Tornadoes, Hurricanes, and Other Strong Storms
A watch is the first alert issued by the National Weather Service when
severe storms are possible in your area. This watch is issued when the
conditions are favorable for the formation of a severe storm. Remain alert for
approaching storms, however you may continue with your routine, or any other
activities. Turn on a battery-operated radio to stay alert of any developments.
This warning is issued when a severe storm has been sighted or indicated by
weather radar. If a warning has been issued and the sky becomes threatening,
move to your pre-designated place of safety. Turn on a battery-operated radio
and wait for further instructions.
The best protection is an underground shelter or basement,
or a substantial steel-framed or reinforced concrete building. (If none is
available, take refuge in other parts as indicated below.)
In any facility always go to the lowest floor possible.
If your residence has no basement, take cover under heavy
furniture on the ground floor in the center of the building, or in a small
room on the ground floor that is away from outside walls and windows. (As a
last resort, go outside to a nearby ditch, excavation, culvert, or ravine.)
Stay away from windows to avoid flying debris.
If you are outside in open country, drive away from the
tornado’s path, at a right angle to it. If there is not time to do this – or
if you are walking – take cover and lie flat in the nearest depression, such
as a ditch, culvert, excavation, or ravine.
SCHOOLS – If the school building is a good steel-framed or a
reinforced concrete building, stay inside away from the windows and remain
near an inside wall on the lower floors, if possible.
The large brick buildings on this University campus are of
reinforced construction and should provide adequate shelter. If in a smaller
facility go to the basement or to the nearest brick-frame facility.
AVOID AUDITORIUMS AND GYMNASIUMS or large metal buildings
with large, poorly supported roofs.
OFFICE BUILDINGS – Go to an interior hallway on the lowest
floor or to a designated shelter area. Stay away from windows.
Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch
Flooding is possible within the designated area – be alert and ready to
evacuate if so informed.
Flood Warning or Flash Flood Warning
Flooding is occurring, or is imminent, in the designated area. Take
necessary precautions at once. Depending on how close you are to the designated
area you should act quickly. You may only have minutes or a few seconds.
Urban and Small Stream Flooding
Flooding of small streams, streets, and low-lying areas, such as at railroad
underpasses and in urban storm drains is occurring within the designated area.
You should act quickly and move to higher ground.
Listen to the radio or watch television weather broadcasts
to keep appraised of weather watches or warnings.
Listen to National Weather Service/National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) radio broadcasts if a weather radio is
Go online to track the storm and be aware of weather
If a flood watch or warning occurs for the area you are in,
move to higher ground immediately. Do not delay if a warning is posted.
If you are in a campus building that begins to flood, notify
University Police immediately at Ext. 36222 or 410-543-6222, then leave the
building for a facility that is not flooding.
When traveling DO NOT drive through flooded roadways.
Remember a relatively small amount of running water can sweep your car
downstream. The depth of the water is not always obvious.
If a vehicle stalls in water, leave the vehicle immediately
and move to higher ground.
Be extra cautious when driving at night, for it is more
difficult to recognize flood signs or water depth.
During heavy rains or flood alerts, etc., do not park a
vehicle near streams, rivers, or known flash flood areas.
If caught outdoors, climb to high ground and stay there.
DO NOT walk through or drink floodwater. Floodwater may
contain fecal and other toxic matter from sewage, industrial chemicals,
agricultural by-products and others sources. If you must come into contact
with floodwater wash with soap and clean water as soon as possible after the
If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
After The Flood
Do not walk near flooded areas, buildings, etc., unseen
dangers such as submerged electrical lines may be present.
Be aware of abnormal animal activity, especially poisonous
snakes that may have come into the area. Animals can be disoriented,
defensive, or carry rabies.
If walking into a building that has water damage be aware of
loose plaster on ceilings, unstable door jams and floors, or walls that can
Be aware of broken or leaking gas lines, electrical lines,
flammable materials, and explosive materials that have been carried down
from another area.
Do not eat any food including canned goods that have come in
contact with floodwaters.
Be aware of cracked or damaged building foundations prior to
entering a building.
Notify University Police of any hazardous situation you
observe at Ext. 36222 or 410-543-6222.