Tornado on Campus


Storm Shelters

link here to storm shelter locations


Tornado Brochure

link here to Tornado Tri-fold brochure

Emergency Actions 

  • Use a weather alert radio, radio or television weather channel to monitor the approach and severity of the weather:

    • Tornado Watch means weather conditions are favorable to the formation of tornadoes

    • Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted in the area

  • If the Weather Service issues a severe weather or tornado warning for the Tarrant County area, warn others in your immediate area.

  • Close all doors, stay away from windows and other glassed areas.

  • Move inside to a sheltered area.

  • If available, take a battery-powered radio and flashlight with you. Computers in the shelter areas can be used to monitor weather sources over the internet.

  • Remain at the shelter until  until you can determine the storm system has passed.

  • Reconvene others when the emergency is past to account for all persons.

  • If the All-Hazards sirens sound, seek shelter. Do not leave a protected area until you have determined the storm has passed.

Shelters - Best areas:

  • Basements

  • Inside walls opposite side of corridor from which storm is approaching

  • Restrooms, closets, etc. without windows

  • Interior hallways on the lowest ground floor

  • Interior rooms of a building

  • Avoid rooms with large roof spans, such as an auditorium or arena.


Become Aware

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) broadcasts weather and other all-hazards information over the NOAA Public Alert Radio. These radios are commonly referred to as NOAA weather radios or NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards. These radios can be purchased through local electronic equipment vendors.

All commercial radio stations are in constant receipt of this information and in turn broadcast the same to their listeners. Local radio stations include:

WBAP 820 - AM

KRLD 1080 - AM

KLIF 570 - AM

Additional resources for local weather information over the internet and television includes:

KXAS, NBC Channel 5

WFAA, ABC Channel 8


CBS Channels 11/21


For more weather information, the TCU Cable System provides the following sources:

Channels 5.2

KXAS Weather Channel


Channel 35

The Weather Channel


The internet can provide a variety of information through various websites. If possible use available IPhones, cellular phones, or computers to monitor weather conditions.


Outdoor Warning Sirens

The National Weather Service (NWS) issues two types of severe weather notices:

  • Watch (when conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop), and

  • Warning (meaning funnel, hail, flooding, etc. have been sited - take cover.)

Based on National Weather Service information, the Fort Worth Office of Emergency Preparedness will sound Outdoor Warning Sirens strategically placed about the city. These are to warn people of imminent danger. When these sirens are activated seek shelter inside of the closest building.

TCU has two such all-hazard sirens on campus - one by the Brown-Lupton Baseball field and one across from Tandy Hall.


Environmental Clues

Look out for:

  • Dark, often greenish sky

  • Wall cloud

  • Large Hail

  • Loud roar; similar to freight train

Caution: Some tornadoes appear as a visible funnel extending only partially to the ground. Look for signs of debris below the visible funnel.

Some tornadoes are clearly visible while others are obscured by rain or nearby low-hanging clouds.

Other Thunderstorm Hazards

These dangers often accompany thunderstorms:

  • Flash floods: Number ONE weather killer - 146 deaths annually

  • Lightning: Kills 75-100 people each year

  • Damaging Straight-Line Winds: Can reach 140 mph

  • Large Hail: Can reach the size of a grapefruit - causes several hundred million dollars in damage annually

Tornado Safety - Personal Safety, What You Can Do

Before the Storm:

  • Develop a plan for you and your family for home, work, school, and when outdoors.

  • Have frequent drills.

  • Know the county in which you live, and keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.

  • Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive warnings.

  • Listen to radio and television for information.

  • If planning trip outdoors, listen to the latest forecasts and take necessary action if threatening weather is possible.

If a Warning is issued or if threatening weather approaches:

  • In a home or building, move to the best available shelter, such as a basement.

  • If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.

  • Stay away from windows, glass lobby areas, etc.

  • Get out of automobiles.

  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately.

  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.

  • Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that advance warning is not possible. Remain alert for signs of an approaching tornado. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most deaths and injuries.

It's up to YOU!

Each year, many people are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes despite advance warning. Some did not hear the warning while others received the warning but did not believe a tornado would actually affect them.

The preparedness information given here, combined with timely severe weather watches and warnings, could save your life in the event a tornado threatens your area. After you have received the warning or observed threatening skies, YOU must make the decision to seek shelter before the storm arrives. It could be the most important decision you will ever make.


 Lightning Safety

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service  (NOAA) describes the typical thunderstorm as 15 miles in diameter and lasting an average of thirty minutes.  Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes.  Most lightning casualties occur in the afternoon and the early evening.  In recent years, people have been killed by lightning while: 

  • Playing soccer

  • Riding on a lawnmower

  • Golfing

  • Bike riding

  • Loading a truck

  • Standing under a tree

  • Talking on a telephone

MYTH:  If it is not raining, then there is no danger from lightning.

FACT:  Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far away as 10 miles from any rainfall. 

FACT:  1,000 Americans are struck by lightning each year with 100 deaths resulting from the high voltage blows. 

Remember – If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning!  Go to safe shelter immediately.

  • If caught outdoors and no shelter is nearby NOAA recommends:

  • Find a low spot away from tree, fences and poles.

  • If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.

  • If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet.  Place you hands on your knees with your head between them.  Make yourself the smallest target possible, and minimize your contact with the ground.

  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!


 last update: 4/28/10

Know What to Do 

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