Grand Valley Police Department

Severe Weather

Severe Weather Procedures

Designated Safety Areas, All Campuses

Emergency Closing Procedure

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Severe weather safety at Grand Valley State University involves a variety of measures aimed at pre-planning. GVSU's plan focuses on early and quick warning to alert the faculty, staff, students, and visitors of our campuses. Residence Life, the Safety Office, and the Grand Valley State Police Department have all worked cooperatively so that when severe weather strikes, the University is prepared for safe, orderly sheltering. Posting of designated shelter locations, training programs for resident assistants and building contact persons, twice a year reminders, and the monthly testing of warning sirens have contributed to a high level of preparedness for our University.

Early Warning

Many offices on campus use the NOAA weather radio to provide immediate notification of storms in the vicinity. The weather radio instantly informs various departments of watches or warnings issued for the county. Police officers also maintain contact with both the County 911 system and the County Emergency Services Unit to provide up to the minute weather bulletins.

Tornado Notification

Tornado sirens will activate when a tornado warning has been issued, and in some cases when there are extreme straight line winds. If the siren is sounding, it should be your indication to seek shelter immediately. Each campus is within reach of tornado warning sirens. Their main function is to alert people outside. They may not be heard inside most buildings. The verbal notification of a Tornado Warnings is dependent on what campus you are on. Some campuses use intercoms in hallways and classrooms. Most others use a combination of University personnel making verbal notifications using both portable radio and phone contact.

University Operations

Classes are only interrupted for tornado warnings.
     Thunderstorm Watch:

  •      University operations continue as normal
  •      You should monitor the weather
  •      Be prepared for changing conditions

     Thunderstorm Warning:

  •     University operations continue as normal
  •     Call List is initiated by GVSU Police Department
  •     You should monitor the weather
  •     Be prepared for changing conditions
  •     Some outdoor athletic and intramural events will be cancelled

     Tornado Watch:

  •      University operations continue as normal
  •      Call List is initiated by GVSU Police Department
  •      You should monitor the weather
  •      Be prepared for changing conditions

     Tornado Warning:

  •      All University operations are suspended until the event has passed
  •      Call List is initiated by GVSU Police Department
  •      Sirens are activated
  •      You should seek shelter immediately

Your Responsibilities

During severe storms it is important for you to be aware of changing weather conditions so that you will know when severe weather may affect you. One of the easiest ways to do this is to listen to local radio stations that give periodic weather bulletins during severe weather. Any of the major television networks will also provide up-to-date coverage. The Internet contains numerous local weather sites.

Page last modified June 2, 2015