If you are caught outdoors and hear the
Vanderbilt sirens or receive an AlertVU notice that a tornado may be
- Immediately seek shelter in the closest
- Never try to outrun a tornado. If you cannot seek shelter in a
building, lie in a ditch or low-lying area and cover your head and neck.
Once you are indoors:
- Alert building occupants of the impending weather.
- Move quickly to a safe area indoors such as an interior hallway
or an interior room away from windows.
- Basements, which are often recommended for shelter in private
residences, may not be practical for high rise buildings or some
- Stay away from windows, doors and exterior walls.
- Close all doors leading to exterior rooms.
- Once you are indoors, stay indoors until the threat has passed.
To determine when the threat has passed, monitor a weather radio,
commercial radio/television station, Internet or other weather
service. Even when a specific storm cell has passed beyond the
area, conditions may still be right for high winds, lightning, and
other hazardous weather conditions.
If you are in a classroom or meeting area:
- The instructor or staff member should direct occupants to the
nearest interior hallways and interior rooms away from windows.
- Monitor your weather radio, television, or other weather service
provider for additional information.
If someone is injured or there is damage caused by the weather,
notify the Vanderbilt University Police Department:
- Notify VUPD of the location and nature of injury or damage.
- Exit a building that smells of natural gas or chemical fumes.
- Do not tour damaged areas.
- Do not go into damaged buildings.
- If you must be outdoors, watch for downed power lines and for
possible falling debris.
- Use the telephone only to report emergencies.
- Monitor radio and television for reports and guidance.
- Assist special needs persons.
To contact the Vanderbilt University Police Department in an emergency:
- Call 911 from any campus phone.
- Call (615) 322-2222 from any other phone.
See also the
Severe Weather/Lightning VU
Emergency Guide, the
Vanderbilt Severe Weather Warning System,
Tornado Safety, Tornado Warnings - What You Should Do, and
the Severe Weather
Evacuation - General
Evacuation - Disabilities
Shelter in Place
Hazardous Materials Spill
to these Security guides requires
login with VUNet ID & e-password.)
Medical Center students, staff and faculty should also refer to the
VUMC Emergency Response Quick Reference Guide
and the VUMC
Safety & Emergency Operations Manual.