Tornado Warning Policy and Procedures

It is the policy of Wichita State University that all classes (including examinations, 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.

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, the 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.

WSU Office of Disability Procedures

All staff and students that are in ODS when notified of a tornado warning should proceed to the Heskett Center, and go to the gymnastics or combatives room and seek shelter there. Student Assistants (SA's) will ask students if they would like assistance to the appropriate shelter. Students should also be willing to ask for assistance from ODS. ODS staff will encourage everyone to take shelter; if students refuse, they do so at their own risk. ODS staff will lock the office as they leave and will reopen after the Tornado Warning has been lifted.

If you are in another building when the siren sounds, go directly to that building's shelter area. If the building you are in does not have an accessible tornado shelter, go to the main lobby of the building. Each building and each floor of every building will have an Emergency Building and Floor Coordinator. These individuals will be in the main lobby areas of the building directing traffic flow and answering people's questions. The coordinators will have information on the nearest location of an accessible shelter. The building and floor coordinators will also be on duty for other emergency situations, i.e. fire or bomb threats.

Guidelines for Student Assistants

  1. It is advisable to proceed immediately to a safe shelter.
  2. If an SA is working with a student, the SA will stay with the student if the student chooses to go to a shelter.
  3. If a student does not want to go to shelter, they are not required to do as so, but the SA should go to a shelter immediately.
  4. If a SA is working when a tornado warning is issued, the SA will be paid for the time the SA is in the shelter.
  5. ODS staff and SAs will not assist with loading anyone in their cars once a tornado warning has been issued.
  6. Do not take any unnecessary chances during emergencies.