Tornado Safety Tornados are rotating columns of air. They are formed by severe thunderstorms. Considered nature's most violent storms, tornados can consist of winds of up to 300 miles per hour. Since Alabama is very susceptible to tornados, all campus residents should sign up for the University’s emergency notification service at the following website: https://getrave.com/login/uwa Tornado Watch: A tornado watch is issued when conditions are favorable for tornados to form in our area. These conditions are determined by the National Weather Service. When a tornado watch has been issued for our area, you should monitor the weather very closely. Tornado Warning: A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted in our area, or weather radar has indicated an area of rotation in our area that could develop, or has developed, into a tornado. When the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, all residents should take shelter immediately. When the University is under a tornado warning, a three-minute siren will sound. The siren is tested on the first Wednesday of each month. Emergency Procedures: Whenever the University is under a tornado warning, residents should follow these procedures: Go to the nearest storm shelter or best available refuge area. When going down stairs, fourth floor residents should stay next to the left handrail. Third floor residents should take the center of the stairway. Second floor residents should stay next to the right handrail. Under no circumstances should the elevator be used when our area is under a tornado warning since a tornado may cause a power failure. Best Available Refuge Areas for Residence Halls: Gilbert Hall: 1st and 2nd floor residents must go to Spieth Hall, while 3rd and 4th floor residents must go to the 1st floor of Wallace Hall. Anyone with mobility impairments must go to Spieth Hall, as the 1st floor of Wallace is only accessible via stairs. Staff will direct residents when they arrive to their specified location. If you do not have time to get to your designated location, you should go to the nearest stairwell in Gilbert Hall and proceed to the lowest level possible. Hoover Apartments: Residents must go to the lower level of the Student Union Building, where staff will direct you. Patterson Hall: Residents must go the 1st floor of Wallace Hall where staff will direct you. However, if you do not have enough time to get to Wallace Hall, you should go to your bathroom, close the door, and get into the tub. Reed Hall: Residents must go the Student Union Building where staff will direct you. However, if you do not have enough time to get to the Student Union Building, you should go to your bathroom, close the door, and get into the tub. Selden Hall: Residents must go to the basement of Selden Hall. Stickney Hall: Residents must go the first floor hallway; however, if you do not have enough time to get to the first floor hallway, you should go to your bathroom, close the door, and get into your tub.