Threat of Severe Weather- Know What to Do in the Event of a Tornado


Update: 8 AM

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for a large part of the region due to a warm front that will bring scattered thunderstorms, straight-line winds and the small chance of a tornado. 

Forecasters suggest that the period of greatest weather instability will be between 1-5 p.m. today with the most significant risks being strong winds. Wind gusts of between 40-50 mph are expected, but isolated areas could see gust of up to 60-70 mph. Duke officials have worked with Facilities Management to secure construction sites and machinery, and building managers should secure or bring inside any loose items outdoors such chairs, tables and umbrellas. 

In the event of a tornado watch, the weather service suggests that people should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and watch for later statements and possible warnings. In the event of a tornado warning, which indicates a tornado has been sighted or indicated on radar, Duke will send a text and email notification to students, faculty and staff. If the warning area includes Duke's main campus, the outdoor sirens will also be activated along with text and email notifications to direct individuals to seek shelter immediately.

Please review and share with your staff the guidelines for what to do in the event of a tornado.

Click to access: DHIP Policy: Tornado Warning Response Plan​ (Access to this link requires connection to the Duke Network or VPN)
*Off-site practices follow their clinic specific Tornado Plans. These practices will stay in contact with DHIP Administration regarding the status of their clinic. ​ 


  • Stay inside until danger has passed.
  • Seek shelter on the lowest building level, interior rooms or hallways with interior walls. Use interior spaces with short spans. Stairwells, bathrooms and closets are good spots.
  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the exterior of building.
  • Avoid windows and doors with glass panels.
  • Avoid interior and exterior doors.
  • Avoid areas where chemicals are stored. Chemicals and cleaning supplies should be removed from areas designated for shelter use.
  • Unsecured items (shelving, supplies, wall lockers, etc.) should either be secured or removed from shelter areas.
  • Stay away from entrances. All doors around a shelter area should be closed and secured during a tornado warning.
  • Monitor or call 684-INFO for updates.
  • Wait for “all clear” by police or university officials.