During the Alabama tornado season (generally March until November), abrupt changes in the atmosphere sometimes result in severe weather, such as heavy thunderstorms and tornados. Advance knowledge of the impending severe weather can lessen or eliminate injury and loss of life. JSU's severe weather policy is designed to provide persons on campus with an immediate warning when severe weather is imminent.
The University Police Department is equipped with a weather alert monitor, which is activated by the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) when severe weather watches and warnings are issued. Depending upon the nature of the alert, the following procedures will be followed:A. Tornado Watch
Tornado Watches are declared whenever conditions exist that are favorable to the development of tornados. (Since tornado watches are given for specific and limited periods of time, there will not be an all-clear signal given). Keep tuned to your radio, if available.
During Business Hours
- The University Police Department will receive notification of the tornado watch and notify the following areas of the meaning and duration of the alert:
- President's Office
- Vice Presidents' Offices
- Housing Office
2. Vice presidential areas will relay appropriate information through their respective networks so that personnel responsible for all areas of campus are prepared for the possibility of a tornado warning occurring.
After Regular Business Hours
The University Police Department will contact responsible personnel in occupied campus buildings (President's Home, residence Halls, Houston Cole Library, etc.) advising them of the meaning and duration of the watch.
B. Tornado Warning
Tornado Warnings are issued when a tornado has been sighted in the Calhoun County area. This policy's effectiveness in reducing the possibility of personal injury relies in part on cooperation when a tornado warning is issued.
- EMA sirens will sound a steady signal for two to three minutes.
- Building occupants should move to an appropriate area of the building in which they are located. Personnel should move to an interior area of a lower floor. Stay away from windows.
- University Police Department personnel, using mobile public address equipment, will transmit instructions to individuals outside of buildings to take shelter in the nearest available facility.
- Unless notified otherwise, tornado warnings are issued for a period of 30 minutes from the time that the siren sounds. If the siren sounds again, this indicates that the warning has been extended for another 30 minutes from the time of the subsequent sounding. If no further siren is sounded after 30 minutes the warning is over.
The University Police Department will continue to monitor the emergency weather broadcast during the warning and will provide updated information if contacted by telephone.
*The EMA sirens are tested regularly on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 4:00 p.m.
C. Severe Thunderstorm Warning
A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a thunderstorm containing winds in excess of 58 miles per hour or hail in excess of 3/4 inches has been detected moving through the area. During a severe thunderstorm, persons should be encouraged to seek shelter indoors.