Local colleges are prepared for severe weather - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Local colleges are prepared for severe weather

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UAH and UNA both say they are prepared should severe weather break out. UAH and UNA both say they are prepared should severe weather break out.
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The clean up continues in Southern Mississippi after two tornadoes blew through on Sunday. Some of the worst damage was at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The Tennessee Valley is no stranger to twisters, and local colleges are prepared if they're faced with the same severe weather situation.

Many people in Southern Mississippi are on the road to recovery after an EF- 4 and EF-2 tornado touched down.  The University of Southern Mississippi was hit especially hard.

There can be hundreds of students on a college campus at anytime, so how do you keep them safe if a tornado comes to town?  Officials at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the University of North Alabama shed some light on their severe weather safety procedures.   

"We have shelter locations throughout campus," said UNA Director of Communications, Josh Woods.  "They are usually in the basements of residence halls, the student center and certain academic centers. In times when there's a threat of severe weather, particularly tornadoes, we try to make the mapping of those locations as highly visible and as common knowledge as possible."

The same rules apply on the campus of UAH.

"We have a severe weather operations plan, and it outlines a number of things that we do leading up to and including the weather event," said Emergency Management Coordinator Kevin Bennett.

Bennett said all students are made aware of where to go in the event of bad weather when they are freshman.  But if they forget, arrows pointing to the designated "protective area" signs are posted on the walls.

"All of our buildings have designated protective areas," Bennett said. "We've had a civil engineer go through all the buildings to identify the best shelter areas."

For an added safety measure, both schools keep students and staff updated with alerts on social media, email and text messages. 

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