Communication & Alerting


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In the event of an emergency, telephone communications are the primary means of communication. University Police Officers will communicate via police radio secondary to the land line and cellular telephone. The dispatch center is located at the University Police Office/Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Megaphones/PA systems – Megaphones are available in every building and are to be maintained by the building manager (Monthly battery check).

Within the EOC, a radio transmitter operator (RTO) will be assigned and tasked with the best available means to provide for passing of emergency traffic. In a large disaster, separate nets will be needed for assignment of resources and for passing of emergency traffic. In this event outside resources will be necessary and most likely the local City/County Emergency Operations Center will be utilized. However, as an alternate campus location the KEMC facility may be utilized.

Maintenance and distribution of the MSU Billings radio and telephone equipment is the responsibility of Information Technology (Chief Information Officer).

In the event emergency communication tools are unavailable, phone lines go down, etc:

  • The Emergency Response Committee will implement a verbal notification tree (duty officer will make a chain of physical notifications). Each situation will dictate the necessary measures.
  • Call upon an activation of back up communications; cellular telephones, or the activation of local emergency services (City/County EOC).

Emergency Warning Notification

MSU Billings is an open institution where people move about our campus freely. Despite advances in communication, there is no way to reach everyone instantly with a single message. However, the multi-layered approaches we have in place will help spread the word quickly, based on the circumstances. For more information refer to the MSU Billings communications method chart. The following communication methods make up the University's Emergency Communication Plan:

Sirens and Alarms

All Hazards Emergency Warning Sirens (Carillon) means immediately seek shelter (Shelter in Place or Lock Down) in a safe location within closest facility/building.

  • “Shelter in place” or “Lock Down” means seeking immediate shelter inside a building or University residence. This course of action may need to be taken during a tornado, earthquake, or release of hazardous materials in the outside air, or a civil disturbance. Alternatively, if you are outside and are able to safely leave the hazardous area that is the recommended course of action.
  • Fire Alarms mean to immediately evacuate the building and proceed to your Emergency Assembly Area.

When you hear either emergency warning notification system you should immediately evacuate or go inside a building to a safe location (as applicable) and use all communication means available to find out more details about the emergency. You should remain in place until police, fire, or other emergency response personnel provide additional guidance or tell you it is safe to leave.

E-Mail: Send out an Admin General e-mail (Faculty and Staff).

  • The Admin General would distribute a Mass E-mail notification to identified persons. They also may post signs on doors or in hallways.
  • The MSU Emergency Notification System is a Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS) service subscribed to through Inspirion Technologies. The WENS will automatically disseminate an e-mail and/or text message notification to those registered in the system.

Text Messaging: The MSU Billings community, faculty, staff and students may sign up to receive emergency notification text message through the MSU Billings Emergency Notification System as indicated above (WENS).

WEB: The MSU Billings home page (web site) is the focal point of the most complete information in all campus-related emergencies.

Residence Halls: Residences have procedures for alerting people in individual halls via their resident assistants (physical contact), phones, and signage.

Media: The Director of University Communications & Marketing (or designee) works with the news media - radio, TV, and Internet to help spread the word

Clock Information/Emergency Alert System: This Alerting System will also broadcast emergency information.

Telephone (Berbee) communication system: This Alerting System will also broadcast emergency information.


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