Tornado Safety

Most tornado injuries and deaths occur because of intense flying debris. Even a corn cob can become a missile at 100 mph. That’s why most tornado safety rules focus on avoiding debris.

Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 and 9 pm but have been known to occur at all hours.

The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.

The average forward speed is 30 mph but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph.

Get out of automobiles and seek safety in a ditch or get under an overpass.

When Severe Weather conditions exist:

·         Use your location’s weather alert radio or television weather channel to monitor the approach and severity of the weather.

o   Tornado Watch means weather conditions are favorable to the formation of tornadoes.

o   Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted in the area. Immediately take cover.

·         When the siren sounds, immediately move to designated shelter area. City and campus sirens will be sounded for a one minute blast to inform you of the warning.

·         If the Weather Service issues a severe weather or tornado warning for the City of Lamoni or the Decatur County area, warn employees/students in your area.

·         If available, take a battery-powered radio and a flashlight into the shelter.

·         Remain in the shelter until an all clear is given. The all-clear is a twenty-second blast sounded on the city and campus sirens.

·         Reconvene employees/students when the emergency is past to make sure everyone is safe.

Best Shelter Areas during severe weather

·         Basement or lowest level of the building

·         Inside walls on opposite side of corridor from which storm is approaching

·         Restrooms without windows

·         Interior hallway on lowest or ground floor (no windows, doors secured at either end)

Areas to avoid during severe weather

·         Lobbies

·         Walkways

·         Atriums

·         Rooms with large roof spans, such as auditoriums

·         End rooms in one-story buildings

·         Rooms with large glass areas

·         Hallways that could become “wind tunnels”

Lightning Safety

·         When a thunderstorm threatens, go inside immediately for protection. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning.

·         Stay indoors, stay away from windows, water, sinks, faucets. Unplug appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Use phones ONLY if an emergency.

·         If in a car, stay inside unless the car is a soft-top and keep the windows up. Rubber soled shoes or rubber tires on a car provides NO protection from lightning. The steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching the metal. You are safer inside a vehicle than outside.

·         If outdoors, stay away from any object that could act as a natural lightning rod, such as a tree or an open area. Stay clear of open fields, open water or small isolated sheds. If you are on a field, crouch low to the ground; do not lie flat on the ground. Find a low spot away from trees, fences and poles and make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.

·         Stay away from fences or other metal objects. Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity.

·         If caught outdoors and you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground.

University Closing

·         Vice Presidents in conjunction with the President will decide delays and cancellations.

·         A GUAlert text message will be sent for university classes being canceled or delayed. The Independence Campus weather line is 816-423-4750.

·         Regardless of the reason for the University closing, those employees providing essential services will be expected to report to work. 
Information about IndependenceCampus closings will be available on TV:  Channels 4 (KMBC/ABC), 5 (KCTV/CBS) and 9 (WDAF/FOX 4).
It is the general policy of the University to not close the Lamoni campus.  We may cancel classes and/or events due to severe weather but will generally not close. 
Staff should take their personal safety concerns first and not report to work or leave early during severe weather conditions. Personal Necessary leave (limit 5 days per fiscal year) or vacation should be used to cover the hours missed due to severe weather.  This applies whether classes/events are canceled or not.

Lamoni Siren

Please note that the Lamoni siren will sound daily at 7 am, noon, and 6 pm.  This does not indicate severe weather.

Winter Weather

Tips for winter weather safety:

  • try to stay indoors during extremely cold weather
  • dress in layers if you must go outside
  • avoid frostbite/hypothermia by wearing hats, mittens, boots, coats
  • avoid travel during snow and ice if at all possible
  • avoid exertion - cold weather places an extra strain on the heart
  • be safe during winter recreation activities


Please see media page for information regarding media coverage of an emergency event.