Emergency Preparedness

Tornado Safety

Take a few minutes to review the information and visit the links from this page to learn more about how you can be ready for the next tornado threat at Wright State University.

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Be Wright State Ready

The National Weather Service (NWS) monitors local weather and will issue either a tornado watch—when conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur, or a tornado warning—when a tornado has been sighted. Knowing what to do when the NWS issues one of these conditions will minimize your risk of injury if you are in or near the path of a tornado.

Learning more about tornadoes and tornado safety can save lives. Visit the NOAA Online Tornado FAQ website for a summary of tornado knowledge with links to more detailed information.

Outdoor Tornado Warning Sirens

Tornado Warning sirens are intended to alert people who are outdoors to a tornado sighted in the area. The Dayton and Lake campuses have excellent siren coverage. Tornado warning sirens emit a continuous tone for three minutes every fifteen minutes that can be easily heard anywhere outdoors on either campus. The sirens are tested each month: Dayton Campus - First Monday of the month at noon; Lake Campus - First Saturday of the month at about 12:15 p.m.

NOAA Weather Alert Radios

This is a radio station for the National Weather Service. It is the fastest way to learn of when a watch and/or a warning has been issued for your area. If your office is interested in obtaining a weather radio contact Emergency Management.

Responding to a Tornado Warning and Watch

Tornado Watch

When a tornado watch is issued, pay attention to changing weather conditions. If possible, listen your weather alert radio or to a local radio station that has the NWS wire service (e.g., WMMX 107.7 FM or WHIO 1290 AM in Dayton; WKKI 94.3 FM or WCSM 1350 AM in Celina) or a local television station for further announcements. This is a good time to review where the nearest tornado shelter is located.

The average time between a tornado warning and tornado strike is 13 minutes.

Tornado Warning

When a tornado warning is issued for the area, the outdoor tornado warning sirens and the building notification system (audio message only - no strobe) will be activated. 

Do not call University Police or dial 911 - Unless you have an emergency, don't call the police department until the tornado warning has expired and the All Clear message is given.

Seek safe shelter immediately - When a tornado warning is issued, stay calm and proceed to your building's designated tornado shelter area. Remember to close doors behind you.

Assist others - Provide assistance to visitors and others who may need help finding the nearest tornado shelter.

Elevator use - If you are able, use the stairs to the tornado shelter. Keep elevators open for people with physical disabilities and their personal assistants to reach the lower levels of the buildings.

If you are outside - If you are outside and unable to get to a shelter area, locate the nearest depression such as a ditch or ravine or a culvert and be prepared to lie flat, face down, and cover your head with your hands and arms if a tornado strikes.

Tornado Shelter Guidelines

  • Move away from the entrances - When entering a shelter area, move away from the entrances to avoid congestion and allow more people to enter. Stay away from windows, glass, open stairwells, and unsecured objects.
  • Do not use stairwells as shelters - Many of our stairwells are open to public areas or have exits to the outside that make them unsafe should a tornado strike.
  • Speak quietly and listen for weather updates - Stay quiet while in the shelter and listen for announcements via the building notification system. Updates including the All Clear message may not heard when large crowds are talking in the shelter areas.
  • Be a leader - Help visitors and other people unfamiliar with these guidelines to keep safe and stay informed.
  • Remain in the shelter - Although tornado warnings typically last 15 minutes or less, they can be extended for longer periods. Remain in the tornado shelter until the All Clear message is announced via the building notification system.

Tornado Shelter Maps

Dayton Campus Tornado Shelters by Building

Lake Campus Tornado Shelters by Building

Building Off Campus Tornado Shelters