Faculty Preparedness

This guide will help you during an emergency situation. To report a threat or suspicious activity, contact the MU Police Department.

  • Non-emergency: (573) 882-7201
  • Emergency: 911

The role of an instructor during an emergency

Students look to faculty for leadership in the classroom — and they will undoubtedly look to you for leadership during an emergency. Your role is vital. Consider how you would respond to an emergency in your setting and share this plan with your students.

  • Think through various scenarios playing out in your classroom, lab or work space. Where are the exits? Do the doors lock? What would make a good barricade? What would make a good weapon? Ask yourself "What if...?" This kind of thinking is helpful in preparing for all kinds of emergencies.
  • Remind students to sign up for MU Alerts. Make sure you have signed up, too!
  • Take the lead if an emergency occurs; students will follow your example.
  • Remain calm—you actions influence others.
  • Persons with disabilities. Emergency evacuation for persons with disabilities and others who may need assistance in the event of an emergency.

How to report an emergency

  • Dial 911 from your cell phone or campus phone when you need police, fire or emergency medical services.
  • Tell the dispatcher the exact building you are in and the closest room number.
  • Give your full name and phone number from where you are calling, in case you are disconnected.
  • Describe the nature of the emergency.
  • Remain calm, and do not hang up because additional information might be needed.

How to respond to an active threat in your vicinity

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to respond. The appropriate action will depend upon your situation and location relative to the threat. Remember, students are likely to follow the lead of the person in charge during an emergency.

RUN — If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.

  • Have an evacuation plan in mind.
  • Evacuate.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others, if possible.
  • Do not move wounded people.

HIDE — If evacuating is impossible, find a place to hide that conceals you from the threat.

  • Get out of view.
  • Lock doors and block them with furniture
  • Keep your options for movement open; don’t get trapped.
  • Silence your cell phone.
  • Hide behind large items.
  • Be quiet.

FIGHT — As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the threatening person.

  • Act as aggressively as possible.
  • Incapacitate the intruder.
  • Throw objects.
  • Yell and call for help.
  • Commit to your actions.

How to respond when law enforcement arrives

  • Remain calm, and follow the instructions of police officers.
  • Drop any objects.
  • Keep hands visible at all times.

Other helpful tools


Secure-in-place during an active threat.

  • If inside, lock doors and block them with heavy furniture.
  • Turn off lights, draw blinds and silence cell phones.
  • If you are outside during a secure-in-place emergency, seek cover in the nearest unlocked building. If buildings are locked, keep moving away from the threat, seek cover or leave campus if it is safe to do so.
  • Await further instructions via MU Alert and emergency personnel.
  • Do not leave until an “All Clear” is given or emergency personnel arrive.


Shelter-in-place during a weather emergency and when hazardous materials have been released.

  • Find a sturdy building, and go inside.
  • Seek shelter in interior rooms and corridors.
  • Stay away from windows, glass and objects that could fall on you.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Resist temptation to go outside and check the weather conditions.
  • Await further instructions via MU Alert and emergency personnel.
  • Do not leave until an “All Clear” is given or emergency personnel arrive.