Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College
Emergency Preparedness

Weather- and Nature-related Incidents


    Tornado watch means that conditions exist for a tornado to develop.
    Tornado warning means that a tornado has actually been sighted or indicated on radar.
    Note: A tornado could develop when a thunderstorm produces hail. The larger the hailstones, the more likely that a tornado will occur.

When a tornado warning is announced:

  • Your best protection is an underground shelter (or basement) or a substantial steel-framed or reinforced concrete building.
  • If your residence hall or campus building does not have a basement, take cover under heavy furniture on the ground floor in the center of the building, or in a small room on the ground floor that is away from outside walls and windows.
  • Stay away from windows to avoid flying debris.
  • If you are outside and there isn't time to get into a building, take cover and lie flat in the nearest depression, such as a ditch, culvert, excavation or ravine.
  • Avoid auditoriums and gymnasiums with large, poorly supported roofs. If you are in one of the all-wood buildings, evacuate to a safer location.
  • If you are in an administrative or classroom building, go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor. Stay away from windows.


During an earthquake, remain calm and quickly follow the steps outlined below.

  • If indoors, seek refuge in a doorway or under a desk or table. Stay away from glass windows, shelves and heavy equipment.
  • If outdoors, move quickly away from buildings, utility poles and other structures. Caution: Always avoid power or utility lines, as they may be energized.
  • If in an automobile, stop in the safest place available, preferably away from power lines and trees. Stop as quickly as safety permits but stay in the vehicle for the shelter it offers.
  • After the initial shock, evaluate the situation. If emergency help is necessary, call the Department of Campus Safety at ext. 5566 if on campus, or 911 if off campus. Protect yourself at all times and be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Damaged facilities should be reported to the Department of Campus Safety at X5566 and Facilities Services at ext. 5860. Note: Gas leaks and power failures create special hazards. Please refer to the section on utility failures.
  • If an emergency exists, activate the building alarm (fire alarm).
  • When the building evacuation alarm is sounded, walk to the nearest marked exit and ask others to do the same.
  • Move quickly to your Designated Evacuation Assembly Point.
  • Assist those with disabilities in exiting the building! Remember that elevators are reserved for their use. Do not use elevators in case of fire.
  • Once outside, move to a clear area at least 500 feet away from the affected building(s). Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrants and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews.
  • If requested, assist emergency crews as necessary.
  • A Campus Emergency Command Post may be set up near the emergency site. Keep clear of the Command Post unless you have official business.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building unless told to do so by a college official.