Severe Weather and Tornados

Procedures during a severe weather watch

If the National Weather Service issues a watch, we receive it on all weather alert radio systems on campus. 

Procedures for the building coordinator

After the alert, each building coordinator handles notifying all departments, staff and faculty. The building coordinator should follow these instructions for notifying others: 

  • Tell others the university is under a tornado/severe weather watch. 
  • Inform when the watch expires. 
  • If you hear the weather radio or outside sirens for a tornado warning, go to the nearest shelter. 

Evening classes remain in session unless there is a tornado or severe weather warning. 

Procedures during a tornado warning

If National Weather Service issues a siren, go to the nearest shelter in your building. Move quickly and cooperate with those in charge.  

If you are outside, immediately go to the nearest building and shelter area. If you are in a residence hall, follow their severe weather guidelines. Stay in the shelter until the warning is over. You will get a Missouri State Alert when the warning expires. 

If you cannot reach shelter, lie flat in a ditch or depression. Avoid areas subject to flooding. 

Procedures for faculty 

  • Direct occupants to move quick and orderly to the nearest shelter area in the building. 
  • Instruct occupants not to leave the building. 
  • Turn off all lights and electronic equipment in the room. 
  • Provide help to those with disabilities. 
  • Go with occupants to the nearest designated shelter area in the building. 

Places not to use as shelter 

  • All outside walls, elevators, and windows of buildings. 
  • Low-lying areas that could flood. 
  • Vehicles 
  • Building areas with a large roof span 
    • Main arenas in Hammons Student Center 
    • McDonald Arena 
    • Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts


To provide faculty, staff and students with procedures following a tornado watch, severe weather watch or warning from the National Weather Service. 


To minimize personal injury, loss of life and property damage through proactive measures. 


  • Ensure senior administrators and employees, within their area, read and receive direction to follow this plan. 
  • Give attention to new and temporary employees to ensure instruction is understood.  
  • Instruct each temporary employee to contact the building coordinator in their building for shelter location information.