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University of Missouri

MU Emergency Alert System

Frequently Asked Questions

This page is available as a PDF.

Q: What do you consider a threat to campus?
ANSWER: Threats to campus are any events, man-made or natural, that threaten the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff. Examples include weather-related emergencies, bomb threats and criminal activity on or near campus.

Q: What types of emergencies would prompt you to send a text alert?
ANSWER: Text messages are sent when the entire campus could be under threat such as during an active shooter threat. As soon as the University of Missouri Police Department becomes aware of the threat, officers are dispatched to the site where they secure the building and its perimeter.

MU leaders are very judicious when choosing to alert the campus community. Numerous studies have shown that over-notification causes people to begin to ignore warning messages. Therefore, MU restricts campus-wide warnings to situations that pose an imminent threat to campus.

Q: Why can’t you send a text to a certain group of people such as the occupants of certain buildings? 
ANSWER: We continue to investigate this possibility. However, our current system does not have the technological capability to separate individuals into certain groups based on phone numbers or location.

Q: How often do you review and/or test the system? 
ANSWER: The emergency notification system is tested several times each year. The university regularly conducts drills to review current plans and policies, while also testing the emergency alert system. The entire campus is involved in these drills at least once each semester.

We also review each major threat after it is over to determine if any changes to our policies and procedures are needed, including changes to our emergency alert system.

Q: How do I register for the emergency alert system?
ANSWER: Students can register for emergency notifications through their accounts on myZou
Faculty and staff can register for notifications through their accounts on myHR. Parents, community members and others who do not have an account with the university can sign up for alerts in two ways

Q: Once an emergency notification has been made, how often will I receive updates? 
ANSWER: Once an emergency notification has been sent, you will receive updates via MU Alert as soon as new information becomes available. You will receive updates until MUPD has issued an “All Clear” and campus is back to operating under normal conditions.

Q: What should I do when I receive an alert? 
ANSWER: Every alert tool used by the university will include a recommended action for you to take. Please, follow those recommendations and do not call MUPD for additional information. Dispatchers must be free to respond to other health and safety emergencies and to obtain additional information concerning the unfolding emergency. You will receive follow-up MU Alerts until an “All Clear” has been issued.

Q: Where else can I find information during an emergency? 
ANSWER: The MU Alert website and the MU News Bureau are the only official sources of information or verification for the public and the news media. Please do not use information from other websites or social media accounts because it cannot be verified.