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Severe Weather | Tornado Steps


You are responsible for finding shelter in the event of a tornado. If you are on the main campus during a normal work day, the best places to seek shelter are in Areas of Severe Weather Refuge. If there is no time to go safely to an Area of Severe Weather Refuge, go to the lowest floor of the building. 


These buildings have basements:

Ag Hall*, Architecture, ATRC, Business, Classroom, Dairy Barn, Engineering North, Gallagher-Iba, General Academic Building, Human Sciences, Iba Hall, Library, Life Sciences East & West, Math Sciences, McElroy Hall, Noble, Psychology Building, OADDL, Parker Hall, Physical Sciences, Scott Hall, Seretean Center, Small Grains, Stout Hall, Student Health, Student Union*, USDA, Vet Med Teaching Hospital, Water Plant, Wellness Center, Wentz Hall, and Willard.


More information and building map


*After normal working hours, OSU Police will open the locations marked with an asterisk* above for use as shelters. Monitor weather reports and go to these buildings when it begins to storm; if the sirens are sounding, it is too late to seek other shelter.

If the building you are in does not have a basement, go to the ground floor and enter an interior (windowless) room or hallway. It is too risky to go to another building once the sirens have sounded.


  • Shut off equipment that might be affected by a temporary loss of electricity.
  • Close hallway doors as you leave to shield the corridors from flying debris.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Use telephones for emergency calls only.
  • Stay calm and alert.
  • If local radio is available, keep tuned to KOSU-FM (91.7 MHz), KSPI-FM (93.7 MHz), KVRO-FM (98.1 MHz) or KGFY-FM (105.5 MHz) for storm details.
  • Dial 911 to report injuries and emergencies caused by the storm.
  • Call Facilities Management Work Control (744-7154) to report all damage.
  • There will not be an all clear signal from the alert sirens. Additional blasts indicate a new or renewed alert.
  • Report locations of trapped persons, making note of persons with injuries and/or disabilities .

Persons with Disabilities

Persons with disabilities who are mobility impaired must also make plans. If a power outage occurs during severe weather, elevators may not work. Go to a small interior room or closet (or a landing in an interior stairwell). Stay away from windows and exterior walls. Tell someone where you will be going and take a cell phone if possible.

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