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Severe Storms and Tornadoes

You are responsible for finding an area of refuge in the event of a tornado. 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. Unfortunately, taking pets into approved storm shelters is strongly discouraged because it limits the space available for the campus community seeking shelter.


Severe Weather Refuge Locations


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 at 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.


Tornado Tips

  • In the event of tornadoes, basements generally offer the best protection. Otherwise go into an interior room (bathroom/shower) or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside as possible.
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture, such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it.
  • Avoid large open rooms, if possible.
  • Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down, and cover your head with your hands.
  • Even in an interior room, you should cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (a mattress, blankets, etc.), to protect against falling debris and flying objects in case the roof and ceiling fail.
  • Faculty, staff, and/or students should remain at your chosen "Safe Area" location until advised that it is safe to return to their regular work or study area or to leave the building until the tornado or severe weather has passed and you have received an all clear via the local media.
  • Remember, there is no “all clear” siren activation. Weather, especially a severe storm, is unpredictable or the storm may have several lines of developing storms and as each approaching threat reaches the city, another siren notification may be sounded. Give serious consideration to using a portable battery operated radio “tuned to a local broadcast station” (KSPI FM-93.7, KSPI AM-780 DAYTIME ONLY, KVRO FM-101.1, KGFY FM-105.5, KOSU FM-91.7) to provide you with local warning information and to let you know when the severe weather has passed.
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