Severe weather situations can be intimidating. Here we try to provide you with essential information to prepare you for such situations. For more information on severe weather and other emergency procedures, head over to Emergency Planning and Preparedness website.
In the Event of a Tornado Warning
- Lincoln/Lancaster County Emergency Management will activate emergency sirens upon confirmation of a tornado. All University personnel are directed to seek shelter upon activation of the sirens. It is not safe to leave the shelter until local radio and television stations announce that the warning has expired.
- Where available, the University may provide supplemental notification of Lincoln/Lancaster County Emergency Management tornado warnings through one of the following methods:
- Amplified voice announcements over the public address system.
- UNL Alert
- Other approved devices
- Move quickly to the tornado shelters in University buildings listed on posters near elevators and entrances.
- Do not use elevators.
- Stay away from windows
- If a tornado strikes, help avoid telephone overloads. Do not use telephones (including cell phones) except for emergency.
- Seek indoor shelter if possible.
- Parked motor vehicles are unsafe. Seek indoor shelter.
- If an indoor shelter is not available and there is not time for escape, lie flat in a ditch or low spot.
- If you are on flat ground and are caught in the path of a tornado, always move at right angles to its path.
Severe Weather FAQ
A. Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form. Be alert to weather conditions and announcements. Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or radar indicates rotation in the clouds. Lancaster County Emergency Management and the University will sound tornado sirens when a tornado has been spotted on the ground.
A. The National Weather Service will issue a tornado watch. Watch announcements will be broadcasted through the television and radio announcements. When a watch has been issued, pay close attention to these broadcast signals and anticipate the possibility of severe weather.
A. The National Weather Service will issue a tornado warning when conditions or radar indicate the possibility of a tornado. Lancaster County Emergency Management will sound tornado sirens and the University will activate internal notification systems on confirmation of a tornado.
A. Lancaster County Emergency Management relies on trained spotters and their procedures call for activation of the civil defense sirens only when a tornado has been spotted on the ground. This criterion is intended to limit “false” alarms and provide residents at least 5 minutes to seek shelter. So when the sirens are sounded in the city and on the University campuses, the warning should be taken seriously.
A. A warning is issued for a specific time frame. Local radio and television stations typically announce that the warning has expired or been extended.
A. The state of Nebraska tests the tornado alarm systems at a specific designated time each year in early spring.
A. Yes, all faculty, staff and students are asked to participate in the annual statewide test to familiarize themselves with the locations of their designated shelters and the procedures to follow if UNL is struck by a tornado.
A. Lincoln/Lancaster County Emergency Management will test all tornado-warning systems on the first Wednesday of each month at approximately 10:15 a.m. The test will end within 5 minutes. You do not need to seek shelter during these outdoor siren tests. Tests will not be conducted when there is a threat of severe weather or temperatures are below freezing.
A. Some buildings will hear a recorded voice message. Other buildings will hear the voice of a UNL operator.