Severe Weather

Severe weather scenarios may include tornados, severe thunderstorms, and snow or ice storms.

Tornado Watch: conditions are favorable for tornados to develop.
Tornado Warning: a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar.


The primary notification for a tornado will be the activation of sirens. Local emergency officials test sirens at noon on the first Tuesday of the month. Tests will usually not be performed on days when there is bad weather.

What should you do if you hear the sirens sound during a weather-related event?

Take shelter immediately. If you are outdoors, enter the nearest building and move into interior corridors away from windows. If you are in a multi-level building, move to the lowest level. Monitor local news outlets for changing conditions, and remain in a safe place until danger is past.

Secondary Notification Methods

Maroon Alert (email and text messaging) and the possible use of loudspeaker announcements. Additionally, during any emergency, MSU personnel are encouraged to monitor the MSU Emergency website. This is typically the fastest and most up to the minute notification. A link may be found at the bottom of the main MSU website. The emergency website will be updated with the latest status and situation reports. Finally, during any emergency, the emergency call center Hotline, 662-325-5555, will be activated.

Expected Response

Tornado Protection Procedures

When you hear a siren, it is imperative to seek shelter in the nearest building. Do not go to your vehicle during a tornado siren. Vehicles do not provide adequate shelter, and roadways need to be kept clear for use by police and emergency responders. Instead, seek shelter on the bottom floor of a building. If possible, choose a basement or interior hallway. Clear all classrooms and residential rooms. Secure all laboratories to include shutting off gas burners and equipment that could cause additional health and safety concerns. When a tornado approaches, you should assume a kneeling position facing the wall and cover your head with your arms. Keep away from doors and windows. The MSU Crisis Action Team will monitor the situation and give the all clear as soon as conditions are safe. Do not leave the shelter until the "all clear" has been given. For other severe weather conditions, monitor the notification methods mentioned above.