Kent State to Participate in Statewide Tornado Drill on Wednesday, March 22

Ohio is conducting a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, March 22, at 9:50 a.m. Kent State University will be participating in this test, along with the city of Kent and other communities. Kent State tests the tornado and emergency mass notification system on the first Wednesday of every month at 11 a.m. and on the third Wednesday at 4 p.m. These tests last for three minutes. This statewide test will replace the usual 11 a.m. test in March.

Peak tornado season in Ohio is generally April through July. Tornadoes usually occur between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m., although they can occur at other times and throughout the year. Every building on campus has a designated tornado shelter, and members of the university community are asked to become familiar with their location. Experts agree that the best options are to go to an underground shelter, basement or safe room. If no underground shelter or safe room is available, the safest alternative is a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building, such as an interior bathroom.

“If you find yourself outdoors or in a vehicle when a tornado is approaching, and you are unable to get to a safe shelter, you must take action quickly,” advised Bill Buckbee, assistant director of public safety – emergency and special services and assistant chief of police at Kent State. “You are at risk from a number of things outside your control, such as the strength and path of the tornado and the flying debris from your surroundings. You are at risk whether you choose to stay in your vehicle or seek shelter in a depression or ditch. Both are considered last-resort options that provide little protection.”

Review list of Kent State’s tornado shelter locations