Tornado Information

Tornados large enough to destroy buildings do occur in Pennsylvania. Tornado watches and warnings should always be treated as serious. Public Safety asks you to observe the following guidelines to stay safe in the event of a tornado.

What to Do When a Tornado Warning is Issued

  • Seek shelter.
    • The best places to seek shelter are buildings with basements. Monitor weather reports and go to these buildings when it begins to storm. If sirens are sounding, get to the nearest building. It is too late to seek other shelter. Unfortunately, taking pets into approved storm shelters is strongly discouraged because it limits the space available for citizens seeking shelter.
    • If the building you are in does not have a basement, go to the ground floor and enter an interior (windowless) room or hallway. It is too risky to go to another building once the sirens have sounded.
    • If a power outage occurs during severe weather, elevators may not work. Persons with disabilities who are mobility impaired should go to a small interior room or closet (or a landing in an interior stairwell); stay away from windows and exterior walls. Tell someone where you will be going and take a cell phone, if possible.

  • Shut off equipment that might be affected by a temporary loss of electricity.
  • Close hallway doors as you leave to shield the corridors from flying debris.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Use telephones for emergency calls only.
  • Stay calm and alert.

During the Storm

  • Dial 911 or contact Public Safety to report injuries and emergencies caused by the storm.
  • Avoid large open rooms, if possible.
  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside when possible.
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture, such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it. If possible, cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (such as a mattress blankets) to protect against falling debris and flying objects.
  • Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down; and cover your head with your hands.
  • Remain at your chosen location until advised that it is safe to return to your regular work or study area or leave the building, or until the tornado or severe weather has passed and you have received an all clear via the local media.

After the Storm

  • Dial 911 or contact Public Safety to report locations of trapped persons, making note of persons with injuries or disabilities.
  • Call Facilities (570-577-1911) to report all damage.
  • There will not be an all clear signal from the alert sirens. Additional blasts indicate a new or renewed alert.