Workplace and Tornado Safety

Engineering Office of Safety

The College of Engineering is dedicated to protecting the environment, health, and safety for all those who work or visit the College as well as protecting our community. Visit the Engineering Office of Safety to learn about neccesary trainings.


Tornado Safety

Designated Tornado Shelters

The designated tornado shelters for Newmark Lab and Hydrosystems Lab are the basements of the buildings. Please take a moment to identify the quickest way to the designated area in your building.


Tornado Watch:

  • Atmospheric conditions in the county are such that a tornado could develop. Be alert.
  • Announcements are made on the radio and television when Champaign County is under a Tornado Watch. The campus Telephone Alert System will be activated on any Tornado Watch Condition during business hours.  Each department will be contacted; this may not include each individual building.
  • No action is required at this time except to monitor radio announcements (WDWS 1400 AM, 97.5 FM) and listen for tornado sirens.

Tornado Warning:

  • A tornado has been sighted in the area, prepare to take cover immediately if you hear the siren, and protective action is called for immediately. Take cover.
  • When sirens sound (three minute continuous blasts) and/or TORNADO WARNING is announced by radio, proceed to take cover. Persons who are in areas of the building where sirens cannot be heard are instructed to listen to WILL AM 580 for weather reports. Battery powered radios should be available to take to the safe areas.
  • Shut your office door behind you. Using the staircase, proceed to one of the basement hallways. Do not use the elevators.
  • When you reach a safe area inside the building, assume a seated position on the floor with head down and hands locked over the head, during a disaster period. If you have access to a heavy jacket or other heavy cloth material, use these items to cover your upper body and head. This will help protect you from flying glass or debris. Always try to stay close to the floor.
  • Leave a passageway through the center of each shelter area.
  • Keep away from outside walls, doors, and windows. Closed blinds and draperies will help reduce the amount of flying glass.
  • There will be no "All Clear" signal. Thirty minutes after the initial warning siren, the danger is considered clear, unless another three-minute continuous siren blast is heard.


We will attempt to notify each area by phone if a tornado has been sighted in the area. However, we urge you to use your best judgment when deciding to take shelter. If you are concerned for your safety, take shelter.

Other Instructions

If you are outside during a tornado warning, seek indoor protection immediately. If you have insufficient time to move inside for shelter, find a shelter in a ditch or other low spot below grade level if possible. If on flat ground and in the path of a tornado, you should move at right angles to its path.