Section 7: Emergency Situations

Definition of an "Emergency"

By statute, the definition of an emergency is as follows:

That situation which creates a serious and obvious threat to public health, welfare, or safety and/or to the operation of the University in executing its legal responsibilities to the public and/or for the persons or property in its legal area, custody, or control as may arise by reason of flood, epidemic, illness, riot, natural disaster, accidents, equipment failure, and similar causes.

To qualify as an emergency procurement, an emergency condition (as defined above) must exist and create an immediate and serious need for supplies or services which cannot be satisfied through normal procurement methods due to the element of time.

A situation shall not warrant an emergency purchase unless:

  • An emergency condition exists;
  • The element of time is a crucial factor in seeking relief; and
  • The resolution of the condition receives priority over routine operations and duties of the University.

A lack of planning does not constitute an emergency.

Processing an Emergency Purchase

Begin processing the emergency purchase on the next available business day following the purchase. The following procedures explain how an emergency purchase should be processed.

If the emergency purchase meets any of the following criteria, contact Purchasing for appropriate instructions concerning the processing of the purchase:

  • Totals more than $750;
  • Consists of goods/services available on a current state, or Missouri State University contract; or consists of goods/services available from a University department.

If any of these criteria are met by the emergency purchase, Purchasing will provide direction concerning the appropriate form(s) to use, signatures to obtain, and documentation required.

If the emergency purchase does not meet any of the above criteria, use either a Departmental Order Form or Petty Cash Reimbursement Form, depending on the method used to acquire the goods/services. (See other sections of this manual for explanations of how to complete and process either of these forms.) In addition to the normal steps required to process either of these forms, three additional steps are required:

  1. Write "Emergency Purchase" on the front of the form being used (either the Departmental Order Form or Petty Cash Reimbursement Form);
  2. Attach a memo explaining the circumstances of the emergency situation and the reasons for the emergency purchase; and
  3. Obtain the signature of your Vice President on the form being used.

Call Purchasing if you have any questions concerning the proper processing procedures for a particular emergency situation.