This spring, the WUSTLAlerts emergency notification system will change the way it alerts the university community of tornado warnings in and approaching St. Louis City and County.
Previously, if a tornado was reported in St. Louis City or County or if a tornado was approaching St. Louis City or County, the university’s sirens, located on Brookings Hall, Seigle Hall and Nemerov House, would sound.
Beginning this month, the following steps will be taken when a tornado is reported in or near St. Louis City and County:
If a tornado is reported in St. Louis City or County and St. Louis City or County activates their warning sirens, WUSTL sirens and Alertus beacons installed throughout the university’s campuses will sound. University community members also will receive:
- Emails to all @wustl.edu addresses;
- Pop-up messages on computer screens of university-owned laptops and desktops that have had the WUSTLAlerts software installed by IT; and
- Cable TV-overrides and, in the next few months, digital signage-overrides on digital signage connected to WUSTLAlerts.
If a tornado is reported in an adjacent county and headed to St. Louis City or County and St. Louis City or County activates their warning sirens, WUSTL sirens will sound and the WUSTLAlerts emergency notification system will send a university-wide email alerting people to the potential for tornados in the region. A pop-up message also will appear on computer screens of university-owned laptops and desktops that have had WUSTLAlerts software installed by IT.
When a tornado alert is issued, WUSTL community members should seek more information from local radio or television stations; the National Weather Service website, weather.gov; and the university’s emergency website, emergency.wustl.edu.
If it appears that a WUSTL campus may be in the path of a tornado, those at that campus should take immediate action.
- Go to an interior space on the lowest level of the building.
- Remain in that location until the severe weather has passed. Any of the above information sources may be consulted to help determine if it is safe to resume normal activities.
“The university, through WUSTLAlerts, is utilizing many different methods of alerting the university community to a severe weather emergency,” says Mark Bagby, emergency management coordinator. “Still, safety during severe weather is an individual responsibility.
“Please proceed with caution, seek further information, and take appropriate action upon receiving severe weather alerts,” Bagby says.
Individuals who wish to receive targeted weather alerts via text messaging or email from the local media, Weather Channel or National Weather Service can visit emergency.wustl.edu and click on the “Weather Alerts” link on the bottom right-hand side of the page.
For more information about what to do during a tornado warning or the WUSTLAlerts system, visit emergency.wustl.edu. For more information about severe weather and the university closing policy, visit hr.wustl.edu/policies/Pages/UniversityClosingsandSevereWeather.aspx.