University of Southern Indiana

Severe Weather

Emergency Procedures - Severe Weather

Severe weather includes high winds, microbursts, hail, thunderstorms, lightening, downpours, tornados, snowstorms, blizzards and ice storms.

Watch vs. Warning:

A watch means that conditions are right for development of severe weather.

A warning means severe weather is occurring.

Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch 

Continue normal activities and monitor the situation.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Keep people indoors and away from windows until severe storm passes.

  • If outdoors, seek shelter immediately.
  • If you hear thunder less than 30 seconds after seeing a flash of lightning, seek safe shelter immediately.
  • Report injuries and damage to USI Public Safety (812-492-7777 or ext. 7777).

Tornado Warning

  • Know in advance the location of your nearest severe weather gathering area.
  • If in the warning area, seek shelter in the designated severe weather gathering area located in the building you are in.
  • Stay away from windows and exterior doors. Basements, interior hallways on the lower floors and small interior rooms and the lower floors offer the best shelter.
  • Do not open windows; this can increase damage to the building.
  • If walking outdoors or in a vehicle, get out and seek shelter in a sturdy building.
  • If a building is not available, lying flat in a ditch or ravine offers some protection.
  • Report injuries and damage on campus to Public Safety.

Weather Sirens

When the National Weather Service issues a Severe Thunderstorm Warning or a Tornado Warning, the Evansville/Vanderburgh Co. Central Dispatch activates the outdoor warning sirens. Sirens are also activated for any life-threatening emergency, such as hazardous chemical spills.

Winter Storm Safety

Prior to winter weather, prepare your house, workplace, and vehicle by assembling emergency supply kits for each location. 

  • Indoors
    • Do not venture from your residence or workplace except in case of an emergency.
    • Make sure heat source is safe. Many fires start as a result of unsafe heating.
    • Kerosene or other fuel-powered heaters are not allowed indoors.
    • Keep items three feet away from heaters.
    • If you have no heat source, move around to keep your blood circulating.
    • Do not use an oven or surface units as a source of heat.
    • If you are with someone, share body heat.
  • In Vehicle
    • If you are stranded in your car, do NOT attempt to get out and go find help unless it is within 100 yards.
    • Vehicle floor mats can be used for extra insulation.
    • Run the car for 10 minutes each hour to keep warm, but make sure the tailpipe is not blocked to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

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