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Statement Concerning Inadvertent Emergency Test Message

March 05, 2013

Story Contact(s):
Christian Basi,, 573-882-4430
Christian Basi,, 573-882-4430

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri has a contract with a mass notification system that automatically sends tornado warning alerts. In order to enable the quickest possible response to an actual tornado, a pre-determined message is written and saved in the automatic mass notification system, along with other messages about other emergency situations. The system scans the National Weather Service for emergency notices. When the National Weather Service activates its system for Boone County, and the message is detected by the automatic system, phone, text and email messages are sent to all subscribers of the system.

Had the university known that the National Weather Service was planning to activate its system today, we would have deleted our message and recorded a message that indicated that the message was a “test only” message. During the test last year, the National Weather Service did not activate its system because it was only a test and we assumed the same protocols would be followed this year.