Tornado / Severe Weather Guidelines

Each year tornadoes kill or injure hundreds of people. Thousands of homes and other buildings are destroyed by this weather phenomenon. A tornado is a severe storm. The winds of a tornado spiral around a wide funnel at speeds sometimes greater than 200 miles an hour. The peak tornado season in Ohio runs from April through June.

The Department of Residence Services, along with the entire university community, has developed notification and emergency procedures in the event of severe weather or tornadoes. Residents should familiarize themselves with the following information.

Tornado / Severe Weather Watches

When a watch has been issued, conditions are right for a tornado to develop. Be prepared to take shelter, and keep informed on the latest storm conditions. Resident assistants and other staff members will post "Tornado Watch" notices in conspicuous areas of the resident halls and use other mediums the community has established to notify students/for community announcements.

Tornado Warnings

Tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted and confirmed in the area. Notification will be provided through the use of emergency warning sirens. These sirens are tested at 11 a.m. on the first Wednesday of every month and at 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month; if the siren sounds outside of these times, take cover immediately. Be familiar with the list of safe places to take shelter in the event of a tornado, located below. Students should take shoes and blankets with them to the shelter areas.

During a tornado warning, students must always use the stairways rather than elevators; in the event of power failure, elevators could stop between floors. In addition, if there is strong enough wind, which could break glass in stairwells, students must return to the closest corridor (inside walls, away from glass) and protect themselves from flying debris.

When the emergency warning siren activates, everyone should seek shelter and remain in the shelter until at least twenty (20) minutes after the last siren has ceased. The siren does not give an “all clear” signal. After twenty minutes has expired since the last siren, it is reasonable to believe that normal activities can resume. To avoid phone traffic during this time, please avoid contacting the Kent State University Police Department for verification of the emergency indicated by the siren. However, if possible, tune your radio to WNIR (100.1 on your FM dial) or WKSU (89.7 on your FM dial). These stations will provide you with the following information: (1) the type of emergency, (2) location of emergency, (3) what you should do, (4) where you should go, and (5) when the emergency is over.

Shelter Locations

  • Beall/McDowell – First floor hallways and bathrooms
  • Centennial Court A – F – First floor hallways
  • Dunbar/Prentice – First floor hallways
  • Engleman – Ground floor hallways and restrooms
  • Eastway – First floor hallways and restrooms
  • Lake/Olson – First floor hallways
  • Koonce – Basement hallways
  • Korb – Basement hallways
  • Leebrick – Basement hallways
  • Stopher/Johnson – Basement hallways
  • Van Campen – Basement (first floor) hallways
  • Verder – Second floor hallways
  • Wright – Basement hallways