Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Areas on Campus

 

Download Printable listing of Tornado and Severe Weather Locations (PDF File)

Tornados produce violent winds, sometimes in excess of 250 miles per hour that can cause major property damage and loss of life. The greatest danger posed by tornados is flying debris, though tornados can damage or completely destroy building structures.

The peak season for tornados in Illinois is April thru June, though a tornado can occur any time of the year.

The best protection is offered inside a sturdy building on the lowest floor and away from windows. The objective is to place as many barriers between yourself and the outdoor environment. When access to a lower floor is impractical, well-constructed interior spaces on upper floors also offer isolation and protection.

All buildings on campus have specific shelter areas designated.

Use interior stairways when possible to reach shelter areas. Elevators that could trap occupants in the event of a power failure, which often precedes a tornado, should generally be avoided. If no other options exist, elevators can be used to transport individuals with mobility impairments or physical disabilities and their escorts to tornado shelters. Persons with visual, hearing, or other disabilities may be escorted down the stairs to tornado shelters but may require assistance in moving in crowded staircases and in finding the tornado shelter. Faculty and staff should assist individuals with disabilities as needed. If unable to descend to lower floors, seek an interior space away from windows and exterior walls.

Listed below are recommended locations inside the building that offer the greatest protection in the event of a tornado strike or extreme severe weather event.

The building headings show where people should shelter if they are currency occupying that building. For example, if you are in the Cafeteria, the best and closest shelter is in Engbretson Hall.

Refer to the bullet points for location-specific areas of shelter and notes on areas to avoid.

Tornado and Severe Weather Notification

Notification of tornado warnings is issued to all University Park campus buildings by the GSU Department of Public Safety (DPS.)

Depending on the location, live or recorded voice messages will be conveyed via the campus phone system speakers, hallway speakers, or the fire alarm public address system.

Individuals should remain in the Tornado Shelters until an official ‘all clear’ message is given by DPS.

If outdoors, be alert for changing weather conditions and be prepared to move indoors using the nearest building entrance. If caught outdoors away from buildings, and threat is imminent, find the lowest available spot that is away from trees. Lie flat and protect your head with hands or an object. Tornado sirens can be heard outdoors but not inside most buildings. Be sure to enable Wireless Emergency Alerts on your cell phone as an additional means of severe weather notification while outdoors, and/or carry a portable NOAA All Hazards Weather radio.

Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Areas on Campus

Listed below are recommended locations inside the building that offer the greatest protection in the event of a tornado strike or extreme severe weather event. 

  • A Building

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    A Building Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations

    • First floor corridor between Gymnasium and Women’s Locker Room entrance
    • Inside Locker Rooms on northern quadrant (away from pool)
    • Meditation & Prayer Room (A1115)
    • Health & Student Counseling Center (A1120) Limited Access
    • ALTERNATES: Second floor Restrooms,
    • AVOID: Gymnasium, Pool, Fitness, and Racquetball rooms

  • B Building

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    B Building Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations:

    • Men’s and Women’s first floor Restrooms
    • Classrooms (rear) B1241 and B1240 
    • Rehearsal Hall/Green Room Dressing Room back corridor
    • ALTERNATES - Second floor Restrooms, B2201, B2202
    • AVOID – Main Corridors 

  • C Building

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    C Building Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations

    • Men’s and Women’s first floor Restrooms.
    • Interior corridors between C1329 and Elevator away from interior glass walls. 
    • Second floor C Wing Library Restrooms and adjacent storage rooms in Library, second floor Restrooms near C elevator, room C2302, third floor Restrooms, Rooms C3330, C3331 and adjacent corridor outside.

    AVOID – Financial Services & Comptroller’s Office (C1333), offices with exterior facing walls.

  • Center for Performing Arts

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    Center for Performing Arts Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations.

            • If the number of total patrons plus performers is less than 500, and there is advance notice of approaching tornado, move to the Rehearsal Hall/Green Room in addition to Aisle 1 and Aisle 4. The adjacent makeup and dressing rooms may also be made available by CPA staff. Priority is given first to persons with disabilities and then to people on the balcony level. Close all doors when everyone has been moved to shelter areas. Wait until the all-clear signal is given by DPS.
            • If the number of total patrons plus performers is greater than 500 and the balcony (upper level seating area is occupied, balcony patrons must be evacuated first with priority given to persons with disabilities. For Orchestra and Mezzanine areas, patrons are to shelter-in-place and performers are to move to the Rehearsal Hall/Green Room. Patrons are to remain seated. When the danger is imminent or occurring, patrons shall lean forward and get as low as possible and move hands to the back of the neck and head for protection. Close all doors when everyone has been moved to shelter areas. Wait until the all-clear signal is given by DPS.

                                    • D Building

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                                      D Building Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations.

                                      Note: There is limited tornado shelter space on the first floor D Wing due to the presence of skylights, atriums and large expanses of exterior-facing glass curtain walls. Adjacent B Wing building spaces provide available shelter.

                                      • Engbretson Hall (B1230)
                                      • B1215 – Student Success Commons and Academic Resource Center Offices.
                                      • Digital Learning Corridor - In from glass double doors down to room D1440
                                      • Digital Learning area Restrooms
                                      • Storage Room in Cafeteria (door between banks of vending machines)
                                      • Offices in Main Entrance area in the range of D1404 to D1423 as shown on map
                                      • Second floor Men’s and Women’s Restrooms in Library, The CUBE rooms D2401B, D2401C, D2430F, D2430G, and D2430P.
                                      • Third floor Men’s and Women’s restrooms, Rooms D34110, D34165, D34190, corridor right of D34160, and Back of Corridor Between D34090 and D34093.

