Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms and they are Georgia’s No. 1 weather-related killer. They can develop without warning and oftentimes can be hidden by trees or rain. Be prepared to act quickly. Planning and practicing specifically how and where you take shelter is a matter of survival. Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year, making advance preparation vitally important.
Before a Tornado
A storm can strike suddenly and it may occur at a moment’s notice. Ensure your phone number is in your student account to receive emergency messages as well as your relatives.
Review the University’s Emergency Operations Plan that can be found on the FVSU Campus Police webpage
A tornado WATCH means weather conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop.
A tornado WARNING means either a tornado is occurring or expected to develop shortly in your area, and you need to take shelter immediately.
Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning.
- Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
- If underground shelter is not available, an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible in the best option.
- In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
Make sure you know how the University sends out emergency notifications. Some institutions of higher education and communities use sirens, others use a mass notification system, and still others depend on media to alert residents to severe storms. Make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings.
Listen to commercial radio, television newscasts, or go to Weather.com and check the weather in your area for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by university and local emergency management officials.
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
When a Tornado WATCH is issued
Monitor commercial radio or television for the latest weather forecasts, log onto the University’s website and/or review weather.com for severe weather alerts in your area.
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.
Make sure you know where you would seek shelter if a tornado warning was issued.
If you are in a mobile home, consider moving to a sturdy building (shelter). If a tornado warning is issued, you will not have much time to act.
When a Tornado WARNING is issued
If you are inside, put on sturdy shoes and go to a safe place and protect yourself from glass and other flying objects.
If you are outside, hurry to a safe place in a nearby sturdy building.
If you are in a car and you see large objects flying past while you are driving, pull over and park. You now have two choices:
- Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
- If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, in a deep ditch for instance, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
If you live in an apartment that is on an upper floor of if you located on an upper floor, get to the lowest level of the building.
After a Tornado
Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, listen to any portable radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.
Remain out of damaged buildings and stay clear of downed power lines. Report downed lines to your local power company.
If you are trained, help injured or trapped people. Check on others who may require special assistance, such as the elderly, children and people with disabilities.