Actions to take after getting an emergency alert


LANSING, MI. (WLNS)- Emergency alerts — they’re important reminders to keep you safe.

But when you get one about a violent event — in this case, the shootings in Kalamazoo — what should you do?

“If they are mobile and outside, the best thing for you is gain shelter inside of a building,” said Michael Tobin, Lansing’s Emergency Management Chief.

Tobin says going inside makes you less of a target.

And although driving away is tempting, it does more harm than good.

“Then you’ve got another vehicle on the road that could create another target, could add to the situation,” Tobin said.

If you’re already on the road, Tobin says to take a different route that’s at least 15 to 20 blocks away.

If there is an active violent situation going on, Lansing’s Emergency Management team will craft their message in their operations center — which you can easily check on your smartphone.

Specialists create a message which includes information and safety tips, choose where they want it to go, and send it by text, email, voicemail and even mobile application.

East Lansing has a similar system. But East Lansing Police Department Lieutenant Scott Wriggelsworth says specific advice is hard to give.

“We give best practices, and most businesses will do that, but a lot of that’s going to depend on the setting,” Lt. Wriggelsworth said.

But in any setting, Lt. Wrigglesworth says people should use their heads.

“It’s pretty common sense,” Lt. Wriggelsworth said. “Go as far, steer as far away from wherever the scenario is happening as you can.”

Common sense — that could save your life.

Officials say these emergency alerts only work if you register for them. And according to Tobin, only around one-fifth of people in Lansing are registered.

To find out more and how you can sign up, head to the Seen on 6 section of our website,

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan