Emergency Safety Procedures


A Message from the Director of Public Safety

Since the recent tragedy in Florida, there have been a number of questions about our procedures and training in the event that an active shooter situation arose on our campus. The president asked me to reach out and provide some additional information to the community with respect to our procedures.

First, we have an outstanding team of public safety professionals and University employees who work hard every day to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Second, let’s review the fundamental steps each one of us can take to be intentional about our safety. Click here to view our emergency safety procedures.

-Jair Kollasch, Director of Public Safety


 

ACTIVE SHOOTER

An active shooter is a person actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms. In general, how you respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter.

Keep in mind there could be more than one shooter.

HOW TO RESPOND

1. Run

  • Have an escape route in mind and plan ahead.
  • If it is possible to flee the area safely and avoid danger, do so.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • If you are able to do so safely, contact Public Safety at (314) 529-9500, or call 911.
  • Keep your hands visible as officers respond.

2. Hide 

  • If escape is not possible, hide in an area out of the shooter’s view.
  • Block entry to your hiding place with furniture and other heavy objects.
  • Turn off all lights and close and lock all windows and doors.
  • Close all window blinds and curtains.
  • If you are able to do so safely, contact Public Safety at (314) 529-9500, or call 911.
  • If you are able to do so safely, get all individuals on the floor and out of the line of fire.
  • Silence your cell phones/mobile devices.
  • Remain there until an “all clear” instruction is given by Public Safety or other authorized personnel or via MU Alert.

3. Fight

  • Fight back as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the shooter.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM RESPONDING POLICE OFFICERS

Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area where shots were last heard. Their purpose it to stop the shooting as quickly as possible.

The first responding officers will normally be in teams of four (4); they may be dressed in regular patrol uniforms or they may be wearing external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets and other tactical equipment.

The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns or handguns and may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation.

Regardless of how officers appear, REMAIN CALM. Follow instructions the police give you. Do not be afraid of the officers. Put down any bags or packages you are carrying and keep your hands visible at all times; if you know where the shooter is, tell the police.

The first officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people; rescue teams of other officers and emergency medical personnel will follow the first officers into secured areas to treat and remove the injured.

Keep in mind that even once you have escaped to a safer location, the entire area is still a crime scene; police usually will not let anyone leave until the situation is fully under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Until you are released, remain at whatever assembly point authorities designate.


TORNADO

When a tornado warning has been issued, you may have very little time to prepare. If you sight a tornado near the university, call Public Safety at (314) 529-9500 from campus phones.

SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY

If you are inside a building:

  • Go to the lowest level of the building.
  • Use interior hallways away from building’s exterior windows as a tornado shelter.
  • Close all doors to rooms with exterior windows.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Use arms to protect head and neck in “drop and tuck” position.

If there is no time to get inside:

  • Lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building.
  • Be aware of potential for flooding.
  • Use arms to protect head and neck in “drop and tuck” position.
  • Use jacket, cap, backpack or any similar items to protect face and eyes.

FIRE

If you see fire or smoke, immediately activate the nearest pull station.
(Pull stations are generally located near stairwells and exits).

Report all fire and/or smoke conditions to Public Safety at (314) 529-9500, or call 911.

Calmly state:

  • Nature and location of fire and/or smoke
  • Name and position with the university

In the case of a small fire, you may extinguish it with the nearest fire extinguisher.

If you have any doubts as to whether or not you are able to contain the fire,
do not attempt to do so.

Remember to:

  • Use the proper type of extinguisher.
  • Fight the fire with an exit to your back.
  • Evacuate immediately following the Building Evacuation Plan.

EARTHQUAKE

When you feel an earthquake, duck under a desk or sturdy table. Stay away from windows, hanging or heavy objects that could fall. Stay under cover until the shaking stops.

DO NOT USE ELEVATORS

If you find yourself in the following situations, here are some tips to keep you safe:

OUTDOORS – Move to a clear area, away from trees, signs, buildings, electrical poles and overhead lines.

SIDEWALKS NEAR BUILDINGS – Duck into a doorway for protection from falling bricks, plaster and other debris.

DRIVING – Pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid power lines and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.

CROWDED STORE OR OTHER PUBLIC PLACE – Do not rush for the exits. Move away from display shelves containing objects that could fall.

WHEELCHAIR – Stay in it. Move to cover, if possible, lock your wheels and protect your arms.

KITCHEN – Move away from the refrigerator, stove and overhead cabinets.

