Tornado Preparedness Plan
The division of responsibilities, the method of communicating warning signals, and the protective actions to be taken in the event of a tornado are defined.
- Tornado Watch — Be alert. Atmospheric conditions in the county are such that a tornado could develop.
- Tornado Warning — Prepare to take cover. A tornado has been sighted in the area. Prepare to take cover immediately if you hear the siren or are advised of this situation via other media. (See III., B. below)
- Tornado Season — The tornado season for the Champaign-Urbana area is generally from March 1 to August 1.
Division of Responsibilities
- Executive Director of Public Safety
- Arrange for appropriate notification systems for the campus.
- Activate or arrange for the activation of those systems when appropriate.
- Arrange for consultation and advice on departmental tornado plans.
- Deans and Directors
- Develop an internal tornado preparedness plan, including notification procedures (see Attachment II, Guidelines for Developing Internal Notification and Preparation Procedures (PDF) and Attachment III, Guidelines for Developing Departmental Take Cover Plans (PDF) for guidelines) to serve all personnel in his or her jurisdiction including those outside the main campus area, and issue the plans to all members of the unit. Plans should be developed around the peculiar features of the building or buildings involved. When the personnel in a given building are divided between two or more administrative or academic units, the unit that occupies the largest portion of the building should assume primary responsibility for developing the plan for that building and should coordinate plans with the dean or director of the other unit (s) involved. Deans and Directors may be asked to forward their plans to the Campus Risk Manager.
- Supervise execution of internal plan upon receipt of appropriate notification.
- Office of Campus Risk Manager
- Assist deans and directors in developing internal tornado preparedness plans.
- Assist the Executive Director of Public Safety in the development of campus-wide tornado preparedness plans and alert systems.
- Coordinate training and planning activities with the Occupational Safety and Health Section of Facilities & Services' fire safety prevention programs. (333-9711)
- Executive Director of Public Safety
Watch and Warning Systems
- In the event of a Tornado Watch, the Executive Director of Public Safety will alert the campus by initiating the campus Telephone Alert System using the message described in Attachment I, Tornado Watch Message (PDF).
- In the event of a Tornado Warning, the campus, as well as the Cities of Urbana and Champaign, will be notified by broadcasts over local radio and television stations. The local siren warning system, activated by the Champaign County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency, will be activated if danger is imminent to the two communities and the campus. There may be instances when a tornado warning will be given over radio or television for this county or general region, but because the two cities and the campus are not specifically in imminent danger the siren warning system will not be activated. When activated, the siren warning consists of three, three-minute continuous blasts. (These sirens are tested briefly at approximately 10:00 a.m. the first Tuesday of every month. Listen during these tests to become familiar with the siren signal.)
- If notified of a Tornado Watch, turn radios and televisions on to WILL AM 580 or other local stations and be alert for "take cover" messages. Also listen for sounding of sirens. The departmental plan should include provisions to notify individuals in the facility who may not be able to hear sirens. Those individuals should have access to a radio and be instructed to turn to WILL AM 580 or other local radio stations so that they can monitor conditions and take cover if necessary.
- If notified of a Tornado Warning, via siren, take precautionary measures as outlined in departmental tornado preparedness plans for a period of 30 minutes. If the immediate danger continues to exist, the siren will be sounded again at the end of that 30-minute period, or any time after that 30 minute period that a new, immediate danger develops. No all clear signal will be sounded. Following a lapse of 30 minutes from the last sounded warning signal, individuals should feel free to go about their daily routines. Again, individuals who are unable to hear the sirens should monitor conditions via WILL AM 580 or other local stations.
Further questions concerning this policy statement should be directed to the Executive Director of Public Safety, 333-1216.
Attachment I, Tornado Watch Message (PDF),
Attachment II, Guidelines for Developing Internal Notification and Preparation Procedures (PDF), and Attachment III, Guidelines for Developing Departmental Take Cover Plans (PDF).