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W PoliceCOLUMBUS, MS - The W will participate in a state-wide tornado drill on Wednesday, February 5th.


During the drill the university will test its tornado sirens and campus address system.  The university also encourages all students, faculty, and staff to review what to do in the event of a tornado.

Watch vs. Warning

A TORNADO WATCH means weather conditions are favorable for tornados to develop.  Stay tuned to radio, television, online weather services, and the W Alert system. Stay ALERT for the abrupt onset of violent wind, rain, hail or a funnel-shaped cloud. Listen for sudden increase in wind noise. When in doubt, don't go out.

A TORNADO WARNING means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar. If the tornado is nearby, seek inside shelter immediately, preferably in a storm cellar, underground excavation, or steel-framed or concrete-reinforced building.

What to do in a Tornado Warning

1. When a tornado warning is issued that may impact The W campus or the immediate vicinity, the sirens will be activated. Campus police will make an announcement over the campus address system to seek cover immediately, and a W Alert text message will be sent out. [Learn how to sign up for W Alert text messages]

2. Take Shelter

1. Move to the lowest possible level where you will be safest from flying debris, such as in a basement. If there is not a basement, seek shelter in a small interior room, such as closet or bathroom, in the middle of the building.
2. Stay away from windows and outside walls.
3. Manufactured office units are particularly vulnerable to destructive winds. Seek refuge in a sturdy building or as a last resort, in a ditch.
4. Avoid large open rooms such as auditoriums or gyms.
5. If you are outside or in your vehicle, go immediately to a basement of a nearby sturdy building. If you can't find shelter, lie flat in a low spot using your arms and hands to protect your head and neck.

3. Once in a sheltered location, continue to monitor conditions via a weather radio, television, or mobile device. NEVER go near windows and doors during a tornado warning.

4. After the threat has passed, campus officials will issue an "All Clear" to resume your normal activities.

5. Continue to monitor local weather outlets as additional alerts may be issued.

The W Police Department can be reached at any time by calling 7777 on campus, or (662) 241-7777 from a mobile or off-campus phone.  In the event of an emergency, always dial 911.


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Police Department

For Emergencies Dial 911

McDevitt Hall
Phone: (662) 241-7777
Fax: (662) 241-6882
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1100 College Street
Columbus, MS 39701