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Tornado Severe Weather

A Tornado Watch means no funnel clouds have been sighted, but conditions are right for a tornado. A Tornado Warning means a funnel cloud has actually been sighted. The approximate location and direction of travel is usually given when the warning is broadcast.

Weather Situation Goals

  • Safety and security of all involved
  • Recognize/identify weather warnings
  • Notification to all campus populations
  • Notification to all off campus populations
  • Assist building supervisors in individual building needs

Steps to Follow

In the event of a tornado drill, or an actual tornado warning, these procedures should be followed.

  • Students, faculty, and staff will be moved to safer areas of the building as indicated by the Severe Weather Safe Area signs located in each building. In general, individuals will want to move quickly to the lowest level/basement areas, small interior rooms, interior hallways, bathrooms, and/or low interior places. Stay away from windows and outside doors and avoid any room with a wide free span.
  • If you cannot evacuate to Severe Weather Safe Area, get beneath heavy furniture or sit with your back to the wall of an interior hallway with your knees against your chest, your head between your knees and your arms covering the top of your head. Locating in an east-west corridor is preferable to north-south.

Public Safety staff will monitor the weather alerts. In the event of an actual tornado warning the following procedures should be followed:

  • Notify duty officer to weather alert.
  • Public Safety staff will notify the director of Public Safety, the director of Facilities Management the director of Residence Life and Housing, the vice president and dean of Students and Media Relations.
  • Public Safety shall attempt to prioritize and check each building for notification of weather alert.
  • After campus buildings have been notified campus police should assess and prioritize special needs and help in those areas.
  • CIRT Coordinator or a designee in Public Safety will direct building managers, supervisors and/or faculty and staff to assist where appropriate.

Additional weather policies can be found in the Severe Weather Operations Policies