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Severe Weather

If at work:

  • Monitor media reports.
  • Check campus email for pertinent messages.
  • Check this website for updated information. 
  • Determine if roads are safe before leaving.

If at home:

  • Assess conditions prior to leaving home.
  • Monitor available media for weather conditions.
  • Check this website for updated information.
  • Do not take risks in order to return to campus.
  • Contact your department for further information.



  • Fasten all bookcases, cabinets, compressed gas cylinders and other furnishings to a wall or to the floor.
  • Store all heavy items below head level.
  • Restrain chemicals on open shelves with seismic retaining strips.


  • Go to an open area away from trees, buildings and power lines.

In a Vehicle:

  • Pull your vehicle to the side of the road away from underpasses, bridge, and buildings.
  • Remain in the vehicle until the shaking stops. Do not leave the vehicle if a power line has fallen on or near it.


  • Stay away from windows and get under a desk or a table.
  • Duck, cover and hold.
  • In a hallway, sit against the wall and protect your head with your arms.
  • In an auditorium, duck between the rows of seats and protect your head.
  • Wait inside until the shaking stops, then evacuate the building and go to your building Emergency Assembly Area.
  • Do not use elevators for evacuation.
  • Designated personnel should assist individuals with mobility disabilities to a safe location, such as an enclosed stairwell landing with a ground level exit to the exterior or, if obstructed, an office space with a door. See Evacuation Guidelines: People with Disabilities.
  • Report to your department Building Safety Coordinator (BSC). The BSC will notify responding emergency services personnel.
  • Do not re-enter the building until authorized to do so by emergency response personnel.

Tornado/High Winds

  • If a tornado warning is issued, seek shelter immediately (A warning indicates that a tornado has been spotted).
  • Close all windows and lower blinds or curtains to prevent flying glass.
  • Seek shelter in the lowest building level available.
  • Stay away from windows, exterior doors and outside walls.
  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
  • Take cover under a sturdy desk or other heavy furniture.
  • Protect your head and body by crouching on the floor, covering yourself with pillows, blankets or heavy coats, and covering the back of your neck with your hands.
  • Remain sheltered until you hear the all-clear signal.
  • Remain calm and follow the instructions of safety and management personnel.

If you are caught outside during high winds:

  • Take cover next to a building or under a secure shelter.
  • Stand clear of roadways, as a gust may blow you into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Use handrails where available and avoid elevated areas such as roofs.
  • Watch for flying debris. Tree limbs may break and street signs may come loose during strong winds.

If you are driving:

  • Keep both hands on the wheel and slow down.
  • Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
  • Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes as strong gusts could push a car outside its lane of travel.
  • Take extra care in high-profile vehicle such as trucks, vans, SUVs, or when towing a trailer, as these are more prone to being pushed or flipped by high wind gusts.
  • If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, safely pull over to the shoulder of the road and stop. Make sure you are away from trees or other tall objects that could fall onto your vehicle.