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MU to participate in statewide tornado drill

Faculty, staff and students encouraged to review emergency procedures, update or download GoMizzou app

March 1st, 2018

Story Contact: Liz McCune, 573-882-6212,

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— At 10 a.m., Tuesday, March 6, University of Missouri officials will test all components of the Mass Alert and Warning System. This test is in cooperation with the Boone County/Columbia Office of Emergency Management and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency. It will coincide with the activation of county/city outdoor tornado warning sirens. In the event of bad weather, the test will be postponed until 10 a.m., Thursday, March 8.

“The safety and security of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is the top priority of Mizzou, and we encourage everyone to participate by practicing their sheltering plans on the lowest floor in an interior room or hallway away from doorways and windows,” said Gary Ward, vice chancellor of operations and interim vice chancellor for student affairs at MU. “We regularly test our plans and warning systems when students are on campus and attending classes. The entire system, which includes alert beacons in buildings across campus, computer desktop notifications, text messages and social media postings, will be activated.”

Participants unable to use stairs should note that elevators can be used for a tornado event. It’s only in the event of a fire that elevators should not be used. Please give priority use of the elevators to those who most need the resource.

During the test, ALERTUS beacons will sound an alert and flash for 30 seconds. ALERTUS beacons are located in lecture halls, common areas and hallways of all MU residence halls, and most MU classroom buildings and student unions. The drill will test the system’s features, including:

  • Text message alerts to students, faculty and staff who have elected to receive warnings by text. Messages will indicate the notifications are a test.
  • A mass alert email to all university email accounts.
  • Desktop notifications to computer screens that have MU’s alert software installed.
  • Messages posted to MU’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to update or download the GoMizzou app, which features a crisis/safety module, and to visit for instructions on how to receive emergency messages. This website also contains a summary of MU’s Emergency Operations Plan and evacuation procedures.