All IU campuses will participate in statewide tornado drills March 22

  • March 17, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- For the first time, Indiana University will conduct its annual full-scale tornado drills on a day that falls outside spring break. Held in conjunction with Indiana's Severe Weather Preparedness Week, Operation Stormy Weather on March 22 gives emergency managers, students, staff and faculty members on all IU campuses a chance to practice what they would do during a real tornado.

"Tornadoes pose a significant threat to this region and can strike at any time," said Diane Mack, director of IU Emergency Management and Continuity. "Knowing where to go when you hear the tornado sirens or receive the IU-Notify alert could save your life."

Students, staff and faculty members will be expected to respond as they would to the real deal: heading to their severe weather shelter or the safest location available. Once there, they should wait for the "all clear" message from IU-Notify.

Operation Stormy Weather is conducted by IU Emergency Management and Continuity, which is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance at IU. 

What to expect:

  • IU-Notify alerts using most modalities, including email, text and Alertus desktop alerts (no telephone calls), will be sent between 10 and 10:30 a.m. and 7 and 8 p.m. announcing the beginning of the drill. Another notification will announce the "all clear."
  • In many IU buildings, staff will help direct students and staff to the safest location, which could be a specific shelter, interior hallway, stairwell or other location.
  • The drill should take 10 to 15 minutes. A survey will also be sent to gather feedback for improving the process.

The safest places to be during tornadoes are in basements, interior rooms or hallways, and severe weather shelters, which are indicated by a tornado funnel cloud symbol. The Protect IU website also provides information about preparing for tornadoes and severe weather.

Once again, students and employees are encouraged to share pictures of themselves in their severe weather shelters by posting them to social media with the tag #IUShelterSelfie. A search of this hashtag on Twitter will pull up pictures posted last year.

Diane Mack

Diane Mack | Photo by Indiana University

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Diane Mack