The University of Alabama

UA Severe Weather Guidelines

The guiding principle at The University of Alabama is to promote the personal safety of students, faculty and staff during severe weather events. Please be familiar with UA’s severe weather guidelines and be prepared to quickly move to safety if severe weather occurs.

In general, classes will remain in session until the National Weather Service issues tornado warnings for the Tuscaloosa metro area. Clearly, some students and faculty commute from adjacent counties. These counties may experience weather-related problems not encountered in Tuscaloosa.

Individuals should take the necessary precautions to ensure personal safety. Whenever the National Weather Service and the Emergency Management Agency issue a warning, people in the path of the storm (tornado or severe thunderstorm) should take immediate life-saving actions.

Personal safety should dictate the actions that faculty, staff and students take.

  • In the case of a tornado warning (tornado has been sighted or detected by radar; sirens activated), all university activities are automatically suspended, including all classes and laboratories.
  • If you are in a building, please move immediately to the best available refuge area or lowest level and toward the center of the building away from windows (interior classrooms, office, or corridors) and remain there until the tornado warning has expired.
  • Classes in session when the tornado warning is issued can resume immediately after the warning has expired at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Classes that have not yet begun will resume 30 minutes after the tornado warning has expired provided at least half of the class period remains.
  • Encourage students in your classroom to follow these procedures by remaining in the building and going with you to the lowest level of your building.
  • Crimson Ride will immediately suspend operations, and the driver will direct passengers to shelter in select buildings.

Remember, when severe weather strikes and the warning sirens sound:

  • Move into the nearest best available refuge area.
  • Go to the best available refuge area or lowest floor available, in the center of the building, away from windows.
  • Stay tuned to radio or television stations for further weather statements.
  • Remain inside until the severe weather leaves the Tuscaloosa area.

If a tornado warning is issued for the university area, students, faculty and staff will be notified using the methods listed below.  Please note:  Technology allows the weather service to be more accurate in identifying geographic areas to be included in a tornado warning.  If you receive notification of a tornado warning through any of these methods, move to safety immediately.

UA issues tornado warnings using the following methods:

  • UA Alerts, which simultaneously deploys text messages, emails and phone calls
  • Campus PA system, located in most academic buildings and residence halls 
  • Emails sent via UA Student News and Dialog Extra
  • Social media, including Twitter and Facebook
  • Media alerts through TV and radio stations and newspapers
  • UA Home page
  • Digital signage across campus
  • Crimson Ride bus marquees
  • Campus cable network
  • UAPD sirens

In case of a severe weather event, an email will be sent to an employee’s myBama account. Employees who do not check their myBama email accounts will need to turn on email forwarding. Directions for doing this are under the “Employee” tab on myBama. It is important that contact information is updated in Banner; this can be done on myBama. Go to the Employee tab and select “Update Your Directory Contact Information.”