Tornado Watches and Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when the probability exists that a significant threat could develop over a wide area. Warnings are issued for much smaller areas and periods of time than Watches.

Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form. Be alert to weather conditions and announcements.

Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted or radar indicates rotation in the clouds. TAKE SHELTER!

At Baylor University, the following systems are used for alerting building occupants of a tornado:

  • Outdoor siren operated by McLennan County Emergency Management
  • Baylor University Outdoor Notification System
  • Indoor Voice Evacuation System
  • Weather radio and designated staff alerting building occupants
  • SMS text (Baylor Alert) may be used

Upon hearing one or all of the above methods, use the following procedures for safety:

In the Event of A Tornado Warning:

McLennan County Emergency Management will activate emergency sirens during a tornado warning if a tornado is imminent. All University personnel are to seek shelter upon activation of the sirens. It is not safe to leave shelter until the threat has passed.

The University may provide supplemental notification of McLennan County Emergency Management tornado warnings through one of the following methods:

  • Amplified voice announcements over the outdoor notification system
  • Multicast to two way radio user groups
  • Baylor Alert (text, email, voice message)

Safety Procedures:


  • Seek shelter immediately on a ground floor, in an interior room.
  • Do not use elevators
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls
  • Avoid any wide-span roof areas such as auditorium, gymnasiums, cafeterias and large hallways

Residence Halls

  • Residence Hall Directors and available staff will gather all residents to the Severe Weather Assembly Areas (identified on Building Emergency Plan maps thoughtout the facility)
  • Residents should bring blankets for protection from debris
  • Remain in the Severe Weather Assembly Areas until the tornado passes, and an All Clear is issued via Baylor Alert.


  • Seek indoor shelter, if possible
  • Parked motor vehicles are unsafe
  • If indoor shelter is not available and there is not time for escape, lie flat in a ditch or low spot
  • If you are on a flat ground and are caught in the path of a tornado, always move at right angles to its path

Individuals with mobility/impairments or physical disabilities:

Supervisory personnel and course instructors are responsible for identifying and escorting individuals with mobility impairments or physical disabilities located in their offices/facilities or classrooms to safety in the event of a tornado warning.

The elevators may be used to transport individuals with mobility impairments or physical disabilities and their escorts to a safer location. Visually impaired and hearing impaired individuals may be escorted down the stairs, but may require assistance in moving in crowded staircases and in finding a safer location.

In the event of a power failure, individuals who are unable to use the stairs and their escorts should move to an interior location without windows and call the Baylor Police at 254-710-2222, who will notify the appropriate emergency personnel with the location.