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What is a tornado?

A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris. Tornadoes can be among the most violent phenomena of all atmospheric storms we experience.

A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when tornadoes are possible in the area.

A tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar in the area.

If a tornado warning is issued for the City of New Orleans, the university will send an emergency alert.

In the Event of a Tornado Watch

  • Monitor emergency alerts, weather websites, and media for severe weather updates.
  • Be prepared to take shelter.

In the Event of a Tornado Warning

  • Take shelter in the designated tornado shelter in your building or on the lowest level, most interior portion (such as an interior hallway) of any building.   Stay away from windows and exterior doors.
  • Hide underneath overhead cover (heavy desk, work table, or counter), if available.
  • Do not pull the fire alarm to alert others of a tornado warning.
  • Wait for an “all clear” notification prior to returning to your work area, classroom, or living area.
  • If you are outside, seek shelter in the nearest available building.  If you cannot reach a building, lie in a ditch, low-lying area or crouch near a building.  Hold books, backpacks, and coats over your head for protection.

Subscribe to the SUNO Emergency Text Alert System. It is the safest way to ensure that you receive critical university notifications on safety issues, school closings, and weather alerts. The system sends messages to all registered text-message capable phones, PDAs and e-mail addresses to alert registrants of information critical to their safety and well-being.

To Sign Up for an account, select the link below and complete the registration form. Please note that depending on your wireless service agreement, a nominal charge may be incurred for receiving text messages.