Tornado Watch: A tornado means that the conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado.  Campus Police shall alert the campus community of the tornado watch through email and the university radio station. 

Tornado Warning: A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted in the area and poses an immediate threat and danger to the areas for which the warning is issued. When a tornado warning is issued for the campus community, the following actions shall be implemented/followed:

  • Campus Police shall execute the email alert tornado warning system and instruct the campus radio station to carry prepared messages regarding the tornado warning. 
  • Campus Police shall activate the siren warning system and drive around the campus sounding mobile alerts. 
  • All individuals on campus are required to comply with instructions from the Campus Police and other university officials. 


  • When tornadoes threaten, you should leave automobiles and portable structures for more substantial shelter.
  • In substantial shelter, you should put as many walls between you and the tornado as you can. This means that interior bathrooms, hallways, and closets on the lowest floor are the best place to be. If it is available, move to a below ground shelter, such as a basement.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in your automobile.
  • If caught outside or in a vehicle with an approaching tornado, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression.

Tornado safety is based upon avoiding windblown debris when tornadoes are near. The common thread in safety rules is putting as many walls as you can between you and the tornado and always on the lowest floor of the building as you can safely get to before the tornado strikes. All building safety plans for tornadoes are centered on these guidelines. On our campus, always move to interior hallways on the lowest floor possible in all buildings.

Outdoor Warning System 

Alcorn State University is currently installing an Outdoor Warning System. The system will consist of strategically placed sirens that warn the university community to take shelter in the event of an emergency, such as a severe weather event. The warning system is audible throughout the main campus. Whenever an emergency poses a direct threat to the university community requiring individuals to take shelter, the system will warn the campus by activating the outdoor warning siren. When you hear the warnings, you should seek shelter immediately in the nearest building. Move into interior corridors away from exterior windows, close all doors to rooms with exterior windows, and move to the lowest level of the building. When the threat has passed, a verbal “all clear” announcement will broadcast using the warning system’s voice feature.

Until the University Outdoor Warning System has been established, however, the university constituents are under the charges of the Campus Police Department.


Shelter-in-place is the use of any classroom, office, or building for the purpose of providing temporary shelter.

  1. If inside a building:
    • Go to the lowest level of the building, if possible.
    • Stay away from windows.
    • Go to an interior hallway.
    • Use arms to protect head and neck in a “drop and tuck” position.
  2. If there is no time to get inside:
    • Lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building.
    • Be aware of potential for flooding.
    • Use arms to protect head and neck in a “drop and tuck” position.
    • Use jacket, cap, backpack, or any similar items, if available, to protect face and eyes.
  3. If you need to report a tornado or severe weather event:
    • Dial Campus Police at (601)877-3000 and/or 911 to report a tornado sighting.
    • Seek a safe shelter inside a building, in a ditch, or beside an embankment.

KNOW THE LOCATION of the nearest emergency shelter for your location! The following areas should be considered “off limits” during a tornado evacuation: 

  • Near outside doors
  • Any location on the upper floors of building 
  • Any outside area 
  • Near windows  
  • You should also avoid auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias, or other buildings with large, free-span roofs. 
  • Stay away from damaged buildings and out of the disaster areas. 
  • DO NOT use vehicles except in life threatening emergencies.