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Severe Weather

OSU-Tulsa officials monitor weather conditions and take action to notify students, faculty and staff when severe weather is indicated.

Cowboy Alert NWS messages for tornado warnings

Cowboy Alert subscribers will receive notification via text message when the National Weather Service declares a tornado warning in an area within 10 miles of the OSU-Tulsa campus.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for Cowboy Alert to receive tornado warnings and other emergency text and voicemail alerts on campus. The system helps alert subscribers about campus emergencies, such as weather-related closings, active shooters or immediate biohazard threats.

To opt in to the Cowboy Alert system, log in to the O-KEY system, click on Campus Alerts and Notifications in the left column and add your contact information. Please allow one business day for your request to be processed.

Tornado Safety

You are responsible for finding shelter in the event of a tornado. If you are on campus during a normal work day, seek shelter in the following places:

  • Main Hall: 1100 wing, 1300 wing or 1400 wing restrooms (lower level).
  • North Hall: Conference Center (includes the B.S. Roberts Room and North Hall 153, 155 and 156).
  • Auditorium: Restrooms in the auditorium lobby or the Conference Center in North Hall.
  • Administration Hall: First floor restrooms and other rooms away from windows.
  • Helmerich Research Center: First floor interior restrooms adjacent to the atrium.

Monitor weather reports and go to these buildings when it begins to storm; if the sirens are sounding, it is too late to seek other shelter.

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.

  • 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.
  • If local radio is available, keep tuned to KWGS 89.5 FM, KRMG 102.3 FM or 740 AM, KJSR 103.3, KVOO 98.5 FM or KFAQ 1170 AM for storm details.
  • If local television is available, keep tuned into KJRH Channel 2, KTOV Channel 6, KTUL Channel 8 or KOKI Channel 23.
  • Dial 911 to report injuries and emergencies caused by the storm.
  • Call the Tulsa Help Desk (918-594-8200) to report all damage.
  • There will not be an all clear signal from the alert sirens. Additional blasts indicate a new or renewed alert.
  • Report locations of trapped persons, making note of persons with injuries and/or disabilities.

Tornado Tips

  • In the event of tornadoes, basements generally offer the best protection. Otherwise go into an interior room (bathroom/shower) or hallway on the lowest floor 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.
  • Avoid large open rooms, if possible.
  • Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down; and cover your head with your hands.
  • Even in an interior room, you should cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, etc.), to protect against falling debris and flying objects in case the roof and ceiling fail.
  • Faculty, staff, and/or students should remain at your chosen "Safe Area" location until advised that it is safe to return to their regular work or study area or to leave the building until the tornado or severe weather has passed and you have received an all clear via the local media.

If you are caught outdoors and cannot quickly walk to a shelter:

  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
  • If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Now you have the following options as a last resort:
    • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
    • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
  • Your choice should be driven by your specific circumstances.

Remember, there is no “all clear” siren activation. Weather, especially a severe storm, is unpredictable or the storm may have several lines of developing storms and as each approaching threat reaches the city, another siren notification may be sounded. Give serious consideration to using a portable battery operated radio “tuned to a local broadcast station” (KWGS 89.5 FM, KRMG 102.3 FM or 740 AM, KJSR 103.3, KVOO 98.5 FM or KFAQ 1170 AM) to provide you with local warning information and to let you know when the severe weather has passed.