By Stephanie Madrigal |Staff Writer|
Late afternoon notifications about the recent Devore fire left staff and students confused and concerned about the campus’ safety.
Frequent phone calls, text messages, and e-mails were sent out to all staff and students regarding information related to the fire.
A fire in North Devore sent smoke through the air on campus at 10:55 a.m. My first text message was received shortly after the fire’s smoke was visible to the campus.
Following the text messages, I received a phone call with a voice mail and an e-mail roughly around 1:46 p.m.
The notifications included information with the location of the fire and traffic interruptions caused by the fire such as the freeways and streets being closed.
As I walked out of class I saw smoke and believed the fire was on campus. However, my worry was settled due to receiving these announcements.
Another aspect I appreciated greatly about the warnings were the periodic traffic updates.
Throughout the day I received updated information about the freeway congestion, making my travel to and from work much easier.
Besides the daily CSUSB traffic, there was an extreme back up from the northbound interstate 215, continuing the delay on the northbound 15.
My 15 minute drive from work could have taken me about 45 minutes due to the traffic, however, knowing where traffic was guided me to take the back roads to my home.
“I think the campus alerts are very helpful in giving us information about natural disasters,” said student Monica Beltran. “The alerts pushed me to leave for school earlier expecting to hit traffic.”
I am sure most of the staff and students of CSUSB greatly appreciate the alerts however, it seems there is a problem with the timing of the disaster and the when the notifications were given.
“I received my e-mail at 2 p.m. and knew the fire started at 11 a.m.,” said student Marina Diaz.
The fire started at 10:55 a.m., however, the notifications were not sent out until the afternoon.
Yes, CSUSB was not in danger with this past fire, but who is to know if the next fire will be closer to campus.
In that case, I would not want a message an hour or so later. If I am in class and do not know what is going on out there then that will bring chaos to campus once uninformed students leave class.
The mass text messages, phone calls, and e-mails are a perfect way to send out information that can help to avoid panic. However, I feel that it would be better send them within at least 10 minutes after the disaster has happened.
With our campus so close to the mountains we are prone to having fires near, and other unforeseen emergencies can occur.
With that said, make sure you update you current telephone numbers and e-mail addresses on Mycoyote.csusb.edu to receive these alerts.
Also, when a disaster is happening visit csusb.edu and InciWeb.orgfor updated information, keeping everyone aware of what is happening at the scene.