What You Should Know About Campus Tornado Warnings

Last Thursday we participated in a tornado awareness drill using the UT Alert text and email system. As we head in to severe weather season, we want to remind you about how and when UT will issue a tornado warning alert and interruptions to campus activities.

How UT Issues Tornado Warning Alerts

The Office of Emergency Management uses advanced software to determine if a tornado warning includes campus. UT Alert is only used when a tornado warning includes campus. A tornado warning in Knox County might not include campus.

It is possible that Knox County could issue a tornado warning that does not include the campus area. For example, the area marked in red is in Knox County but does not include campus.

Interruptions to Campus Activities

For short interruptions due to tornado activity, the campus inclement weather policy provides direction for campus activities:

  • Faculty can cancel class or resume class if there are 30 minutes or more left in the session after the “all clear” message is given.
  • Faculty should be reasonable when a campus emergency impacts a student’s attendance.
  • Faculty should provide students with a reasonable opportunity and amount of time to complete assignments or exams they may have missed.
  • Faculty members may add an additional session or assign additional work to make up for the class missed.
  • Department heads have discretion in determining work activities and hours for faculty and staff.

Visit the Inclement Weather Policy page for more information.

For more information on tornado safety, visit the Safety website.