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Weather Safety

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Weather Safety

Since Oklahoma weather can be severe and difficult to predict, it is important that you know which county you are in so that you can interpret forecasts and warnings provided by the media and other sources. The University of Oklahoma Norman campus is located in Cleveland County. In the case of severe weather, watches and warnings will be announced over the intercom system in all centers. Students should be aware of their surroundings at all times by checking weather bulletins and listening for the City of Norman severe weather sirens.

For more information and maps of best available refuge areas, visit the OU Campus Safety website.

Severe weather refuge areas have been identified for each specific building. Please consult the back of your room door or placard in the elevator lobby for information specific to your floor or contact an RA.

The City of Norman maintains a citywide civil defense warning siren network that is used to signal imminent danger from tornadoes. It is a familiar sound, as it is tested every Saturday at noon year round as the weather permits.

A steady siren for three to five minutes means imminent danger. Take refuge immediately in the nearest suitable refuge space. Refuge space should be identified in advance. Refuge space information also can be found in every elevator lobby. Once the sirens sound, it is too late to seek refuge at a remote location.

An “all-clear” signal will NOT be given via the siren systems. It is urged that reliance be placed on the broadcast media for forecast information. An “all-clear” signal usually will be given on the local radio stations for any imminent danger warning disseminated by means of the City of Norman siren system (KGOU 106.3-FM, WWLS 640-AM or KNOR 1400-AM). It is urged that reliance be placed on the information disseminated by OU Emergency Preparedness University Meteorologist by checking ou.edu/emergencypreparedness/weather, like OU Emergency Preparedness on Facebook or follow @ouemergencyprep on SAFETY Twitter. Information specific to Norman campus weather situations will be found at these locations. These stations also may be used for weather advisories and updates.

In the event that the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Watch for the area (Cleveland County), on-duty Residence Life staff will initiate a pre-recorded voice announcement over the Emergency Command System making residents aware of the situation and suggesting that residents stay alert to the weather conditions by listening to local radio/television stations.

Residence Life staff will also post a watch-specific notification sign on the first floor of each residence hall building, and in elevator cars, alerting residents to stay tuned to weather conditions on TV/radio. Residence Life Staff will also monitor the NOAA Weather Radio, utilizing Specific Alert Message Encoding (SAME) programmed for the Cleveland County and Norman areas, in each center office.

Students living in University Residence Halls are advised to follow the emergency response procedures permanently posted in the elevator lobbies, hallways, back-side of resident’s room doors or online at ou.edu/emergencypreparedness.

In the event that the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning, and/or the City of Norman civil defense sirens are sounded, a pre-recorded voice announcement will play throughout all residence halls simultaneously over the Emergency Command System, that will advise residents to take immediate precautions.

Students living in University Residence Halls are advised to follow the emergency response procedures permanently posted in the elevator lobbies, hallways, back-side of resident’s room doors or online at ou.edu/emergencypreparedness.

Once the sirens sound, it is too late to seek protection at a remote location. Everyone must seek protection immediately.  

  • GET INDOORS, GET DOWN, COVER UP.
  • Immediately move to the place identified in your building’s tornado plan.
  • If you are unclear where that is, seek an interior space away from windows, with as many walls between you and the storm, and as low as possible.
  • After a tornado warning is issued it is too late to seek the Best Available Refuge Area.

There may be days identified by the National Weather Service as a “Particularly Dangerous
Situation” (PDS) where the potential for tornadoes is highly likely. OU may take precautions on these days in advance of a tornado warning and close operations to allow people to seek Best Available Refuge Areas.

Do not wait until a tornado warning is issued to move. After a tornado warning is issued it is too late to seek the Best Available Refuge Area.

After the Tornado

Keep your group or family together and wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Carefully render aid to those who are injured. 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 or other sharp objects. Stay out of any heavily damaged buildings or apartments; they could collapse at any time. Do not use matches or lighters, in case of leaking natural gas pipes or fuel tanks nearby. Remain calm and alert, and listen for information and instructions from local TV/radio, emergency crews, and OU personnel.

Questions

Residents with questions regarding severe weather/tornado emergency procedures or designated protective areas in their residence are urged to contact OU Housing and Food Services at 405-325-2511