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! To ensure our campus remains safe - we utilize a company, AccuWeather Skyguard, to specifically look at our campus area (Kansas City campuses only).

What this means for you is that even though the county has issued a tornado watch or warning, it may not be applicable to our campus - if you shelter during National Weather Service (NWS) warnings, that is just fine. However, you will not receive an Alertus or RAVE warning, as sheltering for our campus is only required when AccuWeather determines that a tornado may affect our campus. Read more here! Wichita and Salina campuses should shelter on all NWS warnings. 

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!


Listen to Emergency Alert Tones:

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 issued by AccuWeather Skyguard via the campus emergency communication system (i.e. Alertus, Rave, etc.). Remember, NWS issues warnings for the entire county - AccuWeather looks at our specific Kansas City campuses. Wichita and Salina - refer to NWS warnings.

  • 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: Jul 07, 2015