Tornado Policies & Procedures
Tornado Procedures & Safety Information
Although tornadoes can strike at any time, they usually occur in the spring and summer. They may develop from severe thunderstorms. Considered nature’s most violent and erratic storm, they consist of whirling winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour. Tornadoes can sweep through an area, causing serious damage and destruction in their path; then change direction and strike again. In addition to injuries, structural damage, electrical shorts, and gas leaks may create fires or other hazards. Time is critical. There may only be seconds to respond. Therefore, it is very important that College community members be familiar with tornado procedures, review them regularly, and participate in tornado drills when administered.
A Tornado Watch occurs when weather conditions are considered favorable for the development of a tornado; for example, during a thunderstorm.
When a Tornado Watch is issued, the campus community should:
- Monitor local weather reports
- Visit the Mid Safety and Security page on the website
- Stay connected with Mid Security and Mid’s Core Crisis Team for updates
- Review the Mid Emergency Plans/Maps (located in classroom and hallways) for designated tornado shelter areas
- Be prepared to act should conditions change and a Tornado Warning is issued
A Tornado Warning occurs when a tornado has been sighted or identified by radar in the area.Take shelter immediately.Tornadoes can develop and move quickly. If severe thunderstorms should occur, be alert to the fact that a thunderstorm may possibly trigger a tornado.
When a Tornado Warning is issued by Public Safety Officials or the National Weather Service, the Core Crisis Response Team will:
- 1. Have Campus Security or a member of the Security Operations and Systems office issue a statement through the College PA/Phone System: “Attention please! A Tornado Warning has been issued for (correct county will be inserted, either Clare or Isabella) County area until (expiration time will be inserted). All faculty, students and staff should move directly to the designated tornado shelter areas as shown on the Mid Emergency Plan/Map posted in each room. Remain in the building; do not go outside. ” (This message will be repeated several times)
- Assuming that time permits, the College’s Emergency Notification System (MidAlert!) will be activated and an alert will be sent via text, phone and e-mail to the campus community stating: “A Tornado Warning has been issued for (Clare or Isabella will be inserted) County until (expiration time will be inserted). Seek shelter! Stay inside!”
- Students, Faculty, and staff are asked to remain in the designated shelter areas until and “ALL CLEAR!” has been issued through the PA/Phone system by Campus Security, Security Operations and Systems, or members of the Core Crisis Team. A MidAlert! will also be issued via text, phone and e-mail to the campus community stating: “ALL CLEAR! You may leave the designated shelter area. Repeat, All Clear.”
When a Tornado Warning is issued by Public Safety Officials or the National Weather Service, Mid personnel should:
- Direct students and other visitors to proceed quickly (in an orderly fashion) to the designated shelter areas; they should not leave the building
- Once rooms have been evacuated, turn off lights and close classroom/office doors
- Provide assistance to persons with disabilities
- Refrain from using the elevators
- Remain in the shelter area until Campus Security, Security Operations and Systems, or the Core Crisis Team has given an ‘All clear’ signal
If you are outside when a tornado occurs and are unable to take inside shelter, lie flat in a ditch or depression and protect your head. Avoid large trees, metal poles and other electrical conductors. Vehicles should not be used as shelter.
A Tornado Warning is when a tornado is actually spotted in the area.
A Tornado Watch is when conditions may result in a tornado.