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Tornadoes, Hurricanes, and Other Strong Storms
Watch: A watch is the first alert issued by the National Weather Service when severe storms are possible in your area. This watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for the formation of a severe storm. Remain alert for approaching storms, however you may continue with your routine, or any other activities. Turn on a battery-operated radio to stay alert of any developments.
Warning: This warning is issued when a severe storm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a warning has been issued and the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre-designated place of safety. Turn on a battery-operated radio and wait for further instructions.
The best protection is an underground shelter or basement, or a substantial steel-framed or reinforced concrete building. (If none is available, take refuge in other parts as indicated below.)
In any facility always go to the lowest floor possible.
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.)
Stay away from windows to avoid flying debris.
If you are outside in open country, drive away from the tornado’s path, at a right angle to it. If there is not 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.
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.
The large brick buildings on this University campus are of reinforced construction and should provide adequate shelter. If in a smaller facility go to the basement or to the nearest brick-frame facility.
AVOID AUDITORIUMS AND GYMNASIUMS or large metal buildings with large, poorly supported roofs.
OFFICE BUILDINGS – Go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor or to a designated shelter area. Stay away from windows.
Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch Flooding is possible within the designated area – be alert and ready to evacuate if so informed.
Flood Warning or Flash Flood Warning Flooding is occurring, or is imminent, in the designated area. Take necessary precautions at once. Depending on how close you are to the designated area you should act quickly. You may only have minutes or a few seconds.
Urban and Small Stream Flooding Flooding of small streams, streets, and low-lying areas, such as at railroad underpasses and in urban storm drains is occurring within the designated area. You should act quickly and move to higher ground.
Listen to the radio or watch television weather broadcasts to keep appraised of weather watches or warnings.
Listen to National Weather Service/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) radio broadcasts if a weather radio is available.
Go online to track the storm and be aware of weather alerts/warnings at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr
If a flood watch or warning occurs for the area you are in, move to higher ground immediately. Do not delay if a warning is posted.
If you are in a campus building that begins to flood, notify University Police immediately at Ext. 36222 or 410-543-6222, then leave the building for a facility that is not flooding.
When traveling DO NOT drive through flooded roadways. Remember a relatively small amount of running water can sweep your car downstream. The depth of the water is not always obvious.
If a vehicle stalls in water, leave the vehicle immediately and move to higher ground.
Be extra cautious when driving at night, for it is more difficult to recognize flood signs or water depth.
During heavy rains or flood alerts, etc., do not park a vehicle near streams, rivers, or known flash flood areas.
If caught outdoors, climb to high ground and stay there.
DO NOT walk through or drink floodwater. Floodwater may contain fecal and other toxic matter from sewage, industrial chemicals, agricultural by-products and others sources. If you must come into contact with floodwater wash with soap and clean water as soon as possible after the contact.
If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
After The Flood
Do not walk near flooded areas, buildings, etc., unseen dangers such as submerged electrical lines may be present.
Be aware of abnormal animal activity, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into the area. Animals can be disoriented, defensive, or carry rabies.
If walking into a building that has water damage be aware of loose plaster on ceilings, unstable door jams and floors, or walls that can cave in.
Be aware of broken or leaking gas lines, electrical lines, flammable materials, and explosive materials that have been carried down from another area.
Do not eat any food including canned goods that have come in contact with floodwaters.
Be aware of cracked or damaged building foundations prior to entering a building.
Notify University Police of any hazardous situation you observe at Ext. 36222 or 410-543-6222.
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