Campus Delays, Closings & Weather

Designated Tornado Shelter Areas

All campus buildings have pre-established tornado shelters. These shelters are typically located on the lowest level of a building in an interior hallway, room, or stairwell.

It is necessary to stay away from doors or windows as these may be avenues for debris to fly around causing injuries or death.

If a tornado is imminent, building occupants should get into the “tornado safety position” (i.e., get down on your knees and elbows and lock fingers around the back of the neck).

Tornado Warning

Employee Campus Notification

In the event of a Tornado Warning, Employee Notification will come as an announcement made verbally by a police officer, a Building & Grounds Department employee, an Emergency Response Building Coordinator and/or by a broadcast using the Campus Emergency Broadcast System.

Tornado Warning Received

Below is information for when a tornado warning has been issued.

If you are in a building:

  • Turn off any equipment you may be working with.
  • Get away from any exterior glass (windows, doors, skylights).
  • Leave any office with exterior walls or windows. Close the office door behind you.
  • Go directly to the designated shelter area.
  • If on an upper floor of a building, go to the designated shelter area located on the ground floor.
  • Sit down in the shelter area and protect yourself by putting your head as close to your lap as possible or kneel protecting your head.

If you are in a vehicle:

  • Get out of the vehicle immediately and go to the nearest campus building.
  • Once in a building go to the nearest designated shelter area.

If you are caught outside with no shelter:

  • Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
  • Watch for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

If you are caught in an office with a window or exterior wall with little or no warning:

  • If the threat is immediate; seek protection under a desk.
  • If time permits go to a designated shelter area.
  • If you cannot get to a shelter, seek the nearest restroom for protection.


  • Report to the nearest Owens Building Safety Coordinator at the shelter area so that you can be accounted for.
  • “ALL CLEAR” will be announced by a police officer, Building and Grounds employee or by notification using the Campus Emergency Broadcast system. (Only after the all-weather-related danger has passed.)

NOTE: Classes are temporarily suspended during a tornado warning.

Tornado And Weather Emergencies

Tornado Watch means tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms and be prepared to seek shelter.

Tornado Warning means a tornado is imminent or has been indicated by Doppler radar or reported by storm spotters. Move to your pre-designated place of safety immediately!

By definition, a tornado warning is an alert by the National Weather Service confirming a tornado sighting and location. The weather service will announce the approximate time of detection and movement. Wind speed will be 75 mph or greater.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch means severe thunderstorms are possible in your area.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning means a severe thunderstorm is imminent or has been indicated by Doppler radar or reported by storm spotters.

Remember that severe thunderstorms can produce:


  • Tornadoes cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries a year.
  • Tornadoes can produce wind speeds over 250 mph.
  • Tornadoes can be one mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles.

Strong Winds

  • Strong winds can exceed 100 mph.
  • Strong winds can cause damage equal to a tornado.


  • Lightning causes an average of 80 fatalities and 300 injuries a year.
  • Lightning occurs within all thunderstorms.

Flash Flooding

  • Flash Flooding is the #1 cause of death associated with thunderstorms.
  • Flash Flooding causes over 140 fatalities each year.


  • Responsible for injury, crop and property damage.