Tornado Safety - Procedures

Last Updated 01/03
Applies to Administrators, Faculty, Staff, Students, and Visitors


When a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service, the St. Joseph County Civil Defense tornado warning system will activate the siren atop the North Dining Hall. For tornadoes, the siren issues a steady tone for three to five minutes. The siren will not issue an all clear. All clear signals are issued by the National Weather Service via radio and television announcements.

Specific tornado safety procedures vary from location to location, building to building, at the University, however, general safety precautions include:

  • Taking shelter in the nearest substantial building immediately.
  • Going to the basement or to an interior corridor.
  • Avoiding windows, large rooms, auditoriums or gymnasiums.

Siren tests are made at 11:30 a.m. on the first and third Thursdays of the month and consist of a one-minute steady tone, one minute of silence and a one-minute wailing tone.

These instructions and more detailed information on tornado and severe weather conditions is found in the front of the University Telephone Directory.

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