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Campus Tornado Safety Information

What should I do during a tornado watch?

A tornado watch means that severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornados are possible. Continue your normal activities but monitor weather conditions and be prepared to seek shelter.  Remain weather alert.

What should I do during a tornado warning?

A tornado warning indicates that a tornado has been spotted or radar indicates there is a likely tornado. When you hear outdoor tornado warning sirens and/or receive a UAlert tornado warning you should seek shelter immediately and remain in a protective area until you receive an all-clear message through UAlert or a building emergency action representative.

How much advance notice will a tornado warning give me?

Tornados can strike without warning -- that is why it is important to remain weather alert during severe weather and be prepared to seek immediate shelter.

How will I be notified of a tornado warning?

Two tornado warning sirens are located on campus. They are activated whenever the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for any portion of Madison County. Seek shelter immediately when you hear the siren.

UAH also utilizes the UAlert emergency notification system to alert the campus community of a tornado warning. The University will issue a warning alert whenever the National Weather Service issues a warning for Madison County. Seek shelter immediately when you receive a UAlert tornado warning, even if you cannot hear the campus warning sirens.

  • If, after the UAlert warning is issued, the University determines that there is no immediate tornado threat to the campus (the tornado warning is only for a specific segment of the county and does not include nor is likely to later include the UAH campus) an "All-clear" message will be issued. Remain alert to changing weather conditions and be prepared to seek shelter should conditions change.

Where should I seek shelter during a tornado warning?

We recommend that you identify in advance the location(s) of protective areas within your building(s). At UAH, protective areas are identified by yellow signs with black lettering, and are also indicated on building evacuation maps.

  • In buildings, go to the best available designated protective area. Basements are best, but interior locations on the lowest level also offer protection. Stay away from windows, exterior doors, exterior walls, and other hazards inherent to the building.
  • If outdoors, quickly seek shelter within a building. If unable to do so, take shelter in a ditch or ravine away from possible sources of heavy debris. Be alert for rising waters and flying debris.

How long should I remain in a campus protective area?

You should remain sheltered until the University issues an all-clear message. There may be situations where one tornado warning has just expired but it is anticipated that an approaching storm cell will result in the issuance of an additional warning within a short period of time. The University will not issue an all-clear until the approaching threat has passed.

Additional Tornado Safety Information: