Tornado Watch - A tornado watch is a forecast of the possibility of developing tornadoes in a large area.

Tornado Warning - Means that a tornado has been sighted and is approaching the area in the warning.

Tornadoes vary in magnitude from low velocity winds, which produce small forces on existing structures to high velocity winds that produce large forces and result in heavy damage to structures and other objects in their path. In general, most structures offer little resistance to the physical forces produced by a tornado, whereas, steel framed and reinforced concrete structures may survive resulting force with minor damage. The major forces produced by the tornado phenomena are as follows:

  1. Wind Action - High velocity winds which rotate around a translating vertical axis and produce dynamic forces on structures and other objects encountered.
  2. Impact of Missiles -usually a considerable amount of debris is suspended in the high velocity winds of a tornado. These objects act as missiles and produce damage to structures and other objects in their path.


  1. Tornado Watch--The Campus Police will notify each building supervisor by phone of impending weather condition. If the building is not designated as a storm shelter, the building supervisor will evacuate the building of all persons to the designated storm shelter. Upon receiving notification of a tornado the resident hall supervisor should notify students of the weather condition.
  2. Tornado Warning--The building supervisors will relocate faculty/staff/students to areas offering the greatest resistance to tornadoes, preferably lowest levels in each building in the hall areas away from windows, glass, etc…SKETCHES OF BEST AREAS OF PROTECTION IS POSTED ON THE BUILDINGS SAFETY BULLETIN BOARD. Follow sketches for best area of protection to relocate students to safest area in building.


  1. Public Warning Signal--a five-minute steady blast of the emergency preparedness siren is activated. The signal may be repeated as necessary.
  2. The emergency receiver should be monitored constantly.
  3. Residents should proceed to lowest floor of the building. Avoid windows, lobbies or other areas that have wide free spans overhead. Women residents should gather in first floor bathrooms. Residents of male dormitories should proceed to ground floor and gather in the center of the suite, which is the bathroom facility
  4. If warning comes at night or early morning hours, residence hall personnel should awaken
    everyone to ensure that each student is aware of the warning.


  1. Students should be moved from upper floors to first floor.
  2. Get into the innermost portions of the building with the shortest span.
  3. Avoid windows and glass doorways.
  4. Do not use elevators.
  5. Do not open windows.
  6. Get into the inside hallways and close the doors to the outside rooms.
  7. Building occupants should be seated on the floor with their backs to corridor walls. Coats and jackets, when available, could be used to cover heads, arms and legs, so as to reduce the injuries from flying debris. Protect your head and yourself by making as small a target as possible by crouching down.
  8. Keep away from the ends of the hallways.

There is no guaranteed safe place during a tornado. Do not exit the building. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY. Designated safe areas are shaded on the diagram on the emergency boards in each building. In Mississippi, tornadoes usually approach an area from the southwest and generally move in a northeasterly direction. However, in a local area the path of the tornado may be erratic. Therefore, if a tornado is sighted anywhere in an area, safety precautions should be implemented.