Tornado season…be prepared

It’s peak season (May-August) for occasional tornadoes. Be prepared!

Know the difference between a watch and a warning:

tornado imageA Tornado Watch or Severe Weather Watch means a tornado may develop. Be alert and be prepared to take action if the watch becomes a WARNING. (It is not necessary to seek shelter for a severe weather watch.)

A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been spotted in the area. Immediate action may mean the difference between life and death. (It is not necessary to seek shelter for a thunderstorm warning.)

What does the University Library do when there is severe weather?
Our weather radio alerts us when severe weather threatens Walworth, Jefferson, and Rock counties, and we follow procedures in our emergency manual. If there is a tornado warning, and it is heading towards Whitewater, we make an announcement over the public address system directing people to go to the nearest tornado shelter area within the Library (marked with large blue signs). The elevator should not be used, and no one should exit the building until the warning has ended.

If you are interested in knowing more about tornado preparedness, you can search the Library Catalog for tornadoes. A basic explanation of what you need to know about tornadoes is available from the Milwaukee/Sullivan office of the NOAA National Weather Service. The Milwaukee/Sullivan site also lists current watches and warnings (tornadoes, flash floods, severe thunderstorms, and marine warnings) for Wisconsin. The American Red Cross has an online preparedness checklist.

Forces of Nature book coverIf you are explaining tornadoes to young children, the University Library has some materials that may help. Search the Library Catalog for tornado? and juvenile for a list of titles, including the National Geographic book “Forces of nature: the awesome power of volcanoes, earthquakes, and tornadoes(2nd-floor Curriculum Collection, Oversize Juvenile Nonfiction, Call no: 551.2 Gra) and an online coloring book from the National Weather Service “Billy and Maria learn about tornado safety.”

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The University Library is a federal depository with many federal, state, local, and international documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in print, microfiche, CD-ROM, and electronically. Come check out your government at the University Library!

About Barbara

I am a Reference & Instruction librarian, head of that department in Andersen Library, an associate professor, and a member of the General Education Review Committee and Faculty Senate. I've been working at UW-W since July 1, 1990.
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