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Tornado and Thunderstorm Procedures

The following procedures are simplified. Use common sense in all activities and responses.

A TORNADO OR THUNDERSTORM WATCH means you should be prepared to take cover if threatening conditions are sighted.
A TORNADO OR THUNDERSTORM WARNING is issued by your local National Weather Service facility, and means a tornado or severe thunderstorm is imminent. Persons close to the storm should take shelter immediately, and remain there until the danger has passed. Under a  WARNING individuals should be instructed to seek shelter in building interiors such as hallways, restrooms, interior classrooms and to AVOID windows, doors and large open areas such as gymnasiums and auditoriums.

Shelter areas are marked with Tornado Shelter signage.

  1. Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Watch and Warning
    A. Each county’s Emergency Preparedness office will monitor all weather conditions and report watches or warnings of any expected severe conditions through the emergency preparedness radio system (black box) at each location. This can be found in the business office, library or maintenance office at your site. Ask the business office where yours is located. (The emergency preparedness radio system, a portable black box located at each campus, alerts staff to weather watches and warnings)
 If severe weather is threatening, the individual responsible for the facility should monitor the Emergency Preparedness response system black box. It may be moved to any room and returned at the end of the weather condition alert. The “black box” is to be taken with you during the times you seek shelter. The battery backup will last approximately 6 hours and provide additional weather updates.
 All of the buildings of Iowa Lakes Community College have been reviewed by a member of the Emergency Management Office and shelter areas are posted throughout the buildings.
  1. When a tornado warning is received, classes are to be dismissed and all persons instructed to move to the nearest shelter area. A horn will be sounded throughout the building.
  2. Faculty members should take class records with them to the shelter area. (This is to aid in identifying missing persons after a disaster).
  3. Each staff member teaching in a room should close windows and interior doors if time allows.
  4. Instructors in laboratories or shops where there is natural or acetylene gas in the room should turn off the gas at the room's master valve.
  5. Stay in shelter areas until the ALL CLEAR is received and relayed to the shelter area by the person in charge or local radio station.
  1. Safety of students is the first concern.
  2. DO NOT leave the buildings. Although Iowa Lakes Community College buildings are not tornado proof, they afford more protection than any other buildings in the vicinity and offer more safety than an automobile.
  3. Any protection over the head, such as an open book, a table or chair, might save a person from injury by a flying or falling object.
  4. Keep away from open doors or windows.
  1. All college personnel should expect to assist in locating injured persons if needed; however, do not move a non-ambulatory victim until qualified medical or first aid personnel arrive.
  2. The college buildings may be made available to the community, if needed, as emergency shelters or emergency hospitals.
  3. Students and faculty may be asked to volunteer to serve on emergency clean-up or rescue teams.
  1. A MAP designating the location of shelter areas should be located in every classroom. These maps must be clearly visible at all times. They are not to be covered by other papers or obstructed in any way. Shelters should also be identified by signage on the wall or room entrance. The Administrative Assistant to the Dean is responsible for map location.



Farm Move to Swine Breeding & Gestation barn, the farm house cellar.  If in open area, take cover in an open ditch or ravine.
Main Campus Move to interior classrooms, restrooms & small offices.
Children's Center Move to restrooms.
Farm Equipment/Welding Building Move to restrooms & small rooms.
Construction Tech Move to restrooms & small rooms.
Vet Tech Move to basement or restrooms.
Special Needs Building Move to restrooms or basement.
Student Housing/Special Needs Housing Evacuate upper floor and go to lower level interior restrooms. Lower floor move to restroom areas within rooms.
Wellness Center Move to locker rooms, offices, interior classrooms and restrooms.
Ag. Science Tech Evacuate upper floor. Move into first floor restrooms, offices and small rooms.


Main Campus Move to interior classrooms, restrooms and small offices.
Gym Evacuate top floor immediately - go to first floor interior classrooms and locker rooms.
Laker I (Housing) Evacuate upper floor and go to lower level restrooms.
Four and Six Plex (Housing) Move to restrooms.
Laker II (Housing) Move to lower level basement or restrooms.
Criminal Justice Center Move to restrooms and small office rooms.
Christensen Building Move to restrooms.
Wind Turbine & Turbine Tech Building Move to restrooms.
SERT Center Move to restrooms.
Aviation Building Move to northeast office.
Print Shop Take shelter in restroom or behind counters.  If weather permits, move to main building hallways.
Central Admin Bldg. Move to basement.


Algona Campus Restrooms, room 10 & small offices.
Spencer Campus Lower level, restrooms, small office areas.
Spirit Lake Campus Restrooms, & small offices.

IMPORTANT:  It is important to remind everyone that they are to STAY CLEAR OF GLASS WINDOWS/DOORS. 

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