On Friday, Oct. 18. at approximately 1:30 p.m., an email went out to Texas Wesleyan students, faculty and staff alerting them about a gas leak that lead to the evacuation of the Dan Waggoner Hall, Dan Waggoner Hall Annex and the Nenetta Burton Carter Building.
“Security found out about the gas leak when we heard the fire truck coming,” said Wesley Security Manager Blake Bumbard.
Text alerts for such emergencies are offered at Wesleyan if you are registered for them, but some students who were registered never received texts about what was going on at the school. In one class of about 25 students, just five were registered for text alerts.
Out of those five students, none of them received the alert. However, as long as your current text is updated, you are enrolled in the alerts.
One professor on campus mentioned that her cell phone and office phone were constantly informing her about the situation. Another student said she kept receiving several emails saying the problem had been fixed on Oct. 21.
“People are automatically enrolled in the Wesleyan Emergency Management System,” said Service Desk Analyst Abbey R. Wilson.
In an email that was sent to students Oct. 18, it said that WEMS would inform students as soon as the buildings were safe to go back into that day. Many people said they did not receive this notification. At 3:16 p.m. Wesleyan did post on Facebook that the issue has been resolved.
Another concern with students among not receiving the text in a timely manner was why the whole school was not evacuated.
One of the reasons why the school was not evacuated, according to Bumbard, was because the gas leak was contained. Another reason why students did not receive a text alert was because it was faster to contact the people buildings that were threatened.
If you want to opt out of WEMS go to your Ramlink click WEMS Opt-Out and check the box.
Now that the dust has settled and questions have been answered, students can now why text alerts never were sent out when the gas leak occurred.
“It was an outside leak not an inside leak,” Bumbard said. “It was basically a punctured line in that area, and that’s why just those buildings were evacuated around that area = mainly because of the smell more than anything else.”
Several people interviewed on campus also pointed out that there are inexpensive gas detectors available to plug into walls to warn of gas leaks.
Though there was not a disaster, many were concerned that a small spark could cause an explosion. To ease the minds of those on campus, Wesleyan offers voluntary trainings for teachers and staff about what to do in certain emergencies.
There also is an emergency booklet in every department or building that tells you what to do during various situations.
Some of the benefits in enrolling in WEMS for these future alerts are so that you can have multiple numbers on your accounts. You can put your cell phone number, home number and even parents’ numbers in the loop for WEMS.
For many students whose parents are in different parts of the country or even international, this could give them peace of mind and notifications when there is an emergency on campus.
Many have urged IT and WEMS to send out a text alert test, so students can avoid confusion next time and make sure that their current numbers are up to date.