MSU has adopted emergency response procedures. The procedures are contained in the Emergency Operations Plan. Montana State University is committed to protecting the lives, safety, and welfare of its campus and community members.

The MSU Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is charged with improving the University’s readiness for potential emergencies; protecting and preserving its intellectual property, physical assets and facilities; establishing requirements for tasked organizations to develop plans and execute annual training exercises; and ensuring the continuity of operations of essential services.

Written plans for building evacuation that are compliant with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations have been developed for all facilities at Montana State University in the event of a fire or other emergency.

These plans are available in the Office of Safety and Risk Management for each department in academic/administrative buildings. Plans are also available in the Residence Hall Director’s office. Maps showing a means of egress can be found on the exit doors leading from each residential space and in hallways of other buildings. You should become familiar with these exit routes for any building you frequent.

In case of a fire or other emergency that requires all occupants to immediately leave a building or area, evacuation will be signaled by the internal building alarm or by the direction of emergency personnel.

MSU will test its emergency response and evacuation procedures on at least an annual basis through scheduled drills, exercises, and appropriate follow through activities designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities.

MSU will test evacuation procedures in academic/office buildings and residence halls and family and graduate housing. The tests may be announced or unannounced. The tests will be documented, including a description of the exercise, the date and time and whether it is announced or unannounced.

The campus publicizes a summary of the emergency response and evacuation procedures via email at least once each year in conjunction with a test (exercise and drill) that meets all of the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

The emergency evacuation procedures are tested at least twice each year. Students and employees learn the locations of the emergency exits in the buildings and are provided guidance about the direction they should travel when exiting each facility for a short-term building evacuation. The UPD does not tell building occupants in advance about the designated locations for long-term evacuations because those decisions are affected by time of day, location of the building being evacuated, the availability of the various designated emergency gathering locations on campus, and other factors such as the location and nature of the threat. In both cases, UPD staff on the scene will communicate information to students regarding the developing situation or any evacuation status changes.

The purpose of evacuation drills is to prepare building occupants for an organized evacuation in case of a fire or other emergency. At MSU evacuation drills are used as a way to educate and train occupants on fire safety issues specific to their building. During the drill, occupants ‘practice’ drill procedures and familiarize themselves with the location of exits and the sound of the fire alarm.

General Evacuation Procedures

At the sound of a fire alarm or if you are instructed to evacuate, leave your work area immediately and proceed to the nearest exit, and leave the building. If you are the first to recognize a fire situation, activate the alarm, evacuate to a safe location using the nearest exit and dial 911.

  1. Remain Calm
  2. Do NOT use Elevators, Use the
  3. Assist the physically If they are unable to exit without using an elevator, secure a safe location near a stairwell, and immediately inform UPD or the responding Fire Dept. of the individual’s location.
  4. Proceed to a clear area at least 150 feet from the Keep all walkways clear for emergency vehicles.
  5. Make sure all personnel are out of the
  6. Do not re-enter the

Shelter-in-Place Procedures

A Shelter in Place notification may be issued during a severe weather event, a hazardous materials incident, or an active threat to the campus. The MSU Alert System will be used to issue the notice of a shelter in place. Instructions of immediate actions will be provided in the MSU Alert message. Three types of messages may be issued “Shelter in Place – Secure”, “Shelter in Place - Weather”, and “Shelter in Place – HAZMAT”.

A Shelter in Place - Secure notification will be issued when an active threat to the campus is possible. Active threats are human caused situations requiring immediate actions by law enforcement. Remember if an active shooter situation is occurring on campus, MSU Alert communications will clearly relay the information of an active shooter and instructions to RUN, HIDE, FIGHT.

A Shelter in Place - Weather notification may be issued when a significant weather situation is expected to impact the campus. Weather situations may include extreme winds, large hail, tornadoes, or microbursts.

A Shelter in Place - HAZMAT notification will be issued when a hazardous materials situation has occurred on campus or could affect the campus. Hazardous material releases are often accidental and may result from a transportation accident or laboratory work. All or portions of campus may be asked to Shelter in Place - HAZMAT during an incident of this nature. It is possible portions of the campus will also be asked to evacuate.

For additional information on emergency actions,