Tornado Safety    

During a tornado sighting or warning of a strong possibility of a tornado, the tornado horns will sound. Upon hearing this sound, all individuals, regardless of what they are doing, should immediately take shelter and remain in that sheltered area until they are advised by Security personnel or their Residence Hall Advisors to return to their activities. At this time, there is no county-wide “All Clear” signal.  Contact Security, Ext. 1115 or 641-472-1115, for developments during severe weather.  Do not tie up city or county emergency lines (911 or the Law Center phones) for information about storms in progress.  

A “Tornado Warning” will be accompanied by the tornado horn. This signal will tell you a tornado has been sighted in our area, or extremely high winds are prominent, or we are in the direct path of a tornado which may not yet be visible.

A “Tornado Watch,” NOT signaled by a tornado siren or horn, means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur (the combination of temperature, warm and cold fronts, upper-level winds, etc.).

What to Do in Case of a Tornado Warning

    If you are outside on foot or in a vehicle, seek shelter in the nearest building. Do not try to outrun the tornado with your vehicle.

    Once in the building, proceed immediately to the lowest level of your building and assemble along an interior wall, well away from doors and windows. If a windowless room is not available, get underneath a table or similar structure.

    If you are not near a building, seek shelter in a ravine or ditch. Much of the danger during a tornado comes from flying debris, and being below ground level helps minimize this danger. In open country, lie flat in the nearest depression with your hands shielding your head. Be alert for flash floods.

    Once against the protective wall, wait for further instructions.

    Never go out of doors during a tornado warning.

    In shopping centers, go to a designated shelter area (not to your parked car).

Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable during strong winds and should be evacuated when strong winds are forecast. The Utopia Park Office issues tornado safety guidelines to its residents.

Tornado Drills

You’ll hear the tornado siren at about 10:00 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month from April to October.  These are county-wide tornado drills conducted by Jefferson County Civil Defense.

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