When the University Police Department is notified of a disaster or emergency, the responding officer will relay the need for additional resources to city/county dispatch. Response may vary depending on the severity of the incident. The MSU Billings Crisis Management Team (CMT) is tasked with developing emergency response plans to mitigate crises. Members of the CMT will be contacted via a mobile phone-based group messaging application. The CMT will assemble at one of three designated locations (University Campus, City College, or another off campus location). Each situation will dictate the necessary measures. If activation of local city/county emergency operations center occurs, the MSU Billings Chief of Police will disseminate information directly to the CMT.
Multiple individuals on the CMT are trained to send out emergency notifications via RAVE, the university’s emergency notification software. However, messages are typically developed and distributed by University Communications and Marketing.
Methods of Emergency Notification
The university uses a multi-layered approach to notify the university community in the event of an emergency. The following categories are examples of ways that you may receive information from university officials in the event of an emergency:
Email and Text Messaging: All staff, faculty, and students are automatically enrolled in emergency notifications through their university-provided email and the phone number that they have registered in Banner. A university official will initiate a mass email and text message through RAVE, the emergency notification system. Community members (including parents), faculty, staff, and students can register their personal email and/or phone number through the portal.
*All new students and employees are required to provide a phone number for the emergency notification system. Existing students and employees should check their MyInfo account to verify that they have registered a mobile number.
Website: In the event of an emergency, the MSU Billings homepage is the primary source of complete information pertaining to the incident. Emails, text messages, and social media posts may direct individuals to check the website for additional information.
University Telephone System: Faculty and staff members will receive a notification on the screen of their office phone and via audio broadcast.
Alarms: A “Shelter in Place” or “Lock Down” announcement over the PA system means that you should seek immediate shelter inside a building or University residence. A “Shelter in Place” notification may be issued during a tornado, earthquake, release of hazardous materials in the outside air, or civil disturbance. Alternatively, if you are able to safely leave the hazardous area, you should do so immediately.
If you hear a fire alarm, immediately evacuate the building and stand a safe distance away from the building with others in your class or department.
Media: The Director of University Communications & Marketing (or designee) works with the news media (radio, TV, and Internet) to help spread the word.
Residence Halls: Petro and Rimrock have procedures for alerting people in individual halls. Students will receive alerts to their university emails and registered mobile phone numbers. They may also be contacted by their resident assistants or through signage. Student residents in Family Housing and rental homes will receive alerts to their university emails and registered mobile phone numbers.