Severe Weather Procedures

Tornado struck on agricultural fields at sunset

General Information:

Some inclement weather events like strong winds, rainstorms or tornadoes will require employees and students to go to sheltered areas within the college. In these cases, employees and students should not evacuate the building since this may cause injury. When strong winds, rain, or a tornado are imminent, you have only a short amount of time to make life-or-death decisions. Advanced planning and a quick response are the keys to surviving this type of inclement weather. The college values the safety of each individual and expects that people will take the responsibility for safeguarding their own welfare.

The switchboard operator will monitor inclement weather and will respond to all levels of notifications from the National Weather Service. The procedure will be to notify the College President, other administrators, faculty, and maintenance via local media which may include: phone system, television broadcast, website, and texting. If a “take cover warning” is issued by the National Weather Service, building occupants will immediately be notified and should move to sheltered areas at that time.

Tornado WATCH:

Weather conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop. In the event of a tornado WATCH, you should:

  • Be alert for approaching storms.
  • Listen for the phone paging system and other college media, which will indicate the weather situation worsening.
  • Continue with classes, exams, and college business/operations in the absence of further instructions.
  • The athletic department will alert any teams out on the athletic fields.
Tornado WARNING:

A tornado or funnel cloud has been sighted, or is indicated on weather radar. In the event of a tornado WARNING, College policy requires the following:

  • Instructors will stop any classes or exams that are taking place and will direct all students to the appropriate tornado safe waiting area as needed.
  • A tornado WARNING will be passed on to building occupants via the Telephone Alert System, email, etc.
  • Building occupants will prepare to go to the tornado safe waiting area in whichever area they are in at the time of the Tornado WARNING being issued. Shelter maps will be located throughout the building (general rule: a shelter area will be an interior area below the top floor of the building without any windows or exterior doors).
  • Building occupants should remain in the protected area until the tornado or severe weather has passed and they have received an all clear. At that point, classes and college business/operations will resume as permitted by the impact of the severe weather.