Emergency Planning and Preparedness

Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

TORNADO

1. TORNADO PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE

  • If a tornado "WATCH" is issued for your area, it means that a tornado is "possible."
  • If a tornado "WARNING" is issued, it means that a tornado has actually been spotted, or is strongly indicated on radar, and it is time to go to a safe shelter immediately.
  • Be alert to what is happening outside as well. If you see a tornado and it is not moving to the right or to the left relative to trees or power poles in the distance, it may be moving toward you!

2. TORNADO INDICATORS

  • Strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base.
  • A sickly greenish or greenish black color to the sky.
  • A strange quiet that occurs within or shortly after the thunderstorm.
  • Clouds moving by very fast, especially in a rotating pattern or converging toward one area of the sky.
  • Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base - tornadoes sometimes have no funnel!
  • Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can't be seen.
  • Day or night: Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn't fade in a few seconds like thunder.
  • Night: Small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds). These mean power lines are being snapped by very strong wind, maybe a tornado.
  • Night: Persistent lowering from the cloud base, illuminated or silhouetted by lightning - especially if it is on the ground or there is a blue-green-white power flash underneath.

3. IMMEDIATE ACTION

If a tornado or tornados are in the vicinity of the HWS campus, prepare to find shelter immediately and follow HWS EMNS notification instructions. If you have not been alerted by HWS to a tornado but you see one in the area, call 911 immediately.

  • New York averages nine (9) tornados a year with the “unofficial” tornado season extending from June through September. If you are teaching, hosting or managing any group of people, add checking the weather forecast to your preparation list and announce emergency procedures at the start of your meetings.
  • Persons with mobility concerns should seek shelter at the time of a tornado watch. DO NOT wait for a tornado warning.
  • When there is a tornado warning or you see one, take shelter immediately! A tornado WARNING means not just that a severe weather is likely but also that a tornado has actually been spotted nearby or is indicated on weather radar. Find and stay in a safe place right away.
    • REMAIN CALM. AVOID PANIC. There is no guaranteed safe place during a tornado, but you will minimize your exposure by finding shelter in the best possible location.
    • AREAS TO SEEK: Rooms and corridors in the innermost part of a building at the lowest level possible. Close all doors, including main corridors insofar as possible. Crouch near the floor or under heavy, well-supported objects and cover your head.
    • AREAS TO AVOID: Stay clear of windows, corridors with windows or large free-standing expanses such as auditoriums and cafeterias. DO NOT use elevators during a tornado warning.

4. IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTDOORS

  • Seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building.
  • If you can safely drive away from the tornado, do so.
  • If there is a sturdy structure available, go inside.
  • If no building is available, it might be better to pull over, stop the car (but leave it running so the air bags work) and crouch down below the windows. The airbags and frame of the car will offer some amount of protection, but certainly not absolute safety.
  • A long-standing safety rule has been to get out of the car and into a ditch. If you do that, you should get far enough away from the car that it doesn’t tumble onto you. Being below the prevailing ground level may shield you from some of the tornado wind and flying debris, but there is still danger from those.
  • Do not get out of a vehicle and climb up under the embankment of a bridge or overpass. This often increases your risk.
  • If you are close to the HWS campus and are injured, contact Campus Safety at (315) 781-3333 or dial 911 for assistance.

5. AFTER A TORNADO STRIKE

  • Remain calm and listen for information and instructions from emergency personnel.
  • Give first aid when appropriate. Don't try to move the seriously injured unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call Campus Safety at ext. 3333 or (315) 781-3333 or dial 911 for assistance.
  • Stay away from power lines and puddles with wires in them; they may still be carrying electricity.
  • Watch your step to avoid broken glass, nails and other sharp objects.
  • Stay out of any heavily damaged houses or buildings; they could collapse at any time.
  • Do not use matches or lighters, in case of leaking natural gas pipes or fuel tanks nearby.

Do not hesitate to contact Campus Safety if you need assistance.

  • Emergency assistance (on campus dial ext. 3333, cell phone on campus dial (315) 781-3333, off campus dial 911).
  • For non-emergency assistance dial (315) 781-3000.

Emergency Resources

Do not hesitate to contact Campus Safety if you need assistance.

  • Emergency assistance (on campus dial ext. 3333, cell phone on campus dial (315) 781-3333, off campus dial 911).
  • For non-emergency assistance dial (315) 781-3000.

Assembly Points for Building Evacuations

Emergency Management Team

The HWS Emergency Management Team is directed by leadership from the Office of Campus Safety and the Office of Campus Life in coordination with core groups from across campus, including information technology, operations, facilities and communications. The team also includes an incident response group and a policy group. The team regularly participates in trainings and drills.


Emergency Action Button

Notification

In the event it becomes necessary to notify the HWS community of an imminent emergency on campus, notification will be sent using the Everbridge Mass Notification System. Brief and immediate instructions will be given through the Everbridge system when we use it. All other non-imminent communication will be disseminated through the HWS e-mail system and via the Colleges' Twitter account.


To ensure that Everbridge has the correct contact information for emergency notification, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to update their PeopleSoft accounts.

 

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Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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