Severe Weather

Severe weather can occur at any time of the year.

In Indiana, severe thunderstorms with high winds, hail, lightning and tornadoes are most common in the spring season. During the summer, the risk of severe storms and tornadoes is still possible but we also face conditions with extreme heat. In the winter months, the temperatures will drop well below freezing (32 F), but we must also be conscious of the effects of wind chill and take precautions before and during blizzards.

Warnings, Watches, and Advisories

  • Warnings: Take Action!
  • Watches: Be Prepared
  • Advisories: Be Aware


What should I do?

A Tornado Warning means "take action!" - a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar, and there is imminent danger to life and property.

When a tornado warning is announced, all faculty, staff, students and guests should immediately seek shelter in a designated tornado refuge area. These areas may include interior stairwells, the lower level interior hallways, or even interior restrooms. Move away from all windows.

If you are outdoors, immediately seek shelter in the nearest substantial shelter.

If you are driving, drive to the closest shelter. If you are unable to make it to a safe shelter, either get down in your vehicle and cover your head and neck, or abandon your car and seek shelter in a low lying area such as a ditch or ravine.


Understanding Tornado Alerts

Tornado Safety Checklist


What should I do?

When you hear thunder, immediately move to a safe shelter. If a substantial building is unavailable, a metal-topped vehicle with windows will suffice. Stay away from windows, doors, and plumbing.

If shelter is not available, seek lower elevation and get to low ground, but don’t lay flat. Stay away from trees, bodies of water including puddles, and anything that can conduct electricity (fences, power lines, water, etc.).


National Weather Service - Lighting Tips

Extreme Heat

What should I do?

Stay cool and hydrate with water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid the outdoors during the hottest hours of the day (typically 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM) and limit outdoor activities such as exercise and labor. If you do not have air conditioning at home, consider going to a public area where air conditioning is present.

If you must be outdoors, familiarize yourself with symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and use the buddy system. This will assist you with recognizing signs of fatigue, treatment and getting help if needed.


About Extreme Heat

Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke: Symptoms and First Aid

Winter Weather

What should I do?

Winter weather can bring snow, freezing rain, ice which can impact travel and access to power and utilities.

Plan ahead and prepare.

The Extreme Cold Guide (CDC) offers tips on preparing your home, your car, and an emergency supplies list.

Dress in loose-fitting layers and cover exposed skin.

People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite in a matter of minutes on uncovered skin and the extremities, such as hands and feet. Hypothermia is another threat during extreme cold which occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce. Wind chill greatly increases risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

Know when to go and when to say "no".

The best advice for driving in extreme winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared, and that you know how to handle road conditions. Make sure that you clean ALL the snow and ice off of your car, including the windshield, back window, headlights, and taillights!


Winter Weather Warnings, Watches & Advisories

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Cold Water Hazards and Safety