Emergency Situations

In the event of an emergency, assistance may be obtained by contacting a Residence Assistant (RA), the Coordinator or Custodial staff. Give a clear description of the problem, your room number and your name. If the emergency is medical the first priority is safety; therefore, if a student needs to go to the hospital, he/she should be taken immediately by whatever means most efficient.

Fire Regulations

Periodic Fire Drills

These are required to ensure that residents know what to do in case of a fire. All residents are required to evacuate the building when the fire alarm is sounded. Those refusing to cooperate are subject to disciplinary action.

In case the fire alarm sounds:

  • Everyone must leave the building immediately exiting through the nearest stairway exit. Dress for going outside.
  • Never use the elevator during a drill or in an actual fire.
  • If you are not in your room leave from the nearest exit.
  • Do not return into the building until given a signal by the Residence Life staff.

In case of a fire:

  • Contain the fire, if possible, by closing the door.
  • Notify the Coordinator or your RA immediately
  • Leave the building immediately closing all doors behind you.
  • Remember to remain calm.
  • Report all fires to the Coordinator or your RA.
  • Do not return to the building until given a signal by the Residence Life staff.
Bomb Threats

In case of a bomb threat:

  • Note the exact time of the call
  • Write down as accurately as possible all statements made by the caller
  • Listen to the voice to determine sex, age, accent, distinguishing features of the voice.
  • Listen for background noises
  • Immediately notify the RA or Coordinator
  • Remain by the telephone until contacted by a Missouri State University-West Plains staff member.

In the event that a building must be evacuated students are asked to follow the same procedures evacuation procedures they would for a fire emergency/drill.

A bomb threat, even as a prank, is a violation of both federal and local laws. It is punishable by a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison. Such threats, also subject to University and residence hall disciplinary action, act as a major disturbance to the residence hall community and can create stress. Due to the nature of these threats rewards will be offered to individuals assisting in the conviction of persons making both threats.


Students may use the elevator in the hall during opening and closing weeks and when students with a disability need access. There are some rules to be followed in the elevator.

  • Smoking in the elevator is not allowed
  • Intentional damage and/or vandalism to the elevator are not allowed.
  • Do not attempt to pry open the elevator doors.
  • Use of the emergency alarms, emergency stops, or the elevator telephone in other than emergency situations.
  • Evacuating people from the elevator without trained personnel.
  • If you become trapped sound the alarm to notify Missouri State University-West Plains staff of your situation.
Entrance and Exit Doors

Keep them closed and watch for strangers.


The National Weather Service issues two types of tornado alerts: tornado watch and tornado warning. All residents should become familiar with the tornado emergency procedures for their living areas.

Tornado Watch

A tornado watch means that a tornado could happen. It means you should watch and listen to the weather until the watch expires.

Tornado Warning

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been spotted in the immediate area. A civil defense siren will sound when the warning has been issued.

When this happens:

  • Close room and hallway doors behind you. Bring a book, radio and flashlight with you if they can be located quickly.
  • Move to the first floor hallway until the all-clear signal is given.
  • Remain calm at all times.
  • Avoid glass windows at all times.
  • Cooperate with staff and try to remain calm.

For more information about any policies or for more clarification please view the Campus Safety pages or contact:

Missouri State University-West Plains
Office of Student Life and Development
128 Garfield
West Plains, MO 65775
(417) 256-2889