Be prepared for tornado season

April 28, 2014 | UToday
By Staff

Peak tornado season in Ohio begins in April and usually lasts through July.

Preparation is key to staying safe in all types of severe weather, in particular tornadoes during the spring and summer months, and the UT Police Department is encouraging faculty, staff and students to be familiar with what to do if severe weather occurs near campus.

“Unfortunately, there is no way to control Mother Nature, but what we can control is how we prepare for it and how we respond to it,” UT Police Chief Jeff Newton said. “If a tornado strikes northwest Ohio, it is important to know what to do to stay safe.”

The National Weather Service issues a tornado watch, by affected county, if weather conditions are prime for tornados, and a tornado warning if a tornado has been sighted in the county. If a tornado warning is issued, sirens will sound.

The University’s outdoor public address system and mass notification system in buildings where available will alert those on campus with a combination of a traditional siren and a speaker that will sound a pre-recorded or live voice message from police informing of an emergency and providing appropriate instructions.

In a tornado warning, seek safety immediately.

When the sirens go off, classes are immediately suspended, and all students and faculty must go to the nearest tornado safe waiting area such as a basement or an interior room or hallway on the building’s lowest floor. Classes should not resume until the warning has expired.

Tornado safe waiting signs are posted in buildings on Main, Scott Park and Health Science campuses. To see a list of the locations, click here.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to sign up for the UT ALERT system that provides text messages to your cell phone in the event of campus emergencies, such as a tornado and other severe weather warnings. Sign up for the service at

For additional information about what to do in the event of sever weather, visit

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