Spring is just around the corner which means potential for severe weather is looming.
As you have probably noticed, Arkansas weather can be a little bit unpredictable, but there are ways to remain safe during severe weather season and stay ahead of the storm.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when navigating severe weather is the common lingo used by weather officials and what actions you should be taking during each.
- Severe weather “watches” mean conditions are favorable for severe weather to form. This does not mean that there is any immediate danger. However, whenever you hear there is a severe weather watch in effect, you should take the following actions:
- Review your weather plan, including the best available shelter areas within your community which are posted in every residence hall.
- Consider altering plans to ensure that you have access to a safe space at all times so that you are not putting yourself in a position to be outside or in a vehicle if a warning is issued.
- Actively pay attention to the weather through local news stations or weather apps, even if it is not the typical “news time.”
- Identify alternative ways to receive weather alerts if you are not near a television or radio.
- Charge your electronic devices in case you lose access to power.
- Severe weather “warnings” mean there is an active and immediate threat for dangerous weather, both observed via radar technology or confirmed visually. In the event of a severe weather warning, you should take the following actions:
- Report to the designated best available severe weather shelter area for your community. Please note that many of our buildings do not have basements, but don’t fret, as you are still safe above ground in these identified best available shelter areas.
- Remain in the designated shelter until directed otherwise. Remember some alerts such as the RAZAlert system do not send out an all-clear message. More information will be distributed through the hall staff in your community.
- Think ahead in the event that the worst does happen – put on closed-toe shoes, take your cell phone charger, keys, ID, and debit/credit cards and/or cash and a light sweater or jacket to your safe space.
- In the event that you are not in your residence hall, please get yourself to the nearest building.
In order to receive the most up to date information, all students are encouraged to subscribe to the RAZalert system to receive text, call, and email updates about the happenings around campus.
All students are automatically subscribed via email, but are encouraged to visit the Student Sign-up Page to subscribe to calls and/or text alerts.
Students can also receive weather specific alerts by following the National Weather Service Tulsa (@NWSTulsa on Instagram). The University of Arkansas Police Department (@UARKPD on Instagram) and the University of Arkansas Emergency Management (@UARKEM on Facebook) pages are also good resources and pages for students to follow.