Twister. Whirlwind. Cyclone. Most of us have seen the movie Twister or the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz and know about tornados. Those of us raised in tornado alley remember tornado drills from our K-12 school days. Do you know friends or family that have experienced the destructive power of a tornado? What about you? Remember these basics...
Tornado Watch – Watch The Weather
Tornado Warning – Seek Safe Shelter
Tornado Now – Lie Flat, Cover Up
Take a few minutes to review the information on this website and visit the links from this page to learn more about how you can be ready for the next tornado threat at Wright State University.
Be Wright State Ready
Tornados can occur anywhere in the United States at any time of the year. They form from thunderstorms, generally moving in a southwest to northeasterly direction. Tornados can remain nearly stationary or move more than 60 miles per hour. The length of time a tornado is on the ground can range from an instant to hours with an average of about 5 minutes.
The National Weather Service (NWS) monitors local weather and will issue either a tornado watch—when conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur, or a tornado warning—when a tornado has been sighted. Knowing what to do when the NWS issues one of these conditions will minimize your risk of injury if you are in or near the path of a tornado.
Learning more about tornadoes and tornado safety can save lives. Visit the NOAA Online Tornado FAQ website for a summary of tornado knowledge with links to more detailed information.
Tornado Shelters - Familiarize yourself with the designated shelters in the buildings you occupy or frequently visit. Where possible, tornado shelters at the Dayton and Lake campuses are located in tunnels or basements, in the core of buildings, in rooms or spaces with short ceiling spans, or in restrooms. Areas considered unsafe during a tornado warning include locations near windows, glass doors, and other glass fixtures (e.g., trophy cases).
WSU Alert - Wright State's emergency notification system includes campus wide voice notification capabilities via fire alarm devices located throughout university-owned buildings and tunnels.
Outdoor Tornado Warning Sirens -Tornado Warning sirens are intended to alert people who are outdoors to a tornado sighted in the area. The Dayton and Lake campuses have excellent siren coverage. Tornado warning sirens emit a continuous tone for three minutes every fifteen minutes that can be easily heard anywhere outdoors on either campus. The sirens are tested each month: Dayton Campus - First Monday of the month at noon; Lake Campus - First Saturday of the month at about 12:15 p.m.
NOAA Weather Alert Radios - NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. Official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information are broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Weather radios equipped with special alarm-tone features will sound alerts to give immediate information about a life-threatening situation. Weather radios can be purchased at your local electronics store.
Annual Tornado Awareness and NWS Storm Spotter Training - SKYWARN®Storm Spotter training is offered in September on the Dayton campus. Training is conducted by the National Weather Service in conjunction with National Preparedness Month. Wright State employees, first responders, and partners in higher education are invited to attend this valuable and informative training program. Become a Storm Spotter!
Wright State is a StormReady University - Wright State University's Dayton Campus is the first institution of higher education in the University System of Ohio to attain StormReady recognition from the National Weather Service and the Ohio StormReady Advisory Board. StormReady Universities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education, and awareness. No university is storm proof, but StormReady helps Wright State save lives.
Personal Preparedness - Learn more about how you can prepare yourself and your family for a disaster. A good place to start is at Wright State's Personal Preparedness webpage.
Responding to a Tornado Threat
Tornado Watch - When a tornado watch is issued, pay attention to changing weather conditions. If possible, listen your weather alert radio or to a local radio station that has the NWS wire service (e.g., WMMX 107.7 FM or WHIO 1290 AM in Dayton; WKKI 94.3 FM or WCSM 1350 AM in Celina) or a local television station for further announcements. This is a good time to review where the nearest tornado shelter is located.
Wright State Storm Spotters - Members of the university community who are registered Storm Spotters should self-activate, as their job duties allow, to conduct ground truth observations and follow information reporting procedures established by the Natonal Weather Service.
Tornado Warning - When a tornado warning is issued for the area, the outdoor tornado warning sirens and the building notification system (audio message only - no strobe) will be activated. No other WSU Alert channels will be activated for a tornado warning.
Do not call University Police or dial 911 - Unless you have a serious emergency, don't call the police department until the tornado warning has expired and the All Clear message is given.
Seek safe shelter immediately - When a tornado warning is issued, stay calm and proceed to your building's designated tornado shelter area. Remember to close doors behind you. Do not use the elevators.
Assist others - Provide assistance to visitors and others who may need help finding the nearest tornado shelter.
Elevator use - If you are able, use the stairs to the tornado shelter. Keep elevators open for people with physical disabilities and their personal assistants to reach the lower levels of the buildings.
If you are outside - If you are outside and unable to get to a shelter area, locate the nearest depression such as a ditch or ravine or a culvert and be prepared to lie flat, face down, and cover your head with your hands and arms if a tornado strikes.
Vehicles are not safe shelters - If you are in your vehicle when a tornado warning is issued, park your vehicle and seek safe shelter immediately. Do not attempt to outrun a tornado.
Tornado Shelter Guidelines
- Move away from the entrances. When entering a shelter area, move into the shelter and away from the entrances to avoid congestion and allow more people to enter as they arrive. Stay away from windows, glass, open stairwells, and unsecured objects.
- Do not use stairwells as shelters. It is important to keep all routes to tornado shelters clear and unobstructed. Also, many of our stairwells are open to public areas or have exits to the outside that make them unsafe should a tornado strike.
- Speak quietly and listen for weather updates. Speak quietly while in the shelter and listen for weather updates from radios and announcements via the building notification system. Updates including the All Clear message may not heard when large crowds are talking in the shelter areas.
- Be a leader. Help visitors and other people unfamiliar with these guidelines to keep safe and stay informed.
- Remain in the shelter. Although tornado warnings typically last 15 minutes or less, they can be extended for longer periods. Remain in the tornado shelter until the All Clear message is announced via the building notification system.
Tornado Shelter Maps
Allyn Hall (PDF)
Biological Sciences I & II (PDF)
Brehm Lab (PDF)
Campus Services Building (PDF)
Child Development Center (PDF)
Community Center (PDF)
Creative Arts Center (PDF)
Diggs Lab (PDF)
Dunbar Library (PDF)
Fawcett Hall (PDF)
Fine Arts Building (PDF)
Geology Facility (PDF)
Hamilton Hall (PDF)
Health Sciences (PDF)
Joshi Research Center (PDF)
Library Annex (PDF)
Math & Micro Sciences (PDF)
Medical Sciences (PDF)
Millett Hall (PDF)
Nutter Center (PDF)
Oelman Hall (PDF)
Rike Hall (PDF)
Russ Engineering (PDF)
Setzer Pavilion (PDF)
Student Union (PDF)
TV Center (PDF)
University Hall (PDF)
Vehicle & Water Facility (PDF)
White Hall (PDF)
LAKE CAMPUS TORNADO SHELTERS BY BUILDING
BUILDINGS OFF CAMPUS - TORNADO SHELTERS
More About Tornados and Tornado Safety
The Tornado History Project is a free, searchable database of all reported U.S. tornadoes from 1950-2009. There are over 53,000 tornadoes currently in the database, each with its own map and forum. The project's main goal is to combine historical data with user submitted items (eyewitness memories, photos, videos, etc...) to recreate the history of as many tornadoes as possible.
Having a safe room built for your home or small business can help provide "near-absolute protection" for you and your family or employees from injury or death caused by the dangerous forces of extreme winds such as tornadoes and hurricanes. For more information, download the publication Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business from FEMA.