When the wind blows…

Spring is time for a fresh look at campus safety in severe weather

| Author: ​Jeff Johnston

Any time of day, any time of year.

That’s when tornadoes and other severe weather can strike.

And that’s a key message of Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 24-30, as Jon Kujat, Central Michigan University's manager of risk management, environmental health and safety, and emergency management, encourages the campus community to prepare for severe weather events.

Tornadoes are especially common during the late spring and early summer and can devastate buildings and property in seconds. The average lead time for warning of a tornado is 10-15 minutes, which is why students, faculty and staff are encouraged to prepare and plan before a tornado strikes.

University preparedness plans and notification mechanisms include:

  • An emergency action plan for each building on campus that includes procedures for tornadoes and other emergencies.
  • Status as a storm-ready facility.
  • NOAA weather radios are located throughout campus, usually in building coordinators’ offices.
  • Floor plans showing tornado shelters for every floor and every building on the main campus and Global Campus sites in Michigan.
  • Central Alert emergency notification system.
  • Exterior warning sirens (not intended to be heard inside of buildings).

More information is available on CMU’s emergency management webpage, the Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, the National Weather Service and Michigan State Police.

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