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April 20: Drill to test Pullman campus alert, lockdown systems

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University Pullman campus will test its campus emergency alert communications system and also conduct a first-time test of its campuswide emergency lockdown system next week beginning at 11:45 a.m., Thursday, April 20.

The lockdown drill is intended to simulate the presence of a hostile intruder on campus, which could trigger a campus-wide lockdown that would be broadcast using the WSU Pullman campus outdoor warning system and the WSU Alert emergency notification system. The lockdown drill is intended to provide awareness to students, staff and faculty regarding procedures and expectations during a lockdown.

During the drill, electronic locks on interior and exterior doors on a number of campus buildings will begin automatically engaging at 11:45 a.m. The exercise will affect all electronically-lockable doors on campus. It is expected to take approximately 8 minutes for automatic locking processes to be completed on all doors. The doors are expected to remain locked until 12:00 p.m.

In an effort to minimize academic disruption, this drill will not last more than 15 minutes. Participation by faculty teaching classes (interrupting teaching, covering windows and sheltering away from windows and doors) is encouraged but not mandated. Please use the time to educate students, staff and visitors about lockdown procedures and manually lock doors when the lockdown is announced.

If possible, staff and faculty are asked to check locking doors in their building to note and report any doors which do not lock as designed.

In an actual emergency, students, staff, and faculty should remain alert to developing incidents, assess their situation, and act to ensure their own safety. During a lockdown, those on campus should:

  • Run to a place of safety (Get away if it is safe to do so)
  • Find a space with a lockable door (classrooms and offices)
  • Lock the door
  • Cover the windows as well as possible
  • Silence all audio devices (phones)
  • Turn off lights
  • Quietly form a plan to attack if an intruder enters your space with hostile intent

In an actual emergency, incident updates will be provided as soon as possible using campus communication systems. Police will deal with the problem and work to clear and evacuate campus systematically. Expect the clearing and evacuation phase to take a long time because all campus areas must be addressed before an “all clear” can be sounded. Anyone sheltered in a locked-down space should remain there until uniformed police officers arrive to evacuate the building or an “all clear” is sounded over campus communication systems.

The consideration, cooperation, and patience of students, faculty and staff during the lockdown drill is greatly appreciated. Information about the April 20th lockdown drill is available online at Questions can be directed to the WSU Office of Emergency Management at 509-335-7471 or


News media contact:

Robert Strenge, WSU News, 509-335-3583,

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