The University of Toledo will join communities across Ohio practicing their preparation for severe weather during an annual statewide tornado drill Wednesday, March 20.
Tornado sirens on campus and across Lucas County will sound at 9:50 a.m. for the full three-minute alert that would be used for a real tornado emergency.
The campus public address system will share this message: “Attention: Tornado warning for Lucas County. Take shelter immediately in a tornado safe waiting area.” The UToledo Police Department also will issue a UT Alert text message and email notification.
“Tornado safety is something we have to take seriously in our region,” UToledo Police Chief Jeff Newton said. “Planning ahead and practicing how we let campus know about severe weather and what everyone should do in that situation is important so we can keep everyone safe.”
The statewide tornado drill is part of Ohio Severe Weather Awareness Week, which runs March 17-23 in advance of Ohio’s peak tornado season, generally April through July. During the week, individuals are encouraged to plan ahead for what they would do in the event of a tornado.
At UToledo, all classes and operations are immediately suspended when there is a tornado warning. Warnings are issued when a tornado or funnel cloud has been sighted or it is indicated on weather radar. The sirens will sound and all faculty, staff and students are to go to the closest tornado safe waiting area in their buildings. Ground or basement level interior hallways with no windows also are acceptable safe waiting areas. Operations will not resume until the warning has expired.
During the drill on Wednesday, however, no action is necessary, and campus operations will continue as normal.
For more information about the University’s tornado response procedure and for a list of all tornado safe waiting areas, visit the Emergency Preparedness website.