MU to participate in statewide tornado drill

March 2, 2023
Contact: Sara Diedrich, Public Safety Information Officer, 573-882-3243, diedrichs@missouri.ed

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 7, MU officials will test all components of the Mass Alert and Warning System in cooperation with the Boone County/Columbia Office of Emergency Management and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency. The test of MU’s system 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 9.

The university’s system, which includes alert beacons in buildings across campus, computer desktop notifications, text messages and social media postings, will be activated.

All staff, faculty and students are being encouraged to participate in this tornado drill by practicing their sheltering plans on the lowest floor in an interior room or hallway away from doorways and windows.

Safety officials note that participants who are unable to use the stairs can use elevators during a tornado event. It’s only in the event of a fire that elevators should not be used. Priority use of the elevators should be given 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 if the notifications are a test.
  • A mass alert email to all university email accounts.
  • Desktop notifications to MU-owned computer screens.
  • Messages posted to MU’s Twitter account.

Individuals are encouraged 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.

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