Policy 39

Designated Shelter Areas List



(Revised 7/14/10) 



These procedures have been developed in order to protect the University community during periods of severe weather that could produce tornadoes. The program also describes the telephone call system that will be used to provide notification of tornado watches to all departments and buildings and to provide tornado warning notification to buildings that lack public address systems. All University personnel must know what to do when a tornado watch or tornado warning is issued. 


Tornado Watch:Weather conditions are favorable for the development of tornados.

Tornado Warning: Funnel clouds sighted in, or moving toward Kenosha County.

Warning Siren: Device used to announce a tornado warning and indicate that people should seek shelter immediately. During a tornado warning the siren will sound with a continuous solid tone for three to five minutes and then turn off. Any siren activation for less than approximately 3 minutes is not a tornado warning. Kenosha County tests its warning sirens on the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m. Such tests are of less than one minute. Warning sirens are never used as an "All Clear Signal."

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio: This life-saving technology broadcasts weather forecasts and travel conditions, storm warnings, and alerts affecting life and safety on a 24/7 basis - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The system is operated by the National Weather Service (NWS) which is a division of NOAA. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts are localized using over 600 special VHF transmitters in all 50 states. The NOAA frequencies are in the VHF radio spectrum and must be monitored by special receivers like the All Hazards/Weather Emergency Alert radios. These broadcasts can be received up to 40-50 miles from a NOAA transmitter. Weather Radios are located in the administration area of Wyllie, the police department in Tallent Hall, the Student Activities Center, Facilities Management, the Student Health and Counseling Center, the Child Care Center and Ranger Hall.

Emergency Notification System (ENS): The University has developed an ENS using several communication methods. Depending upon the emergency, University Police and Public Safety (UPPS) may use automated dialing phone calls, text messages, e-mails, computer pop ups, special web pages, building announcements or a combination of them to contact the university community. Specific procedures have been prepared for police dispatch to use to activate the ENS.


The NWS monitors severe weather nationwide from its Kansas City office. The NWS-Kansas City is the only entity that can issue a tornado watch. NWS-Kansas City, NWS-Milwaukee/Sullivan, or Kenosha County Emergency Services may issue tornado warnings. Generally, tornado watches precede tornado warnings. However it's possible for tornado warnings to be issued without a prior tornado watch.

Tornado watches and warnings are relayed from the NWS to law enforcement agencies and local emergency management agencies. Once UPPS receives a watch or warning it will activate the ENS and directly notify critical areas such as the Child Care Center.

During a tornado watch, UPPS will monitor weather conditions while the university community (faculty/staff/students/visitors) should be prepared to go to the nearest tornado shelter (see Appendix A.) In the event of a tornado warning, all members of the university community must proceed immediately to the nearest tornado shelter and remain until an all clear has been announced by UPPS.

Unless a tornado watch is extended or upgraded to a warning, UPPS will make no further notifications. If a tornado watch is extended or upgraded to a warning, UPPS will again activate the ENS, and directly notify the campus community with the automated messaging systems.

When a tornado warning is issued, the county government will activate the warning siren located near the Sports and Activities Center (SAC). UPPS dispatch will contact all buildings except the main complex. A police officer will make a tornado warning announcement through the emergency announcement system in the main complex. All University personnel, students and visitors must go immediately to the nearest tornado shelter. When a tornado warning is canceled, UPPS will notify the university community by the emergency announcement systems and by going directly to tornado shelters and making an announcement.



The following procedures have been established when a tornado watch has been announced. These procedures will be used during and after hours and on weekends.

a. UPPS-Dispatch

When a tornado watch is issued, the UPPS dispatcher will send the message below to all faculty and staff via e-mail and to all department administrative offices phones and mobile phones used by Residence Life and shuttle bus drivers using the ENS. A yellow banner with the message below will also be placed on the UWP web site.


Alert! A tornado watch is in effect for Kenosha County until (time). Be alert for weather updates and be prepared to seek shelter.

b. Academic and Administrative Units

Once the emergency message has been initiated by UPPS, academic and administrative units will continue the notification procedure by contacting the personnel in their area and advising them a tornado watch has been issued.

c. Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff are to notify students or visitors in their areas of the tornado watch. Faculty and staff should also listen for the warning siren or tune in to local radio stations, and be prepared to go to the nearest tornado shelter. (See Appendix A.)  


When a tornado warning is issued the county government will activate the emergency siren system including the siren located near the SAC. This siren is audible to most of the main campus. Upon hearing the siren, all university community shall move quickly and carefully to designated tornado shelters within their building.

The siren may not be audible throughout the entire campus or in all levels of the building and will not be perceivable by the hearing impaired. The following additional procedures shall be followed to ensure all areas and personnel have been informed of the tornado warning.

a. UPPS-Dispatch

When a tornado warning is issued, the UPPS dispatcher will send the message below to all faculty, staff and students using department administrative office phones, Residence Life and shuttle bus driver mobile phones, faculty/staff and student mobile phones, e-mail, computer screen pop ups, and the UWP web site banner using the ENS:


Emergency! Tornado Warning issued for Kenosha County until (time). SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.

After activating the ENS, the dispatcher will make an all locations announcement to the emergency call boxes. The following announcement shall be made over the call box speakers:


"This is University Police. A tornado warning is in effect. Please seek shelter immediately. Repeat, a tornado warning is in effect. Seek shelter immediately."  

b. Administration/SAC/Ranger Hall/Pike River Suites/Tallent Hall

Any available person in these areas that has received training will make a public announcement inside these buildings using the emergency announcement systems to make the tornado warning message below:


A tornado warning has been issued for Kenosha County until ____(time). Seek shelter immediately away from windows and doors.

c. University Police Officers

Officers will make a quick check of athletic fields and parking lots advising people to move indoors. Officers will assist people in finding shelters.

d. Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff that have received the emergency message are to notify other faculty and staff and students, visitors and hearing impaired in their areas of the tornado warning. Faculty and staff are to direct and assist students and visitors to the nearest tornado shelter. (See Appendix A.) All personnel are to remain in the tornado shelter until notified by university police that it is safe to leave.


When you receive word of a tornado warning for your area, you should take immediate shelter. Seek inside shelter if possible. If you are in the open, move away from a tornado's path at a right angle. If there is not time to escape, lie flat in the nearest depression, such as a ditch or ravine. In buildings with basements, seek refuge near the basement wall in the most sheltered and deepest below ground part of the basement. Additional protection is afforded by taking cover under heavy furniture or a workbench. If there is no basement, seek out an interior room or closet, away from possible flying glass.

Avoid hallways with outside entrances at both ends as they can become dangerous "wind tunnels" if the doors are blown open. It's wise to get down on knees and elbows, with hands shielding the head.  



Animal Care/GreenhouseRestroom (Room 114)
Child Care Center Bathrooms
Communication Arts/RITAD2 Level
Greenquist HallD2 Level
Molinaro HallD2 Level
Student Health and Counseling CenterCenter of building rooms 106 & 108
Sports and Activities Center First floor locker rooms
Facilities ManagementFirst floor, center of building
Heating/Chilling PlantD2, steam tunnel entrance
University Apartments Bathrooms
Ranger Hall Bathrooms
Old RSDS building Under any sturdy furniture on the lower level
Pike River SuitesBathrooms
Student Center D2 Level
Tallent HallFirst floor center of building, or restrooms
University HouseBasement
Wyllie HallD2 Level


Scroll to top