The National Weather Service (NWS) issues watches and warnings for a number of severe weather conditions. Those relevant to summer conditions are for severe thunderstorms and tornados.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area within the next 12 hours.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Hail 1 inch diameter and/or wind gusts of 58 mph or greater.
Tornado Watch: Conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms producing tornados in and close to the watch area within the next 12 hours.
Tornado Warning: Radar or satellite indication of a tornado and/or reliable spotter reports of a tornado.
When a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch is issued, community members are advised actively to monitor weather conditions and plan for seeking shelter should conditions worsen. Use good judgment as to when to seek shelter based on your location and the current weather conditions; do not rely on a warning to be issued in making this decision.
When a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued, immediately seek shelter indoors in a basement or a ground floor room/bathroom or hallway with no windows. If they are readily available, bring flashlights and water when evacuating. Remain in the protected area until the threat has ceased or danger has passed.
When the NWS issues a tornado watch or warning or a severe thunderstorm warning for an area including the campus, the College's emergency messaging system will be used to alert community members.
Campus Shelter Locations
General campus shelter locations
- Cole Science Center Basement (enter north or east side and take stairwell to basement)
- Johnson Library Basement (enter east side, across from RCC, and take door on right to basement)
- Franklin Patterson Hall Basement (enter basement from lower level hallway on east side)
- Merrill House Basement (enter at one carded door and take stairways to basement)
- Dakin House Basement (enter at one carded door and take stairways to basement)
Campus police will ensure that these areas are accessible.
In addition to the general campus locations, some central campus buildings have internal locations that may be used for shelter. These locations may not be accessible at all times and may not provide as much protection as the identified basement locations. These areas include basements, bathrooms, locker/dressing rooms, interior hallways, other interior rooms. If you are in one of these buildings, and do not have time or the ability to evacuate to a general campus shelter location, use these locations.
Outer Campus Shelter Locations
Given the distance from the main campus, specific locations have been identified for certain buildings.
- Red Barn area: admissions basement, Blair 106, and the lowest level and ground level bathrooms in the Red Barn.
- Thorpe House basement is the identified shelter for the Farm Center
- Wezeczek House basement for that building (enter from outside the building)
- Kerminsky House basement for facilities and grounds and the Kerminsky House
- Adele Simmons Hall auditorium for the Early Learning Center