Tornado Watch or Warning


Severe Weather or Tornado Watch

A watch is an indication of where and when the probabilities are highest that severe weather or a tornado could occur. A watch is a statement that severe weather or tornado conditions are present and could occur. The National Weather Service will issue a watch bulletin to local authorities, local radio stations and local TV stations.

Severe Weather or Tornado Warning

When severe weather or a tornado sighting occurs, the National Weather Service alerts all weather stations and local authorities. If severe weather or a tornado is approaching, a continuous sounding of emergency sirens will signal the warning.


  1. In case of severe weather: When the emergency warning sirens sound, stay calm. Everyone should immediately seek shelter in the designated areas of each building. Leave the room and close but do not lock the door. If the designated area is unknown, go to the basement or along interior walls of lower floors. Highly reinforced areas are preferred. Do not use elevators. Go to the appropriate underground severe-weather gathering location for each building.
  2. Stay away from all windows and exterior doors of buildings. Auditoriums, gymnasiums and similar large rooms with wide roofs should be avoided.
  3. Assist people with disabilities to the nearest stairwell. If able, assist them to the lower level of buildings and to the appropriate underground severe-weather location for each building. If you are not able to help the people with disabilities exit to the lower level, exit yourself and notify Campus Safety of their location.
  4. Call Campus Safety immediately at 785.594.8430.
  5. Note: The outdoor warning sirens are tested regularly. August through February: first Monday of each month at noon. March through July: first and third Monday of each month at noon.

Severe Weather or Tornado Building-Evacuation Plan

  1. Listed below are the underground or lower-level severe weather gathering locations by building, in the event that the building needs to be evacuated because of severe weather or tornado:
    • Bennett Art Building: Relocate to Mulvane, basement interior hallways near classrooms
    • Case Hall: Basement hallway
    • Chapel: Lower level
    • Collins Gym: Hallways, preferably north and racquetball courts
    • Constant Hall: Lower level, west end of hallway
    • Harter Union: Basement
    • Health Center: Relocate to Collins Gym
    • Library: Basement hallways, north and south
    • Mabee Hall: Ground floor, interior hallway west of weight room
    • Mulvane: Basement, interior hallways near classrooms
    • Owens: Basement, interior hallway
    • Rice Auditorium: Main floor, under balcony
    • Parmenter: Basement, interior hallway
    • Physical Plant: Basement or relocate to Constant Hall, lower level west end of hallway
    • Pulliam Center: Relocate to Harter Union basement
    • Irwin: Basement hallways away from glass
    • Gessner: Basement hallways away from glass
    • Apartments: Relocate to Harter Union basement or Gessner basement hallway away from glass
    • New Living Center: Relocate to Harter Union basement
  2. The command center team will determine a further plan of action. Contact your supervisor or chairperson or the vice president of your area.
  3. If approached by the media, please refer them to the public relations director, 785.594.8330. Do not make other statements. Especially do not say “no comment.” It is okay to tell the media, “I do not have that information right now. Please give me your number and your call will be returned."