RAVE mobile platform helps Oregon State University community stay safe

Dr. Jon Dorbolo

Emergencies happen at OSU and there are basic steps that you can take to increase your personal safety plus the well-being of those you care about.

Do this now: fill out your OSU Alerts profile to receive timely warnings main.oregonstate.edu/alerts/osu-alert-portal.

By doing so you will receive campus alerts about immanent safety issues via text to your mobile, email and voice-only call.

The OSU Alert Portal runs on the RAVE Mobile Safety platform.

Your OSU Alert profile includes your email address, mobile phone numbers and a voice-only phone number.

From within the portal you may test your connections.

Alerts and timely warnings are posted when a public emergency, dangerous situation, campus closure or delay occurs at OSU.

My OSU Alert profile has been full active for years and I’ve received a relatively small number of messages from it, but those were important information.

Even for those who do not customize their OSU Alert profile, alerts and timely warnings are sent to OSU email addresses.

Smart Beavers choose to be informed and I believe that you will appreciate having up-to-date information on your phone.

Still, OSU is generally mellow, except for Thursdays on Monroe, so what could possibly go wrong?

Earthquake: You no doubt have heard of the ominous earthquake forecast for the Pacific Northwest; sometimes known as “the really big one.” This forecast is based on the geological history of the Cascadia subduction zone that extends off the coast of the Pacific Northwest from Cape Mendocino, California to Vancouver Island, Canada. A subduction zone is where one tectonic plate overlaps another. Tectonic plates are sections of the Earth’s crust and mantle. When parts of the Earth’s surface move against one another rapidly it is bad news for those of us on the surface.

There will likely be no warning when an earthquake hits, but having several channels of official information will mater greatly in the aftermath. This is the kind of emergency where a prepared family communication plan is invaluable. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has planning guides and wallet card templates at fema.gov.

Fire: Clothes and buildings can burn and you do not want to in them when they do. You can prevent fires by knowing what causes them and you can stay safe by knowing how to escape a fire. The OSU Office of Student Life provides valuable information on fire safety. Among the top dangers listed are: using extension cords as permanent wiring, missing or disabled smoke detectors, inappropriate disposal of smoking materials and leaving cooking or burning candles unattended. Consider that if someone has disabled the smoke detector, an emergency alert on your phone might save your life.

Flood: Corvallis is in a floodplain and has experienced floods that have shut the community down. Research the Christmas flood of 1964 and the flood of 2012 for examples of extreme aquatic life at OSU. Floods occasion closures and delays for which the OSU Alerts are key information.

Germs: We tend to take the Fall and Winter seasonal outbreaks of flu and other pathogens for granted at OSU, but a pandemic is a whole different matter. Imagine a communicable disease so prevalent across the population that university functions are cancelled. OSU plans ahead for known nasties such as H1N1 and you can find OSU Alerts tracking that issue. When it comes to infectious disease, knowledge is health-preserving and OSU Alerts is a key information resource.

People: The OSU Office of Emergency Management provides training and preparedness advice for responding to an active shooter or other dangerous threat. Videos, posters and kits for advanced awareness of hostile people and other life-threatening situations are available at:


I advise that some the videos are disturbing, as is this whole topic, so please be reflective about what you choose to view.

OSU Alerts is clearly your primary authoritative source of information about such situations when you are on campus, so complete your profile and be in the loop.

Closures and Delays: Snow day! Well, not in Corvallis this Winter but it has happened. A university closure is a complex administrative process and your best bet for staying current is OSU Alerts. Bear in mind that our sisters and brothers at Cascades Campus bend are chuckling at us in Corvallis as they read this.

As an OSU member you are part of a community, much of which cares about your welfare. Please contribute to your own safety and to the community by filling out your OSU Alerts profile: main.oregonstate.edu/alerts/osu-alert-portal.

The opinions expressed in Dorbolo’s column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Barometer staff.

Dr. Tech’s blog: jondorbolo.com

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