                                      AVOID -Hall of Governors, Main Front Entry Atrium area, Cafeteria, Lakeside Lounge D1489, and Skylight Area of Library and Third Floor “D.”

                                    • E Building

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                                      E Building Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations

                                      Note: Close doors on both ends of bridge to “G” to minimize glass debris intrusion into “E.” Discourage persons from using the bridge.

                                      • Men’s and Women’s first floor Restrooms
                                      • First Floor sloping corridor near Men’s’ Restroom by Elevator (see map.)
                                      • E1530 Sherman Hall. Shelter-in-Place if already inside room. Close all doors and ensure that exit
                                      • door directly to outdoors is closed tight and latched.
                                      • Second floor Men’s and Women’s Restrooms,
                                      • Second floor corridor from near room E2503 entrance to room E2569 entrance
                                      • Second floor corridor between E2521 and E2531 E2526.
                                      • Rooms E2510, E2535, E2538.

                                      AVOID - Sculpture and Ceramics Studios (E1525-E1527), Music Recital Hall, E Lounge Area (from glass double doors near E1565 thru all areas north,  Area from E1565 east to F, and the Glass Bridge to “G.”

                                       

                                       

                                    • F Building

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                                      F Building Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations

                                      Note: Science labs in this area require special care be taken if a tornado warning is issued. Students and staff should extinguish burners and make every effort to ensure that all systems and processes are secure and stable before exiting the premises.

                                       

                                      • Men’s and Women’s first floor Restrooms
                                      • F1401 CDIS Lab
                                      • F1405 Office Suite Interior corridor
                                      • Corridor immediately inside double door entrance to Anatomy Lab
                                      • F1622 Lecture Hall. Shelter-in-Place if already inside room. Close all doors and ensure that exit door directly to outdoors is closed tight and latched.
                                      • Second floor Men’s and Women’s Restrooms
                                      • Rooms F2703, F2705, and F2441, F2442, F2443, F2445
                                      • Corridor Between F2401 and F2431, Rooms F2430, F2407, F2411, and F2415
                                      • AVOID! First Floor Corridor between Rooms F1202 and F1216 with windows facing Lake. 

                                        Second Floor Corridor between rooms E2590 and F2222 with windows facing lake.
                                        Open corridors near F Entrance.
                                        Room F1300 suite. Rooms F1232, F1630, and F1632.
                                        Second floor Bridge from “F” to “G.”
                                        Areas with either Hazardous Materials, High Pressure Cylinders, or Explosive Gasses.

                                       

                                    • G Building

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                                      G Building Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations 

                                      Note: The G Wing building envelope consists of continuous glass curtain walls along the length of the building on both north and south facing elevations. In the event of a tornado, faculty and staff should close all office doors to minimize the entry of debris into the corridors. Move immediately to the areas listed below.

                                      • Basement
                                      • Concrete stairwells on each end of building (east and west). Reserve the Area of Rescue Assistance space in front of the yellow emergency phones for persons with disabilities, as needed.
                                      • Restrooms on first, second, and third floor.
                                      • AVOID - Open Atrium area in center of building.

                                       

                                    • Biological Field Station (BFS)

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                                      BFS Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations

                                       

                                      • BFS Basement.Stay at least 15 feet away from furnace, water heater. 

                                       

                                    • Family Development Center

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                                      Family Development Center Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Location

                                       

                                      • Multipurpose Room (155), Servery (172), and Reading Center (175). Move infants and toddlers using cribs or strollers to Multipurpose Room and Servery. Assist other children. Take roll call/attendance to make sure everyone in building is accounted for. Stay under tables in center of room away from windows. Windows in these areas are treated with special film to resist glass breakage and penetration by flying debris.
                                      • AVOID: The Greenhouses in the FDC could be damaged by large hail or straight-line winds which accompany severe thunderstorms, and thus should be evacuated during Severe Thunderstorm Warnings in addition to Tornado Warnings.

                                       

                                    • GMT Building

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                                      GMT Building Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations

                                      • GMT basement (Note: All GSU employees with offices in GMT Building have swipe card access that allows entry to secured basement door.) Stay at least 15 feet away from boiler.

                                    • Grants Offices / Hantack House

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                                      Hantack House Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Location

                                       

                                      • Grants Office Basement. Stay at least 15 feet away from furnace, water heater. 

                                       

                                    • Prairie Place - Phase 1

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                                      Prairie Place Tornado and Severe Weather Shelter Locations

                                       

                                      • Take cover immediately on the first floor corridors of the building. If corridors are at capacity, residents in first floor apartments can alternately shelter in their restrooms, provided door is closed tight. Also keep all apartment doors and exit doors shut. If possible, residents should take shoes and blankets with them to shelter areas. The GSU Department of Public Safety will issue an “all clear” message when the danger has passed and it is safe to exit the shelter areas.
                                      • If there is strong enough wind, which could break glass in stairwells, students must return to the closest corridor (inside walls, away from glass) and protect themselves from flying debris.