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Tornado/Other Severe Weather

Introduction
Situations involving severe weather evolve quickly and require quick response.  This document provides an outline for response to a tornado or other severe weather event. 

Principal Point Persons

  • Chief of Police, Department of Campus Safety 
  • Campus Safety Officers 


Lead Personnel

  • Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty
  • Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Co-Curricular Life
  • Vice President and Chief of Staff
  • Director of Media, Marketing and Communications
  • Director of Physical Plant
  • Associate Director of Physical Plant
  • Director of Residence Life
  • President of the College


Action Plan

During periods of severe weather, it is the responsibility of Campus Safety to have an officer monitoring weather conditions via the National Weather Service (NOAA).  When a WARNING is issued by NOAA for Amherst County, Campus Safety will begin the EAS activation procedure.


GATHER SIREN SIGNAL – A series of 10 second blasts followed by 4 seconds of silence for a period of 3 minutes. This signal indicates that persons should gather on campus at the Fitness and Athletic Center (FAC). With the aid of the Campus Safety radio use the following steps to initiate the GATHER SIREN SIGNAL.

  1. Press button P2 and hold for 3 seconds.
  2. Choose alarm function 1.
  3. Depress the talk button to activate the siren.


LOCK DOWN SIREN SIGNAL - A sustained 3 minute sound indicates that a person should go to a secure space and wait for further instructions. With the aid of the Campus Safety radio use the following steps to initiate the LOCK DOWN SIREN SIGNAL.

  1. Press button P2 and hold for 3 seconds.
  2. Choose alarm function 2.
  3. Depress the talk button to activate the siren.


ALL CLEAR SIGNAL – Is a 7 second blast of sound. With the aid of the Campus Safety radio use the following steps to initiate the ALL CLEAR SIGNAL.

  1. Press Button P2 and hold for 3 seconds.
  2. Choose alarm function 3.
  3. Depress the talk button to activate the siren.


CANCEL – All signals should be allowed to complete their cycle. If for some reason the siren signal needs to be silent’s then use the following procedure.

  1. Press button P2 and hold for 3 seconds.
  2. Choose alarm function 4.
  3. Depress the talk button to cancel the siren. 


A text message will be sent via the e2Campus emergency notification system.

e2Campus Message
Tornado approaching -take immediate cover – interior of lower floor in building is best.

Emergency Website Message

The National Weather Service has reported a tornado in our geographic area.  Please take cover in the nearest building.  The interior ground level floor, away from all windows and glass doors is the safest.  When all is clear, the siren signal will be given, and a message will appear on this website. When exiting a building after a storm, be particularly careful as there may be debris and power lines on the ground. Do not attempt to move debris by yourself.  Please dial 434-381-6111 about damage or injuries.  Additional updates will be posted on this site as more information becomes available.

Emergency Information Hotline Message
The National Weather Service has reported a tornado in our geographic area.  Please take cover in the nearest building.  The interior ground level floor, away from all windows and glass doors is the safest.  When all is clear, the signal will be given.  When exiting a building after a storm, be particularly careful as there may be debris and power lines on the ground.  Do not attempt to move debris by yourself.  Please dial 434-381-6111 about damage or injuries

Campus Telephone Landline Message
The National Weather Service has reported a tornado in our geographic area.  Please take cover in the nearest building.  The interior ground level floor, away from all windows and glass doors is the safest.  When all is clear, the signal will be given.  When exiting a building after a storm, be particularly careful as there may be debris and power lines on the ground.  Do not attempt to move debris by yourself.  Please dial 434-381-6111 about damage or injuries
The Crisis Response Team will be notified and convene to coordinate response and follow up. 

The following recommendations will be made

  1. Move to an interior hallway or basement if time allows, or take shelter under a desk or heavy table and cover your head.
  2. Avoid upper floors, large glassed areas and windows.
  3. Stay out of parking areas.
  4. Stay away from electrical service panels and appliances, including computers.
  5. Use telephones for emergency calls only. 
  6. A follow up message via e2Campus and campus email will be sent to the community. 
  7. The Director of Residence Life will work directly with the Resident Coordinators and Resident Advisors to assist with disseminating information and updates to students.  


Follow Up/Recovery

  1. Campus Safety will coordinate the treatment of any injured persons, with assistance and support from the Nurse Practitioner/Director of Health Services (and RN), if available. 
  2. Campus Safety will work with Physical Plant staff to assess any damage on campus.  They will use extreme caution when entering buildings and watch for electrical system damage, downed power lines, gas leaks, and sewer and water line damage. 
  3. Physical Plant staff will work with the Director of Residence Life to coordinate any housing needs/relocation of students. 
  4. Campus Safety and Physical Plant will coordinate follow up with any outside agencies (e.g. American Electric Power-AEP).