YAKIMA, WA- Yakima Valley College is re-launching the way students stay informed of emergency situations and school closures with the RAVE Emergency Alert System.

The safety alert text system has been in place since 2014 but less than 10 percent of students at YVC were signed up for the notifications. 

Before October 15, 2019 students needed to formally opt in to receive the alerts. 

Now every student and staff member will be automatically signed up for the alerts.

"Before you had to ask for the application, you had to ask for the notification. Now they automatically assign it to you," said Chris Weedin, School Safety Project Manager, ESD 105. 

Weedin says it is important to teach people how to be alert and aware. 

"The first step we always teach the schools and the people we work with is alert, alert, alert. We have to be able to get that message to know what's going on,"said Weedin.

One YVC student says it's good for everyone to be aware of any emergency that may be happening on campus.

"If only a handful of students are getting this alert then there is a lot of students within the campus that are aware of this threat and that could lead to bigger problems," said Michael Barry, YVC Running Start Student.

Weedin says they "don't want people to be alarmed in panic situation. We want people to be alert to be aware of their surroundings. As you are walking around campus you are aware of where the signs are, fire extinguisher here, the AED Medical supplies."

In the case of an emergency situation more than just students can be notified. 

Parents and community members can also signed up for the safety alerts for free. 

To register for YVC RAVE Text Alerts click here.

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