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If you are caught outdoors and hear the Vanderbilt sirens or receive an AlertVU notice that a tornado may be approaching campus:

  1. Immediately seek shelter in the closest substantial building.
  2. 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:

  1. Alert building occupants of the impending weather.
  2. Move quickly to a safe area indoors such as an interior hallway or an interior room away from windows.
      1. Basements, which are often recommended for shelter in private residences, may not be practical for high rise buildings or some campus facilities—move to the most interior portion of the building.
      2. Stay away from windows, doors and exterior walls.
      3. Close all doors leading to exterior rooms.
  3. 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:

  1. The instructor or staff member should direct occupants to the nearest interior hallways and interior rooms away from windows.
  2. Monitor your weather radio, television, or other weather service provider for additional information.
  3. Follow instructions from all AlertVU messages.

If someone is injured or there is damage caused by the weather, notify the Vanderbilt University Police Department:

  1. Notify VUPD of the location and nature of injury or damage.
  2. Exit a building that smells of natural gas or chemical fumes.
  3. Do not tour damaged areas.
  4. Do not go into damaged buildings.
  5. If you must be outdoors, watch for downed power lines and for possible falling debris.
  6. Use the telephone only to report emergencies.
  7. Monitor radio and television for reports and guidance.
  8. Assist special needs persons.

To call the Vanderbilt University Police Department in an emergency:

  • Dial 911 from any campus phone.
  • Dial (615) 421-1911 from any other phone.

See also the Severe Weather/Lightning VU Emergency Guide, the Vanderbilt Severe Weather Warning System, Severe Weather References and Severe Weather Safety Links.