Severe Weather Condition Procedure

At this time, the Department of Public Safety and Environmental Health would like to update you by providing information regarding severe weather condition definitions and the procedures that will be implemented should severe weather conditions exist. Also, this applies in the event that a major emergency occurs on campus requiring the utilization of the emergency "fan-out" system via emergency liaison personnel and/or electronic mail (using the "All Faculty and Staff on campus" users e-mail address).


  • Tornado Watch - Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are possible.

  • Tornado Warning - A tornado has been detected. Take shelter immediately.

  • Thunderstorm Watch - High winds, lightning, and hail are possible.

  • Thunderstorm Warning - Large hail, lightning, and damaging winds are expected.


  • If time permits, we will contact the emergency liaison personnel in each building via our telephone "fan-out" system to advise that a severe weather WATCH is in effect. A WATCH simply means that SEVERE WEATHER IS LIKELY TO DEVELOP and everyone should STAY ALERT TO CHANGING WEATHER CONDITIONS. Liaisons will spread the alert throughout their respective areas.

  • If severe weather becomes imminent, a WARNING will be sounded via the weather emergency warning system on campus. A WARNING means a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM IS IN THE AREA, OR TORNADO HAS BEEN SIGHTED and is DUE TO ARRIVE in the area. Should a WARNING be issued, you will hear a continuous SIREN tone for 3-5 minutes. This is your cue to SEEK COVER IMMEDIATELY. A list of designated shelter areas for each campus building is attached.

  • An ALL CLEAR SIGNAL will be sounded once the threat has passed. The ALL CLEAR SIGNAL consists of a series of short siren bursts, each of which last approximately 10 seconds. You may then safely leave the designated shelter area. As building and University operations return to normal and building occupants return to their respective work area and classrooms, all individuals need to be aware of the following hazards that may exist:

                         - broken glass and other sharp objects

                         - electrical wires

                         - trip hazards

                         - partial power to equipment

Hazards should be reported to your supervisor and to the Facilities Management Department at 593-5270.


The emergency "fan-out" system will only be implemented during the conditions listed below should the weather be so severe mandating movement to the designated shelter area.

  • Winter Storm Watch - Severe winter weather conditions may affect this area.

  • Ice Storm Warning - Significant, possibly damaging, ice accumulation is expected.

  • Heavy Snow Warning - An expected snowfall of 4 inches in a 12 hour period or 6 inches in a 24 hour period. Visibility may be reduced and roads may become slippery or blocked.

  • Blizzard Warning - Considerable falling and/or blowing snow and winds expected.

  • Severe Blizzard Warning - Considerable falling and/or blowing snow, winds of at least 45 miles per hour, and temperatures 10 degrees Fahrenheit or lower are expected.

  • High Winds Warning - Winds of at least 40 miles per hour are expected

Campus closings due to inclement weather will be determined by the Chancellor and Senior Officers. Decisions to officially close the campus due to inclement weather and hazardous driving conditions are transmitted to all major radio and television stations for broadcast. A separate Weather Phone Line (436-9157) has been established which lists school closure information.


For major emergencies occurring on campus unrelated to weather, however, requiring the implementation of the emergency "fan-out" system, emergency liaison personnel will be contacted and provided specific directions depending upon the impact of the emergency.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Public Safety at extension 593-9953 or 593-5333.