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20.04 / Tornado Warnings

Purpose:
To provide policy guidance regarding university activities during tornado warnings.

Policy Statement:
It is the policy of Wichita State University that all classes (including examination, lectures, and laboratories in progress) and activities on campus will be officially suspended when the City of Wichita is included in an officially declared tornado warning. Faculty, staff, students and visitors shall be instructed to seek appropriate shelter for the duration of the warning.

Definitions:
An officially declared tornado warning is defined as notification that the City of Wichita (or all of Sedgwick County) is included in the warning area as confirmed by the National Weather service via a weather alert radio, AM/FM radio, an Emergency Building Coordinator, or the University Police Department.

An Emergency Building Coordinator is one or more persons per building on campus designated as such by a budget officer or budget review officer. The coordinator has the authority to instruct persons in the building to take shelter and direct them to the appropriate location.

Procedures:
The first indication of a tornado warning is frequently made by radio or civil preparedness sirens. Persons who are not able to confirm whether the Wichita area is included in the tornado warning by one of the means outlined above should proceed immediately to shelter upon hearing the sirens. The University would rather have faculty, staff and students disrupt current activities than take any chances.

Emergency Building Coordinators will post signs on building entrance doors to notify persons arriving on campus to take shelter. University Relations will issue public statements indicating classes and events have been suspended during periods of time the City of Wichita is included in the tornado warning area.

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