A Tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide.

Tornado Watch notification is issued when conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes. Under watch conditions stay informed by listening to radio or television.

Tornado Warning notification indicates that a tornado has been sighted and poses a definite threat to a given area. If the warning is for your area, you should take shelter immediately!

Press the play arrow below to listen to the Emergency Alert Tone for Tornado Warning

Press the play arrow below to listen to the All Clear Tone

Tornado Procedure

What to do during a Tornado Warning:

  • You will be notified of a tornado warning via the campus emergency communication system (i.e. Alertus, Rave, etc.)

  • tornado shelter location signMove to the pre-determined shelter location marked with a green Tornado Shelter sign (see right) and designated in your Department or Building Emergency Plan (or click here); a list of pre-determined shelters can be found here

  • If unable to get to a known shelter location, attempt to get to the lowest level possible and as interior as possible (away from all windows and exterior doors)

  • If possible, get under something sturdy and cover your head

  • Share notification with others and assist anyone with disabilities, if possible

  • If in a vehicle or outside, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If a building is not available, lying flat in a depression, such as a ditch, offers some protection. Be aware of potential flooding if this is the case

  • Beware of flying debris; do not call 911 unless you require immediate emergency assistance

Remember, there are many tornado myths out there! Keep yourself and your family safe and take shelter when tornado conditions are favorable!

Last modified: Apr 27, 2015