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University of Missouri

MU Emergency Alert System Overview

What Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents Need to Know

This page is available as a PDF.

Safety and security is the No. 1 priority at the University of Missouri. MU’s emergency alert system is composed of various communication tools that are utilized during emergencies when a dangerous situation and/or a threat to the health and safety of the campus community exists.

The emergency alert system is not a source for campus news. It is a system of tools used to alert the entire campus community, or certain portions of our community, to events that could have an immediate impact on our safety.

University officials utilize these various communication tools selectively during emergencies.

All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to register to receive notifications via text message and/or phone. You may opt in or out of the various communication tools so that you receive information in the way you prefer.

Students can register for emergency notifications through their accounts on myZou. Faculty and staff can register for notifications through their accounts on myHR.

Following is a brief synopsis of the various tools used to keep you informed during emergencies that occur close to or on MU’s campus followed by specific frequently asked questions about MU’s emergency alert system. Decisions concerning which tool(s) will be utilized are made by well-trained, experienced, University of Missouri police personnel. Decisions are dependent on the situation. Messages will include information relevant to the situation that is occurring and will be updated as soon as new information is received and confirmed.

  • Phone calls are made to everyone who has registered to receive calls during an immediate danger that involves the entire campus. The use of mass phone calls is limited to catastrophic events. Examples include complete evacuation of the campus, a release of hazardous materials that could impact the entire campus, or a mass casualty event impacting the entire campus.
  • Text messages are sent to everyone who has registered to receive them during an immediate danger that involves the entire campus. Examples include criminal acts on or near campus that can not be isolated to a specific location and weather-related emergencies. Text messages are not sent when an immediate danger is isolated to one location.
  • Computer desktop notifications will appear on MU-owned computers and are used during threats that impact specific locations. If the entire campus is affected, everyone on campus will receive a message on their desktop computer.
  • Beacon alerts — yellow alert boxes that are inside hundreds of buildings across campus — are activated when a threat occurs 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.
  • The MU Alert website (http://mualert.missouri.edu/) 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. MUalert is not a news source and will not post unconfirmed information or address information reported in the media unless that information impacts public safety.
  • Social media (Twitter and Facebook). The official social media sites for MU are:

These official social media sites will be updated as soon as information is posted on MUalert’s website. These official sites will be monitored during an emergency situation. False and/or incorrect information posted by other users will be corrected by University staff during an emergency. Posts that constitute criminal acts, such as knowingly posting information known to be false, will be reported to law enforcement.

During an emergency, you can help law enforcement and communications professionals by doing the following. Please:

DO call MUPD if you are injured or directly involved in an emergency situation.

Follow all MUPD instructions and/or MU emergency alert system instructions.

Do not call MU police following an alert by the emergency alert system unless you are injured or your safety is being threatened. Calling MUPD for information creates challenges for our dispatchers who are responding to emergencies.

DO monitor the MU Alert website (http://mualert.missouri.edu) or the local media. We will post the latest information on MU Alert and provide information to the local media as quickly as possible. Mizzou News (MU’s News Bureau) is the official source of news for the news media and will update the local news media as quickly as possible. However, there is a chance of a lag between the time information is posted on the MU Alert website and the time the news is posted and/or broadcast on local media stations.