NWS tornado alerts are issued by counties. The campus will only issue a UTAlert for a tornado warning if the main campus is included in the warning area. An alert in Knox County does not automatically indicate a threat to campus.
If a tornado warning is in effect for campus:
- It is best to stay indoors if already in a sturdy building.
- Warn others to seek shelter.
- Shelter in a designated severe weather shelter OR locate an interior space as low in the building as possible that doesn’t have windows. Ideally, the space should have two exits.
- Protect your head and neck with a bike helmet or cover your head with a sturdy object like a text book.
- Get under a sturdy piece of furniture if available.
- Close the doors and stay inside until the tornado has passed. An All Clear UTAlert will be issued when the immediate threat has passed.
- Continue to monitor for campus updates and monitor local media and/or National Weather Service.
- If you are outdoors and shelter is not available, find a ditch or low spot where you can lie down.
Should the tornado touch down on campus:
- After the tornado has passed, exit damaged buildings and go to a safe location.
- Report your condition and location to emergency personnel or some other official. If trapped, bang on something to make noise rather than yelling for help.
- Self-report for tracking
- Attempt to contact your immediate family. (it is good practice to designate a common point of contact that your family & friends know to call)
- Provide information to university officials for rosters upon request.
- Register on the emergency database designed to share information in an emergency at reconnect.utk.edu.
4. If unable to register online, call the university safe line at 865-656-7233 to be added to the database.