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North Texas is in “Tornado Alley,” an area in which severe storms and tornados are more likely to occur.
A tornado watch means that weather conditions make a tornado more likely.
A tornado warning means that either local storm spotters have sighted a tornado or a tornado had been indicated by local radar. Once a tornado warning has been given, persons in the path should seek shelter immediately. Austin College relies on the warnings given by TV, radio and local civil defense sirens to alert the campus of severe weather. The closest is Bryan Apartments.
The best sources for weather updates are local TV and Radio Stations, and NOAA Weather Radio. NOAA Weather Radio is a continual broadcast that can be heard via police scanners (frequency #162.475), on the local cable TV radar channel, or on special pocket radios designed to receive the broadcast.
Tornados are difficult to predict and there is sometimes very little or no notice that one is about to strike. If a tornado warning situation arises, building occupants should follow the steps listed in the tornado warning.
Other severe weather situations to pay close attention to include thunderstorm and flash flood watches and warnings.
Follow These Steps if a Tornado Warning is Given
- Do NOT leave the building.
- Stay away from windows.
- Do NOT use the elevator.
- IMMEDIATELY move to the lowest level of the building. If the building has a basement that is accessible, go there. Otherwise, stay on the ground level floor. Stay in an inner room or hallway area that is isolated from glass doors and windows.
- IF A TORNADO STRIKES, do NOT go outside to survey the damage. A second tornado sometimes strikes the same area after the first one has moved through.
- Stay calm and continue to monitor local weather broadcasts until the storms are no longer a threat.
View a list of Tornado Shelter Areas in each building on campus.
Emergency Outdoor Siren
The following links are provided in order to familiarize the Austin College community of the different tones/sounds for the emergency outdoor siren in the event of severe weather/tornado or a campus lockdown. This system is checked periodically.
While generally mild, winter weather can sometimes pose hazardous conditions with ice, snow, and wind. Those on campus should exercise individual judgment regarding their ability to travel safely when the campus is open and inclement weather is in the area.
- Being a residential campus, Austin College will generally remain open. If the College cancels classes or other services at any point, notifications will be sent via email, and the College’s webpage by 6:00 a.m. Otherwise, please assume the campus is open and classes are in session.
- If the campus remains open, decisions about the need to cancel a particular class or shift it to REMOTE can be made by individual faculty. Should a faculty member cancel a class or move it to remote, they will notify their students directly.
- Students are not expected to place travel for class attendance above their own individual health and safety. Students who are unable to attend class for safety reasons should not be penalized.
- It is the student’s responsibility to contact faculty prior to missing class.
- Physical plant and campus police routinely patrol the campus. While sidewalks and hard surfaces will be sanded and salted for safety, please walk on the grass and stay safe.
Campus Closure Definitions
Extreme weather conditions like ice, tornadoes, hurricanes, and power outages might create a hazardous environment on campus. These conditions may result in:
- Campus Closure. All classes are cancelled and business operations are closed. Essential personnel should report for duty.
- Early Closing. Classes and business operations are ceased at a specified time.
- Delayed Opening. Classes and business operations are delayed opening until a specified time.
- Classes Cancelled. All classes are cancelled but business operations continue.
- Classes Delayed. All classes are delayed until a specified time but business operations continue.
- In-person Classes Go Remote. In-person classes will not be held on campus. Professors must notify their students on details for class participation this day.