery-powered flashlight  and NOAA WX radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First-aid kit, prescription medications and hygiene supplies
  • Whistle
  • Full water bottle
  • High protein and carbohydrate food, with long shelf-life