AUDITORIUM – Stay in your seat and protect your head with your arms. Do not try to leave until the shaking is over. Then leave in a calm, orderly manner. Avoid rushing towards the exits.

AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE

  • Be prepared for aftershocks and plan where you will take cover when they occur.
  • Assess personal injuries and/or any building damages and call Public Safety at (314) 529-9500 or call 911 Safety.

CRIME IN PROGRESS

DO NOT get involved with trying to prevent the crime unless it is self defense.

Gather as much information as possible about the criminal/crime. If you can do so safely, take time to note height, weight, sex, race, age, clothing, vehicles and if the individual is armed or not.

Call Public Safety at (314) 529-9500 from campus phones, or call 911.

Calmly State:

  • Your name (optional)
  • Type of crime
  • Location of crime
  • Your location

– Be prepared to answer any questions the dispatcher may ask you.

– If you are in a safe location, stay where you are until authorities arrive.

– If not, keep yourself safe by staying out of the way of the crime.


BOMB THREAT

If anyone suspects an item to be a bomb or explosive device, DO NOT use radio communications or cell phones in the immediate area of the device. Immediately contact Public Safety at (314) 529-9500 from a campus phone, or call 911.

The caller must provide:

  • Name of caller
  • Description of the object and exact location

Do not in any way touch any item or device that is suspected to be a bomb or explosive.

Notify your supervisor or nearest university authority (deans, directors, etc.)

Follow the instructions of your supervisor or other authority, who will initiate the Building Evacuation Plan.

Follow any further direction authorities on site might give. Do not re-enter the building unless advised it is safe to do so by the fire department or MUPD.


MEDICAL EMERGENCY

In case of an injured person, immediately call Public Safety at (314) 529- 9500 or call 911

Calmly state:

  • Name of caller
  • Name of injured
  • Nature of injury
  • Location of injured
  • Phone number at the scene

Listen for instructions from the dispatcher.

Do not move an injured person unless their life will be in danger.

Administer first aid to the injured person. If possible, ask someone to find an individual who is trained in first aid.

Stay with the injured person until emergency medical service arrives.


EVACUATION

Call Public Safety at (314) 529-9500 from campus phones, or call 911.

Evacuate the building immediately. Everyone must evacuate the building in a neat and orderly fashion. If others do not respond to the alarm or do not know of the evacuation, inform them of the need to evacuate.

Use the stairs to evacuate the building. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.

Move a safe distance away from the building and out of the way of emergency personnel.

Stay upwind from smoke or chemical clouds.

Stay with classmates, fellow university employees, etc., so that a head count may be taken.

Follow any further direction authorities on site might give. Do not re-enter the building unless advised it is safe to do so by the fire department or Public Safety.


CHEMICAL SPILL/RELEASE

Immediately report all spills to Public Safety at (314) 529-9500. If the chemical is hazardous in nature, also contact 911.

Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Chemical name
  • Quantity spilled
  • Exact location of the spill

Quickly attempt to determine what was spilled; however, do not come into contact with the substance or inhale fumes.

Secure and evacuate immediate area.

If you experience eye irritation, burning lungs or other symptoms of chemical exposure, sound the building fire alarm to notify others to evacuate the building.

If someone has been splashed with the chemical, immediately flush the contaminated area with water and seek medical assistance if needed.

Public Safety and Facilities Management and Planning, in conjunction with local authorities, will manage the incident and notify off-campus response units if needed.

Building evacuees should remain at a safe distance, up wind, until the authority having jurisdiction declares the building safe to re-enter.


SUSPICIOUS LETTER/PACKAGE

Handle with care

  • DO NOT shake or bump the item.
  • DO NOT open, smell, touch or taste the item.
  • Isolate the item immediately.

Immediately notify Public Safety at (314) 529-9500 or call 911.

THE CALLER MUST PROVIDE:

  • Name of caller
  • Description of the object and exact location
  • If a letter or package is open and/or a threat is identified

FOR A BOMB

  • Evacuate the building immediately in an orderly fashion.

FOR RADIOLOGICAL AGENTS

  • Limit your exposure.
  • Evacuate the area.

FOR BIOLOGICAL OR CHEMICAL AGENTS

  • Isolate the area in which the item is located.
  • Evacuate the area.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.

Follow the instructions of your supervisor or other authority who will initiate the Building Evacuation Plan.

Follow any further direction authorities on site may give. Do not re-enter the building unless advised it is safe to do so by the fire department or Public Safety.