Procedures during a Tornado
A tornado is a violent rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction, with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Tornadoes may occur with little or no advance warning or siren activation.
Outdoor weather sirens will be activated and weather announcements will be sent out by text, phone, and email using the Campus Emergency Notification System. The all-clear signal will be given throughout the campus using the same system.
Before the Storm
Be prepared for a tornado by taking the following actions:
- Locate an accessible basement or corridor in the building. Designated shelter areas are marked “SHELTER AREA.”
- Stay informed through local media sources on days when severe weather is expected
- Obtain a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio to receive warnings. Maintain a backup battery as well.
- Keep a good-quality, reliable flashlight in your office/work area.
- Contact University Police at 260-481-6827 for more information on tornadoes.
Possible Indicators of a Tornado
Get to know the following signs that a tornado might be developing or nearby:
- Dark, often greenish sky
- Large hail
- Loud roar (similar to a train)
- Cloud of debris (the tornado may not be visible)
- Wind becomes calm and still
- Frequent lightning
When Taking Shelter
Take the following actions when it’s time to take shelter from a tornado:
- Proceed to the basement or ground floor of any building that has a designated shelter area. Position yourself in the safest portion of the shelter area—away from windows. Be prepared to kneel facing a wall and cover your head.
- Occupants of wood-frame or brick buildings with wood floors should leave the building and go directly to a more substantial concrete building if possible. If this is not possible, go to the lower-level interior area, away from windows and glass.
- Stay in the shelter until an all-clear notice is relayed by emergency personnel.
- Monitor local radio and TV weather reports.
Designated shelters are located in the lower level, basement, ground floor, and interior area of most buildings. Below are descriptions of where you can find shelter in buildings on campus:
- Advancement Building: central corridor
- Allen County Extension: inner storage room
- Alumni Center: coatroom
- Chiller Plant: inner office
- Cole Clubhouse: interior restrooms
- Dolnick Center: central corridor
- Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science: ground-floor corridor
- Fieldhouse: main corridor by restrooms
- Gates Sports Center: basement
- Ginsberg Hall: inside corridor
- Helmke Library: basement
- Kettler Hall: basement or ground floor of south and east wings
- Liberal Arts Building: basement
- Life Sciences Resource Center: rooms 111A and 111B
- Medical Education Center: basement hallways
- Neff Hall: basement
- Outdoors: nearest substantial building, time permitting, otherwise shelter in ground that is lower than the roadway
- Parking Garage 1: Ramp B Gold
- Parking Garage 2: lower-level interior ramp
- Parking Garage 3: lower level, adjacent to storage room
- Printing Services/Warehouse: interior hallway near restrooms
- Purdue Extension Office: reception area
- Rhinehart Music Center: center north/south hall outside auditorium and recital hall
- Science Building: ground floor
- Soccer Support Facility: restrooms
- Student Housing: first-floor central corridor
- Student Services Complex (International Ballroom): service corridor leading to dock
- Support Services Building: photo studio
- Venderly Family Bridge: under either side of the concrete abutments
- Visual Arts Building: first-floor hallway and restrooms
- Walb Union: ground-floor stair areas. (excluding atrium area)
- Williams Theatre: ground-floor restrooms and corridor
- Crescent Avenue Bridge: either end in the concrete and brick structure
This alert means that conditions are favorable for a tornado in or near the watch area. Keep yourself informed of weather changes via radio or television updates.
This alert means that a tornado has been sighted or that one is imminent in the warning area. University Police will monitor all local radio frequencies and sound the on-campus tornado alarm if there is danger in the campus area.
Outdoor weather sirens will be activated and weather announcements will be sent out by text, phone, and email using the Campus Emergency Notification System. The all-clear signal will be given throughout the campus by the Emergency Notification System.
The National Weather Service issues severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. Remember that tornadoes are spawned from severe thunderstorms.
The exterior warning sirens are tested at noon on the first Wednesday of every month, except during periods of adverse weather conditions.
Nonemergency Contact Information
University Police: 260-481-6827
Radiologic and Environmental Management: 260-481-4193
Facilities Management: 260-481-6832
If you are outdoors and hear a siren, go indoors. If you are indoors and hear a siren, go outdoors.
Move to an interior room on the lowest level.
Stay away from windows and exterior doors.
Listen to weather radio for updates.
Stay away from hazardous materials.