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MU Officials Outline Campus Safety Tools During Safe Mizzou 2016

MU Alert uses a variety of tools to keep the campus community safe and informed during emergencies

September 14th, 2016

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217, hurstn@missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Safety and security is the top priority at the University of Missouri. In an effort to make MU students and employees more aware of safety tools available to them, and what to do when an alert is issued, MU is hosting Safe Mizzou 2016 now through Sept. 22.

“Safe Mizzou is a week of events designed to share information so MU students, faculty and staff can live, learn, work and play in a safe environment,” said Eric Evans, emergency management coordinator.

The MU Alert emergency alert system is composed of various communications tools that officials utilize during emergencies when a situation or threat endangers the health and safety of the campus community. These tools include:

  • The MU Alert website is the only official emergency website for MU during a crisis or emergency. All available confirmed information will be posted on this website as soon as it is available concerning any emergency or event that threatens all or part of MU’s campus.
  • Emails are sent to the entire campus community to alert faculty, staff and students of situations that might threaten their safety. Examples include personal safety warnings, severe weather and violent crimes. Emails are sent to all active campus email accounts.
  • Text messages are sent during an immediate danger that involves the entire campus. Examples include criminal acts on or near campus that cannot be isolated to a specific location and weather-related emergencies such as tornado warnings. (To register for text alerts, please visit mualert.missouri.edu.)
  • Computer desktop notifications will appear on MU-owned computers and are used during threats that impact specific locations. The alert can be sent to any MU-owned desktop computer.
  • Beacon alerts are yellow alert boxes that have been installed inside hundreds of buildings across campus. These beacon alerts are activated when threats occur across campus or in selected buildings on campus. For example, during a bomb threat, the beacons will only be activated in the building that was threatened.
  • Social media accounts including @MUAlert and @Mizzou on Twitter and the Mizzou Facebook pages will be updated during emergencies.

“When these tools are activated, it’s important that members of our campus community and visitors read the messages and take any necessary precautions,” said Doug Schwandt, MUPD police chief. “Text messages often are our best way to quickly reach as many people as possible, but we are limited in the amount of information we can give within each text. If any member of the campus community receives a MU Alert text, we ask that they visit mualert.missouri.edu for updates and additional information as it is confirmed. MUPD officers and other safety officials will do their best to give clear, concise information and locations when the MU Alert emergency system is activated, but each individual should use their best judgement to stay safe.”

MU officials also want to inform the campus community about what actions to take during specific emergencies.

  • Please call 911 in the event of any emergency on or off campus.
  • To report a threat or suspicious activity on campus, call 911 in the case of an emergency, or MUPD at 573-882-7201 in non-emergency situations.
  • During severe weather threats such as a tornado, move indoors to the lowest level of the building and stay away from windows. Also avoid large open indoor areas such as gymnasiums or auditoriums. If outside, lie flat in the dearest ditch or ravine. If possible, move away from the path of the tornado at a right angle.
  • In case of an evacuation due to fire or any threat to a building, please exit the building in a quick, calm and orderly fashion using the nearest staircases and exits. Please move at least 100 yards away from the building in order to allow emergency personnel to respond to the threat.
  • In the case of a full-campus evacuation, please move off campus quickly, without using a car, if possible. A large-scale evacuation can result in severe traffic jams, so those who are able to walk or ride bicycles off campus are asked to do so. Once campus has been secured, those with cars can return to remove them from campus.

For more safety resources, visit: http://mualert.missouri.edu/whatToDo/alert-system-overview.php.

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