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Tornado Procedures

For any on-campus emergency, dial ‘0’ or x7291 for the Security Department.
From a cell phone dial 413-528-7291.

General Information

Tornadoes usually occur in the spring and summer; they are formed by severe thunderstorms. Considered nature's most violent, erratic storm, they consist of whirling winds of up to 300 miles per hour. Tornadoes can sweep through an area, causing serious damage and destruction. In addition to injuries and structural damage, electrical shorts, gas leaks, etc., may create fires or other hazards. All must understand terminology regarding tornadoes.

Tornado Watch: weather conditions are considered favorable for creating a tornado--for example, during a severe thunderstorm.

Tornado Warning: a tornado funnel has been sighted or identified by radar. Take shelter immediately. Remember that tornadoes can form and move quickly; therefore, there may not be adequate time to issue a warning. If severe thunderstorms occur, be alert to the fact that a thunderstorm could trigger a tornado, and be prepared.

Tornado Plan

Tornado Watch

When a tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service, the on-call residence directors and security staff will be notified.

Tornado Warning

The Emergency Alert system will issue a message to the community informing them that College is under a Tornado Warning and that everyone should proceed immediately to building basements away from windows. All available residence life and security staff will assist in the effort to relocate and inform those on campus.

Residence Life and Security personnel will:

  • Direct occupants to proceed in a quick and orderly manner to the nearest building basement.
  • Instruct occupants not to leave the building.
  • Turn off all lights and electronic equipment in the room.
  • Provide assistance to persons with disabilities.
  • Accompany occupants to the nearest designated shelter area in the building.
  • Take a seat in the shelter area and wait for the warning to be lifted.

Trouble Areas/Places to Avoid

  • All outside walls, elevators, and windows of buildings.
  • Any low-lying area that could flood.
  • Vehicles---do not use for shelter.
  • Building areas with a large roof span (KAC- gym and pool).

Tornado Shelter Areas by building:

Kilpatrick Athletic Center: Locker rooms
Blodgett: Fire panel room or basement hallway (away from windows)
Classrooms: ITS offices and bathrooms or Library basement (stack room away from windows)
College Center: Basement (key in Academic Affairs)
Crosby House: Basement laundry room (or boiler room, if opened)
Daniels Arts Center: Lower level bathrooms in Visual Arts wing
Dining Hall: Basement under the kitchen
Dolliver House: Basement laundry room or the gaming room
Fisher Science Center: Basement boiler room
Hill House: Basement laundry room
Kellogg: Basement (inside the Harp room)
Lecture Center: Basement (hall or open rooms w/o windows)
Alumni Library: Basement (stack room away from windows)
Liebowitz: Basement (in the corner behind the stairs)
Kendrick House: Laundry room
Livingston Student Union: Storage or boiler room (off Game Room in basement)
Upper Campus: Annex basement