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There is an active warning
WSU Pullman

Very Unhealthy Air Quality

August 20, 2018 7:26am

Heavy smoke from regional wildfires has resulted in very unhealthy air quality on the Pullman campus. Classes will proceed as normal but individuals are encouraged to stay indoors when not traveling to or from classes or work. Outdoor activities should be avoided, if possible. People experiencing respiratory distress should contact a health care professional immediately. Pullman students can call Cougar Health Services at 509-335-3575.

For information from Human Resource Services regarding air quality, see https://hrs.wsu.edu/resources/inclement-weather/wildfire-air-quality-faq/

Older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with preexisting respiratory and heart conditions may be more likely to get sick if they breathe in wildfire smoke. If you experience any signs of respiratory distress or other health concerns, contact your health care provider.

There are many steps you can take for limiting exposure to unhealthy, smoky air.

Avoid being outdoors. Use public transportation rather than walking or biking.

Stay inside as much as possible. Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and using an air filter and air conditioning. Make sure your air conditioner’s fresh-air intake is closed and the filter is clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

Do not add to indoor pollution. Avoid using candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air. 

Follow your health care provider’s guidance. If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and your respiratory management plan.

Wear a mask. Masks can help limit exposure to unhealthy, smoky air. Students can purchase N95 masks for $1.50 at the Cougar Health Services pharmacy, The Market on Cougar Way, Flix Market, Towers Market, Hillside Market, and Union Market. These masks offer more protection than basic masks.

Additional details on the air quality situation will be provided as they become available.

Announcements

  • Very Unhealthy Air Quality

    Heavy smoke from regional wildfires has resulted in very unhealthy air quality on the Pullman campus. Classes will proceed as normal but individuals are encouraged to stay indoors when not traveling to or from classes or work. Outdoor activities should be avoided, if possible. People experiencing respiratory distress should contact a health care professional immediately. Pullman students can call Cougar Health Services at 509-335-3575.

    For information from Human Resource Services regarding air quality, see https://hrs.wsu.edu/resources/inclement-weather/wildfire-air-quality-faq/

    Older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with preexisting respiratory and heart conditions may be more likely to get sick if they breathe in wildfire smoke. If you experience any … » More …

    Read Announcement
  • Air Quality Alert

    The National Weather Service has issued an air quality alert until 10 am Wednesday, August 14th.

    Air quality is expected to degrade across Pullman and Whitman County into the moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups category depending on wind direction and time of day. Children, the elderly, and individuals with respiratory illnesses are most at risk of serious health effects. If you experience respiratory distress, you should speak with your physician. If possible, stay inside or reduce the amount of time spent outside.

    Air quality will continue to be monitored. Some improvement in ventilation will be possible toward the end of the week. The air … » More …

    Read Announcement

To report an emergency:

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DIAL 9-1-1

NOTE: When dialing 911 from a WSU Pullman campus number, there will be a 7 second delay in connecting. WAIT! DO NOT HANG UP!

How do I sign up for 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.

  • Go to the myWSU portal and sign in using your network ID and password
  • Click on the “Emergency Information” box on the top right side of the page.
  • 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!

I got a text, call or email from WSU Alert. What should I do next?

  • CONFIRM that you received the message. If you are asked to confirm receipt of the message, please do so. This is important as it helps us know if the message is getting out to the campus community.
  • Follow the instructions given in the message, assessing your personal situation. This will vary depending on the circumstances.
  • Go to the WSU ALERT website (alert.wsu.edu), call the WSU Informational Hotline (509-335-2345) 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 WSU Alert message so you will want to get more details on the situation.
  • Follow the instructions of emergency personnel and comply with your unit’s emergency procedures as appropriate.

The Campus Outdoor Warning System for the Pullman Campus

NOTE Even if you cannot understand the voice instructions, your default action should be to always take shelter and seek further information from other WSU Alert resources!

WSU has installed five outdoor warning siren/public address units on the Pullman campus. The University may sound these sirens in the event of an emergency that may threat the safety of those outdoors. These sirens are designed to be heard OUTDOORS ONLY. The siren tones are prone to echoing among the buildings on campus; however all possible adjustments have been made to improve the intelligibility of the voice messages.

Law enforcement actions, such as the response to an active shooter, may or may not necessitate the sounding of the sirens. Emergency Management will follow the instructions of the WSU Police Department in regards to emergency warning and notification of any law enforcement activity.

I heard the Siren/PA system on campus. What should I do?

  • Pay attention. The sirens 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 the WSU Alert website, WSU Informational hotline or other official sources.
  • Follow the instructions of emergency personnel and comply with your unit’s emergency procedures as appropriate.

Frequently asked questions

What should I NOT do when I get a message or hear the sirens?

  • Do not 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/friends to talk to them about what is going on. WSU and Pullman have limited phone resources that can be easily overwhelmed due to high volume use. Please stay off your phone as much as possible; 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.
  • 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 (alert.wsu.edu) 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.

Do I reply to WSU messages?

Do Not Reply To WSU ALERT Messages other than to Confirm Receipt of the Message per Instructions ProvidedWSU ALERT notifications will be prefaced with WSU ALERT in the message, and the from-address for WSU ALERT email messages will be emergencymanagement@wsu.edu