Although tornadoes are not frequent in the Baton Rouge area, severe thunderstorms which can create conditions susceptible for the formation of tornadoes are common.   The following precautions should be taken in such an event.  Generally there will be a brief warning period, which is insufficient to take major emergency protection measures for the facility, but hopefully sufficient time for last minute survival efforts.

1.  Thunderstorms / Tornadoes

Severe Thunderstorm Warning means a thunderstorm producing lightning and damaging winds may be moving toward the immediate vicinity.

a.    If you receive notification of a Severe Thunderstorm Warning stay away from windows and areas with a large expanse of glass.

b.    Notification may be received via local media, public address system, or weather alert radio.

TORNADO WATCH means atmospheric conditions favor the development of storm in which a tornado may develop.  Keep your radio, TV or NOAA weather radio tuned to a local station for information and advice from Weather Service.

Be prepared to take emergency action if situation changes to a TORNADO WARNING.  Tornado Warning means a tornado has been spotted in East Baton Rouge Parish or the immediate area.

c.   If you receive notification of a tornado warning or sight a tornado, move to the lowest level in the interior hallway of the building as quickly as possible.  Notification may be received via East Baton Rouge Warning Siren, public address system, or weather alert radio.

d.  Stay away from windows and areas with a large expanse of glass.

a.    Avoid auditoriums, gymnasiums, and other large rooms with free-span roofs.


c.     If disabled cannot safely move to the lowest level, direct or assist them to an interior hallway away from windows and areas with a large expanse of glass.

d.    Protect your head and face.  If possible, get under a sturdy table or other structure.

e.    After the tornado, stay alert!  Take extreme care when moving about in an area damaged by a tornado.  Watch for downed power lines, shattered glass, splintered wood, or other sharp protruding objects.

2.  Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

Hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30.  The Campus Emergency Coordinator will track tropical storm development by monitoring the local radio station, NOAA website and other external information sources.  The Command Team and Emergency Operations Team shall be immediately notified if there is any indication of a storm tracking toward the Baton Rouge area.  As a Level III (major emergency) under this Plan, all personnel will be instructed to evacuate the campus except those assigned duties in this plan and resident students who intend to remain in the dormitories during the emergency.   The activation of the Emergency Operations Center and those assigned responsibilities will be carried out in accordance with this Plan for major emergencies. 

When a hurricane or other disaster occurs, time for preparation may not be available.  Therefore, each unit of the University should do advance preparation, with periodic backup of data and contingencies for destruction by fire, flood or other cause. 


Deans and Department Heads are required to take appropriate measures to ensure the preservation of University property and safety of personnel.  Below is a list of those actions, which include but are not limited to the following: 

a.      Review Department Emergency Response Plans, updating as necessary any of the following: Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all personnel. 

b.      Distribute Department Emergency Response Plans to all personnel (especially new hires) and review it to ensure that the staff is familiar with its contents.

c.      Make arrangements for appropriate remote storage of critical computer disks, back-up files, and archival records.

d.      Identify and inspect all areas and equipment which may cause or be subject to a disaster. e.g. wiring systems, electrical appliances, lab equipment, etc. 

e.      Designate essential personnel who shall remain on campus during a disaster and/or to report back as soon as possible after a disaster.

f.        Ensure that the "Emergency Contact Telephone Number(s) for the University” are known by all employees and who to contact once a disaster is over so their status can be communicated to University administration and any special needs of employees can be determined. 


g.      Turn off (preferably disconnect) all electrical equipment including typewriters, computers, lights, window air conditioners, microwaves, etc.  Refrigerators should be left on at the coldest setting and covered with a blanket, if available.

h.      If practical, move desks, file cabinets and equipment away from windows and off the floor; store as much equipment as possible in closets or in windowless rooms away from external walls.

i.        Clear desk tops completely of paper and other articles.  Protect books and equipment by covering with plastic sheeting and using masking tape to secure.

j.         Remove any food and perishable supplies from the office area.

k.      In locations where flooding is a possibility, to the extent practical, relocate critical equipment from the ground floor to a higher floor or a higher off-site location.

l.         Lock all file cabinets and desk drawers.  Lock and secure all doors and windows.

m.    Remove all loose items (garbage receptacles, chairs, tables, plants, etc.) from outside of buildings.  Remove all items from window ledges.

n.      EVACUATE!

NO UNIVERSITY BUILDING IS DESIGNATED AS AN OFFICIAL HURRICANE SHELTER. Non-essential employees are discouraged from seeking shelter in University facilities. They should remain at home, stay with friends, or go to a public shelter.  Essential employees are likely to be expected to stay in a University facility. 


The Emergency Operations Center will be in operation and will remain in communication with the East Baton Rouge Parish EOC and other critical staffed areas on campus and will coordinate appropriate support as feasible.  Priority will be placed on the protection of students in the dormitories and other persons on campus and the safeguarding of property.

The Campus Emergency Coordinator will fully activate the Emergency Operations Center and will immediately implement the following:

o.     Continue communication with the East Baton Rouge Emergency Operations Center.

p.     Establish an emergency communications network

q.     Maintain contact with the Chancellor, members of the Emergency Operations Team and other personnel assigned duties in this plan.

r.       Notify all deans and directors of the closing of the University and the release of employees.

s.      Instruct Building Emergency Coordinators to evacuate and lock each building, except for those dormitories occupied by resident students who are remaining on campus during the hurricane, buildings with critical operations, and other exceptions designated by the Command Team. Building Emergency Coordinators are advised to check each room within evacuated buildings to verify that there is no one remaining before locking the building.

The Physical Plant will be responsible for coordination of pre-season preparations.  This includes procuring emergency supplies, boards, tools, batteries and other provisions needed, before, during, and after a hurricane disaster.  The Director of Physical Plant shall coordinate appropriate personnel to implement the following:

t.       Ensure functioning of emergency generator power source to the Emergency Operations Center and other areas based upon pre-established priority list.

u.     Provide appropriate stand-by personnel for emergency work in each Physical Plan department. 

v.     Provide personnel and equipment necessary to keep access to the University roads and driveways clear by removing limbs, fallen trees, and debris. 

w.   Secure all Physical Plant Division material and equipment subject to damage or potential hazard.

x.     Maintain contact with Emergency Operations Center. 

y.     Secure refuse containers and other objects on campus grounds that would be potential hazards.

z.     Every effort will be made by the Physical Plant Division to maintain campus utilities, and respond to the need for emergency repairs as they occur.


As soon as it is safe to do so, the Building Emergency Coordinators should return to their assigned buildings, make a damage survey and report the conditions of their buildings to the Emergency Operations Center or appropriate work management center as directed.

The Director of Physical Plant will be responsible for post-hurricane clean-up operations and will provide maximum support with available resources.  Physical Plant Division will provide interim repairs to facilities, boarding of damaged doors and windows to reduce subsequent damage and erecting barricades to provide protection from hazards.

The Office of Media Relations will continue providing coordination and dissemination of information regarding the event and recovery through appropriate means.

The University will coordinate, as appropriate, with representatives of FEMA, state and local authorities.

Classes and other normal operations will resume as the situation permits.

3.  Damage Assessment Forms

The timely collection of storm related damage is critical to the ability to recover eligible funds from insurances and where insurance coverage does not exist, under FEMA.  A photographic record of the damage is an important part of the process. One should always place a location indicator within the field of the photograph such as building and room number written on a pad placed in the photo. The following forms provide a vehicle for collecting the required information.



 © 2008 Southern University Law Center. Post Office Box 9294, Baton Rouge, LA 70813                                          SU System | Site Map