Severe Weather preparation
As of July 2008, the University of Dubuque is one of only FOUR colleges or universities in the State of Iowa that has earned the "STORM READY" designation from the National Weather Service. This program requires that multiple plans and procedures be in place at our University so that we are prepared for severe weather. These plans must include several methods to receive severe weather broadcasts of watches and warnings, multiple means to communicate those watches and warnings to persons on campus, as well as having designated severe weather shelter areas.
- We currently have 45 National Weather Service Emergency Weather Radios on each floor of every administration and classroom building.
- We have Emergency Weather Radios in every residence hall.
- Every campus building has signs directing occupants to designated severe weather shelter areas.
- We have National Weather Service trained "Severe Weather Spotters" on staff. They have 24 hour phone contact with the Weather Service Office.
- The University has an Emergency Notification System that can make notification via Internet, Telephone, Cell Phone, and E-Mail.
- Severe weather training is offered to every faculty, staff, and student on a yearly basis.
We feel we are very well prepared.
Strong thunderstorms and tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, but are most common in the United States. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide. An average of 80 deaths and more than 1,500 people are reported injured in the U.S. every year. A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of widespread destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more.
Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3PM and 9 PM, but have occurred during all hours of the day and night. The "average" tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes can move in any direction. The average forward speed for a tornado is 30 mph, but can vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph.
In 2008, the State of Iowa had 105 confirmed tornados, the 2nd highest count in recorded history. Due to the La Nina weather system that is currently controlling our weather, the NWS expects this severe weather pattern to continue.
Please be aware of the following types of severe weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service:
A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH: Severe thunderstorms are possible in your area. Thunderstorms are defined as severe if they produce winds in excess of 58 mph, and/or produce hail one inch in diameter or larger.
A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING: Severe thunderstorms are occurring, or imminent. Keep in mind that tornadoes occasionally develop in areas where severe thunderstorm watches or warnings are in effect. Remain alert to signs of an approaching tornado and seek shelter if threatening conditions exist.
A TORNADO WATCH: Tornadoes are possible in the area. Remain alert for approaching storms. Be prepared to move to a safe location.
A TORNADO WARNING: A tornado has been sighted, or is imminent. If a tornado warning has been issued for your area, move to your pre-designated place of safety.
If you are on campus when a tornado warning has been issued, you should move to the lower level of whatever building you are in. DO NOT go outside to check the weather. If an underground area is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor. Crouch down against a wall or get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Auditoriums, gymnasiums, and other structures with high, wide-span roofs do not offer good protection. Stay away from windows and exterior doors.
If you are outdoors, DO NOT attempt to outrun a tornado in a bus, truck, or car; instead, abandon it for a strong building. If you are on the road, remember that overpasses offer little protection from tornadoes and should not be used as shelters. If caught in the open, take cover in a ditch or low spot. Remember, this will not provide the same protection as a sturdy building. 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. (Source: national Weather Service)
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO REVIEW THE BELOW LIST OF SEVERE WEATHER SHELTER AREAS ON CAMPUS.
BE PREPARED! HAVE A PLAN!
SEVERE WEATHER LOCATIONS FOR UD BUILDINGS
1. UNIVERSITY SCIENCE CENTER
Go to the lowest level-center of main building. Keep all classroom doors closed.
2. PETERS COMMMONS
Go to the lower level-hallway near post office and in restrooms. Stay away from all windows.
3. SEVERANCE HALL
If time allows, proceed to the lowest level of Van Vliet Hall. If time does not allow,proceed to the stairwells on either side of the building
4. MYERS LIBRARY
Go to the lower level-near the elevator
5. MYERS CENTER
Go to the lower level in the rear of the building near the mechanical rooms at the base of the steps.
6. BLADES HALL
Go to the lower level hallway near the elevator
7. ALUMNI HALL
Evacuate if possible to lower level of Blades Hall.
If time does not permit, move to the south portion of the room away from all windows.
8. DUNLAP TECHNOLOGY CENTER
Evacuate to Blades Hall, lower level if time permits.
If time does not allow, use both the men's and women's restrooms on the main floor
9. STOLTZ SPORTS CENTER AND McCORMICK GYMNASIUM
Go to the lower level of Stoltz, near the racquetball courts and the Knox Coit room
10. SMITH HALL
Go to the lower level hallway between room 104 and 108 (stay between hallway doors)
11. VAN VLIET HALL
Go to the lower level (keep all hall office doors closed)
12. MAINTENANCE BUILDING
Proceed to the lower level bathroom.
13. UD FLIGHT OPERATIONS CENTER, DUBUQUE REGIONAL AIRPORT
All faculty, staff, students and visitors that are at the airport at the time of a severe weather warning for a tornado have two options:
1. If time allows, proceed to the bathrooms in the airport terminal building.
2. If time does not permit, proceed to the bathrooms in the main administrative building, just down the hall from the flight dispatch desk.
14. POTTERVELD APARTMENTS
In each building, proceed to lower level, near washers and dryers.
15. UNIVERSITY PARK VILLAGE
In each building, proceed to the lower level laundry or storage room.
16. SEMINARY VILLAGE
In each building or apartment, proceed to the basement, keeping away from windows.
17. CASSAT HALL
Proceed to lower level hallway staying away from all windows.
18. DONNELL HALL
Proceed to lower level hallway staying away from all windows.
19. AITCHISON HALL
Proceed to lower level, to either side of the RA office staying away from main entrance windows. You could also use the men's restroom across from the RA office. West wing residents should use the hall just prior to the bottom of the steps
20. CHLAPATY RECREATION & WELLNESS CENTER
Lower level locker rooms, storage rooms, and mechanical rooms if necessary
21. MERCER-BIRMINGHAM HALL
Proceed to the basement, make sure you stay away from any windows. Get under any sturdy furniture you may find.
22. University owned houses used as residences
Proceed to the basement of these units. If you do no have access to the basement, if time permits, proceed to the lower level of Smith Hall for shelter.
For more information or if you would be interested in a free service that will send a text message to your cell phone advising you of any severe weather watches/warnings in your area, please contact the Compliance Office at 563.589.3808.