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Public Safety
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Severe Weather > Tornado

 

Severe Weather

Tornado


Tornadoes can occur with little or no warning and can result from thunderstorms and hurricanes. The high winds of a tornado can cause death or serious injury due to flying objects and debris, collapsed buildings, and downed power lines.

  If tornado conditions are expected in the TC campus area, information will be broadcast to the College community via TCAlert. You should monitor TCAlert and media sources during tornado watches.

  When a Tornado Warning is received for the campus area, the TC community will be advised to seek shelter indoors through the use of the Information Boards and TCAlert. Go to an interior windowless room or hallway in the basement or on the lower floors of your building.

  Since there can be little or no warning of a tornado, you should think about possible shelter locations in the buildings in which you live, work, or visit before a storm occurs. Practice going to these locations. 

  When there is advance warning of possible tornado activity or other severe wind conditions, property and equipment not properly anchored should be moved inside a building or tied down. Close the windows.

If you outside during a tornado watch:

  Monitor information sources.  Be prepared to take shelter at any time.

  Avoid large, flat buildings with wide open interior areas such as supermarkets, shopping malls, and recreation field houses.

  Watch the sky for the signs of tornado activity: funnel shaped clouds, dark, greenish sky, large hail, and a loud roar similar to the sound of a freight train.

If you are outside during a tornado warning or see signs of tornado activity:

  Leave your vehicle or mobile home.  Seek shelter in the interior of a sturdy building or a designated tornado shelter.

  Never try to outrun a tornado. Do not take shelter under a bridge or overpass.  

  If you are caught outside and no suitable shelter is available, lie flat in a ditch or other depression and cover your head with your hands.

After the tornado passes:

  Watch out for unstable debris, broken glass, damaged structures, and downed power lines.

  Be careful when entering damaged buildings.  Do not enter those that have sustained heavy structural damage.

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