Severe Weather

Severe Weather Procedures

Designated Safety Areas, All Campuses

Emergency Closing Procedure


    (Click for current radar conditions)


Severe weather safety at Grand Valley State University involves a variety of measures aimed at pre-planning. GVSU's plan focuses on early and quick warning to alert the faculty, staff, students, and visitors of our campuses. Residence Life, the Safety Office, numerous academic departments and the Pew Campus Security Department have all worked cooperatively so that when severe weather strikes, the University is prepared for safe, orderly sheltering. Posting of designated shelter locations, training programs for resident assistants and building contact persons, twice a year reminders, and the monthly testing of warning sirens have contributed to a high level of preparedness for our University.


Early Warning

Many offices on campus use the NOAA weather radio to provide immediate notification of storms in the vicinity. The weather radio instantly informs various departments of watches or warnings issued for the county. Our dispatch center also monitors local emergency services and media for up-to-the-minute information when weather becomes a threat.


Tornado Notification

Tornado sirens will activate when a tornado warning has been issued, and in some cases when there are extreme straight line winds. If the siren is sounding, it should be your indication to seek shelter immediately. Each campus is within reach of tornado warning sirens. Their main function is to alert people outside. They may not be heard inside most buildings. The verbal notification of a Tornado Warnings is dependant on what campus you are on and what building you are in. Some buildings use intercoms in hallways and classrooms. Most others use a combination of University personnel making verbal notifications using both portable radio and phone contact.


University Operations

Classes are only interrupted for tornado warnings.
    
     Thunderstorm Watch:

  •      University operations continue as normal
  •      You should monitor the weather
  •      Be prepared for changing conditions

   
     Thunderstorm Warning:

  •     University operations continue as normal
  •     Call List is initiated by Campus Safety (campus specific)
  •     You should monitor the weather
  •     Be prepared for changing conditions
  •     Some outdoor athletic and intramural events will be cancelled


     Tornado Watch:

  •      University operations continue as normal
  •      Call List is initiated by Campus Safety (campus specific)
  •      You should monitor the weather
  •      Be prepared for changing conditions

    
     Tornado Warning:

  •      All University operations are suspended until the event has passed
  •      Call List is initiated by Campus Safety (campus specific)
  •      Sirens are activated
  •      You should seek shelter immediately

Your Responsibilities

During severe storms it is important for you to be aware of changing weather conditions so that you will know when severe weather may affect you. One of the easiest ways to do this is to listen to local radio stations that give periodic weather bulletins during severe weather. Any of the major television networks will also provide up-to-date coverage. The Internet contains numerous local weather sites.

 

Page last modified November 11, 2014