The University Safety Committee wants the entire USI community to be prepared for the upcoming severe weather/tornado season. Although severe weather and tornados can occur at anytime during the year (remember the November 6, 2005 Tornado that occurred in Vanderburgh and Warrick County), spring through early summer is the peak tornado season for this area. Many may remember the April 3-4, 1974, super tornado outbreak—the worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history. With these facts in mind here are some actions that you need to be prepared to take.
When a tornado has been sighted, seek safe shelter immediately.
- If you are in a small building, or other lightly built structure, move to a safe area in a larger, heavily constructed building. If the severe weather/tornado is upon you, and there is no time to escape to a safe area in a larger building, seek the safest area in your building (refer to item 2).
- If you are in a larger building, shown on the attached chart, move to an interior hallway or room on the lowest floor away from windows, doors and outside walls.
- Never try to outrun a tornado in a car or truck; instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
- If caught outside with no shelter, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
- Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
- Protect yourself from flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most of the fatalities and injuries.
When conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop, a severe thunderstorm or TORNADO WATCH is issued. Remain alert for approaching storms. When a WATCH is issued tune in and listen to either NOAA Weather Radio (162.550 MHz), commercial radio (WIKY 104.1 FM) or television (Local 7 WTVW), (Channel 14 WFIE) or Channel 25 WEHT) for the latest watch or warning information.
When a TORNADO WARNING is issued, a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a tornado warning is issued for your area move immediately to your pre-designated place of safety. In the Vanderburgh County area, emergency warning sirens are activated when there is a severe weather/tornado warning. This siren will be a long blast lasting 3 minutes or longer and you should seek safe shelter immediately.
If you are at an outdoor recreation field or caught outside when a severe weather siren sounds, you need to seek safe shelter immediately. Go to the nearest "SAFE AREA." If a "SAFE AREA" is not available, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression away from trees or power lines and cover your head with your hands and avoid flying debris. 2
USI APARTMENT BUILDINGS
If you are located in a USI apartment building and hear an emergency warning siren, move to an interior room such as bathroom or hallway, away from exterior walls and windows. If you can, lay flat in the bathtub, cover your head to protect yourself from flying debris. Bring your battery powered weather radio, blanket, and flashlight with you.
A SAFE AREA is defined as an interior hallway or room on the lowest floor of a larger, heavily constructed building away from windows, doors and outside walls. See the following attachment for a list of buildings with a "SAFE AREA" for severe weather/tornados.
NOAA Severe Weather
CDC Tornado Preparedness
American Red Cross