Skip to main content

Tornado/Extreme Wind

​​​Tornado Watch vs. Tornado Warning:  ​​​

  • Tornado Watch (Be Prepared) Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approa​ching Watches are issued by theStorm Prediction Center for counties where tornadoes may occur.  

  • Tornado Warning (Take Action) A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. There is imminent danger to life and property. Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a tornado identified by a forecaster onradaror by atrained spotter/law enforcement who is watching the storm. 

  • Tornado Emergency (Urgent Action Needed) Issued when a confirmed violent tornado is posing an imminent severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage to property in your area. When a Tornado Emergency is issued you need to immediately seek shelter in the safest place possible. ​

What to Do on Campus?

  • Students, Faculty and Staff 

  • If a Tornado Warning or Emergency has been issued for your area, TAKE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY 

  • Find shelter in an interior room or hallway of the building, away from doors and windows: consider sheltering in lower floors, in hallways (away from windows), in enclosed stairwells, in restrooms. 

  • Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums, or auditoriums until the Warning or Emergency has passed. Move to a sturdy part of the building away from windows such as interior hallways, locker rooms, or enclosed stairwells. 

  • Do not use the elevator. 

  • Do not open windows or go outside. 

  • Being in a vehicle is dangerous during a tornado. Seek shelter in a sturdy structure. 

  • Follow directions of campus safety and other emergency responders. 

  • ​Wait until an All-Clear message has been received before going outside. ​​

  • Labs and Shop Settings 

  • Once a tornado warning or emergency has been received, quickly inform your class of the situation and follow the instructions above for Students, Faculty and Staff. 

  • Turn off all electronic equipment in the classroom and terminate all work in progress if safe to do so. 

  • Ensure that all chemical bottles and containers are capped or sealed.

  • Extinguish all open flames. 

  • ​Wait until an All-Clear message has been received. 

What to Do Off-Campus? 

  • Go toNOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts for updated emergency information. Follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials.  

  • Go to a safe shelter immediately, within a sturdy building. 

  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls. 

  • Do not go under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location. 

  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle if you are in a car. If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible. 

  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death. 

  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck. ​​

How to Prepare? 

  • Surviving Tornados video 

  • Tornado Safety Tips and Resources: What to do During a Tornado ( 

  • Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes. 

  • Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar like a freight train. 

  • Sign up for your community’s warning system.The UHD Alert Emergency Alert System (EAS), and NOAA Weather Radio also provideemergency alerts, 

  • Pay attention to weather reports.Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado. 

  • Identify and practice going to a safe shelter such as a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building. 

  • Plan for your pet.They are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan