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 Tornado 

 

SPOTLIGHT

Introduction
In the event of a tornado warning for the Slippery Rock area an e-2 campus alert and other notifications will be activated.

Tornado Facts
• A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
• Tornadoes are capable of destroying dorms, homes, other structures, vehicles and can cause fatalities.
• Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel. The average tornado moves SW to NE but have been known to move in any direction.

Note:                                                                                                          
It is crucial that all personnel know and understand their roles and responsibilities in the event of a tornado. Slippery Rock University is especially vulnerable to the typical tornado moving SW to NE, with most storms entering the SRU campus from the S to SW. The significance of this pattern lies in the fact that all SRU residence halls, along with the Rock Apartments, rest on this SW to NE path. 

• The average forward speed is 30 mph but may vary from stationary to 70 mph and have rotating winds in excess of 250 mph.
• Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
• Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.

Where and When they can Occur
• Tornadoes can occur at any time of year.
• Tornadoes have occurred in every state, but they are most frequent east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
• In the southern states, peak tornado occurrence is March through May, while peak months in the northern states are during the late spring and early summer.
• Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 and 9 p.m. but can happen at any time.

Danger Signs
Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that an advance warning may not be possible.
Look out for:
• Dark, often greenish sky
• Large hail
• Wall cloud
• Loud roar, similar to a freight train
Caution:
• Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others.
• Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still.
• A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible.
• Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

Definitions
Tornado Watch:
A tornado watch is the first alert issued by the National Weather Service when tornadoes are possible in your area. This watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado. This specifies the potentially targeted area(s) and the time frame during which the formation of a tornado is possible. Remain alert for approaching storms, however you may continue with your routine or any activities. Turn on a battery-operated radio to stay alert of any developments.
Tornado Warning:
This warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. This warning will provide the location, time of detection, area of vulnerability, and the time period that the tornado will pass through. If a tornado warning has been issued and the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre-designated place of safety. If you actually see a tornado funnel, move to the nearest shelter immediately. Turn on a battery-operated radio and wait for further instructions.

Safety Procedures
1) The best protection is an underground shelter or basement, or a substantial steel-framed or reinforced concrete building. (If none are available, take refuge in other parts as indicated below.)
2) In any facility always go to the lowest floor possible.
3) If your residence has no basement, take cover under heavy furniture on the ground floor in the center of the building, or in a small room on the ground floor that is away from outside walls and windows. (As a last resort, go outside to a nearby ditch, excavation, culvert or ravine.)
4) Stay away from windows to avoid flying debris.
5) If you are outside in open country, drive away from the tornado’s path, at a right angle to it. If there isn’t time to do this – or if you are walking – take cover and lie flat in the nearest depression, such as a ditch, culvert, excavation or ravine.
6) SCHOOLS – If the school building is a good steel framed or a reinforced concrete building, stay inside away from the windows and remain near an inside wall on the lower floors, if possible.
7) The large brick buildings on the Slippery Rock University campus are of reinforced construction and should provide adequate shelter. If in a smaller facility go to the basement or nearest brick facility.
8) AVOID AUDITORIUMS AND GYMNASIUMS or large metal buildings with large, poorly supported roofs.
9) OFFICE BUILDINGS – Go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor or to a designated shelter area. Stay away from windows.

Emergency Warnings
Emergency Evacuation:

Three (3) 15-second blasts

All-Clear:

One (1) 30-second steady blast


The following warnings are also in place in the surrounding area:
Slippery Rock Fire Siren – Three (3) 1-minute steady blasts. This will be 
repeated by local media sources.
Grove City – No sirens. All warnings are by local media sources.
Butler – No sirens. All warnings are by local media sources.

For people living in other areas not mentioned, please