The university environment is intended to be open so that students, faculty and staff can freely communicate in a collaborative environment. As a public institution, MSU Billings has few restrictions on who can enter or leave campus. However, given the times that we live in with threats of terrorism, other hostile events, or even natural disasters, the university community must be prepared to deal with these situations in a proactive manner.

As the nation, state and community develop plans to cope with various levels of threat, MSU Billings is obligated to do its part to protect the safety of the university community and plan for continuity of future operations. There are situations where lockdown of facilities or the campus may be necessary to afford this protection or gain control over a given situation.


Although lockdown is not necessarily a preferred method of planned reaction to given situations, the university community should understand that it might be used in certain situations.  Some examples may include:

  • Chemical Release from a Local Refinery – Shelter-in-place as advised by local officials.

  • Tornado – Shelter-in-place for students who are unable to return to local homes.

  • Sniper on Campus – Lockdown of buildings or the campus entrance/exit a possibility.

  • Terrorist Threat to the Community – A lockdown of the campus entrance/exit a possibility.

  • Communicable Disease Outbreak – Lockdown of specific buildings or areas.

Notification of a lockdown situation to the campus community will be through the emergency notification channels outlined in Section 3 (Emergency Warning Notification System) of this plan.

The lockdown procedures are developed in consultation with the Billings Police Department to ensure that both MSU Billings and the responding police officer’s have clear and defined role during an emergency situation.

As stated in Attachment C of this plan:  Building Managers are responsible for the development of the specific "Lockdown" procedure for their building. The MSU Billings Police will assist in the development of these plans, for assistance please contact MSU Billings Police at (x2147), and ask for assistance.


Shelter in Place means selecting an interior place within the facility, preferably with no or few windows, and taking refuge.

During certain emergency situations, particularly chemical, biological or radioactive material releases, some weather emergencies, or the threat of imminent danger, you may be directed to Shelter in Place rather than evacuate the building.

If directed to shelter in place:

  • Stay inside the building or find a safe place.

  • Take emergency supplies with you.

  • Encourage everyone present to remain with you.

  • If you are in a room with a door, make sure the door is closed.  If applicable and time permits, lock the doors.

  • Close all windows, shades and air vents.

  • Remain where you are until further direction from emergency personnel.

  • Unless there is an imminent threat have those able to do so contact their family/loved ones to let them know they are safe.

For chemical, biological or radioactive material releases, additional directions will be given.