New EWU Alert System Now Operational
Accompanying EagleSafe App features Mobile Blue Light Service
As of June 1, Eastern Washington University is utilizing a new alert system and safety app to notify students, faculty, staff and visitors during a crisis or inclement weather situation.
Rave Mobile Safety, considered by experts to be the No. 1 safety app in the U.S., replaces Omnilert. The Rave alert platform has similar features, such as the ability to push emergency EWU Alerts to multiple channels such as email, text, phone and social media. But it also allows the university to provide immediate and reliable emergency services and resources. It also includes a desktop platform to utilize at computer work stations.
“We are switching over to Rave because it is a more robust platform and provides more functionality,” says EWU Police Chief Jay Day, who adds that he is eager to show the community all the benefits that will come with the new system.
Rave allows the university to target specific populations, geographies or lists with alerts. This means EWU’s Spokane locations, such as Catalyst and SIERR, can be incorporated into the alert system. Additionally, the new ‘EagleSafe’ application includes several other safety features such as Mobile BlueLight (panic button) and Virtual Escort functions. (*The Mobile Blue Light services is now available).
“The difference is that our new platform has the corresponding app, which is in line with how most of society communicates today,” says Day. “This allows us to be more responsive, as this new platform is more of a two-way communication platform versus the old model of us just pushing information out.”
For instance, the Virtual Escort allows an EWU police officer to virtually walk with a person until they get to a safe location. A map feature will leave “breadcrumbs” so authorities can get resources to an exact location. And the Mobile BlueLight will replace the outdated blue light kiosks around campus, which often aren’t working and are being decommissioned and removed from campus. There is also plenty of custom content that includes emergency plans, key phone numbers and links to campus maps and resources.
Day notes another big difference with the new platform: Every university owned email address (for students, faculty and staff), laptop and cell phone is automatically enrolled, thus providing more coverage. Additionally, visitors to campus will have the ability to have access to the platform by opting in via text message while they are in our community (more details below).
Day says he understands this all may take some getting used to, but by unveiling the system now it should be integrated into the campus culture by fall.
“We are super excited about the app rollout, he says. “Having said that, it is a new way of doing things. We expect the notification piece to be seamless but recognize and that the other features may take some time for people to get used to.”
More important details:
- Students, faculty, and staff can manage their EWU Alerts account by visiting https://www.getrave.com/login/ewu.
- Community members, parents and campus visitors can sign up for SMS alerts by texting EWUALERT to 77295 to receive alerts from Eastern. Text messages are sent on an as-needed basis. You will receive a text confirmation after signing up. To stop receiving alerts, just text STOP to 77295 to cancel or HELP for tech support. (Current students, faculty and staff do not need to use this signup method).
- While there is no cost for this service, standard text and data rates may apply depending on your provider.
- The EagleSafe application is now available in the Apple and Google Play
- For more details about Rave and the EagleSafe app please visit this website for a series of knowledge base articles.