Reminder: How to select your preferences for WMU alerts and advisories

Contact: Paula M. Davis

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—With the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year, students and employees at Western Michigan University are encouraged to choose how they want to receive WMU Alert messages and Advisory Notifications from the WMU Department of Public Safety.

Students and employees with a wmich.edu email address automatically receive WMU Alert messages via their campus email address. They cannot opt out of receiving these messages by email, but they can opt in and opt out of also getting them by text messages and phone calls.

To do that, or sign up to also receive Advisory Notifications, they must log into the GoWMU portal and click Register for WMU Alerts. In addition, the registration webpage allows students and employees to opt in to receive separate WMU Alerts issued by the College of Aviation, which is based in Battle Creek, and Extended University Programs, which operates regional locations in six Michigan municipalities.

Parents and families of students as well as the general public can choose to receive WMU Alerts and Advisory Notifications only by text message. They opt in by texting wmupublicsafety to any of the following numbers: 67283, 78015, 81437 or 226787. Regardless of which number is used to opt in, however, the text messages sent to them by the Department of Public Safety may come from any of those numbers.

WMU Alert vs. Advisory Notifications

WMU Alert messages  involve emergencies of an extreme nature, such as tornado warnings, school closure notifications, and legally required messages. Alert messages pertain only to events on WMU campuses. Off-campus events, regardless of proximity to campus, are not included.

They are always sent to all official WMU email accounts and only used in cases of extreme and immediate danger. Also, it may take up to 48 hours for notification changes made to an individual's WMU Alert preferences to be updated after being saved in the GoWMU portal.

Advisory Notifications are different from alerts. They include safety and informational text messages about urgent incidents that are not known to be an immediate threat to those on campus.

To get these notifications, students and employees who are already signed up to receive WMU Alerts must select advisories as one of their WMU Alert preferences (Students and employees with a wmich.edu email address automatically receive WMU Alert messages via their campus email address, but can opt in and out of getting them by text and phone call.). Advisory Notifications may be sent as text messages and emails, but not phone calls, and may stem from both on- and off-campus issues and events.

Gathering Tree sculpture with Stewart Clocktower in the background.

Examples of advisory notifications are significant road closures, power blackouts, phone outages, network failures, developing weather threats and off-campus police incidents in Kalamazoo that WMU is made aware of and is authorized to publicize.

Emails associated with WMU Alert and Advisory Notifications will come from wmich@getrave.com, while WMU Alert phone calls will come from (269) 387-0911.

Related safety information

  • The WMU Hotline at (269) 387-1001 and WMU's home page are the University's official sources for information on critical incidents, closures and campuswide WMU Alerts as they unfold.
  • Calling 911 connects people to the Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority, who will dispatch WMU police officers to on-campus emergencies, and other police departments to calls within their jurisdictions.
  • University police officers respond to emergency and non-emergency calls for assistance, including those made from one of the more than 100 "blue light" call boxes on WMU’s Kalamazoo campuses.
  • Following the Department of Public Safety Twitter account, @WMUPublicSafety, keeps subscribers up to date on WMU Alerts and Advisory Notifications, crime-prevention suggestions and safety tips, and general comments about the WMU and local communities.
  • Local TV stations based in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo have news, weather and other general alerts that anyone can sign up to receive.
  • WMU's Emergency Management website provides information about the University's ongoing emergency planning efforts. It also includes workplace and personal safety information along with preparedness suggestions.
  • The University's Closure Policy and other campuswide, officially approved policies are listed on the Policies webpage. The page covers a variety of topics, everything from drones, weapons, alcohol, and tobacco and electronic-cigarettes to student complaints, religious observances, research awards and sexual assault.

Where to go for what

More information about WMU Alerts and Advisory Notifications is available online. A variety of other safety-related information is provided on the Department of Public Safety website under the Services and Campus Safety tabs.

Direct questions about WMU Alerts and Advisory Notifications to Sgt. Matthew Page at matthew.page@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5335. Direct questions about emergency management to Lt. Andrew Bachmann at andrew.bachmann@wmich.edu or (269) 387-0678.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.