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Natural Disaster /Severe Weather (Code Black)

Severe weather watch

  • Monitor Emergency Alert Systems (radio, test alerts, website).
  • Bring all persons inside buildings.
  • Close windows and blinds.
  • Review shelter/evacuation procedures and location of safe areas.
  • Basements and enclosed first-floor hallways and rooms are best.
  • Review “duck & cover” procedures. (Crouch down on elbows and knees with hands over the back of the head.)

Tornado warning issued or observed near campus

  • Initiate lab or other department emergency procedures.
  • The Rush University or appropriate emergency personnel will activate notification procedures.
  • Move students and staff to safe areas. Do not allow evacuation by vehicles.
  • Ensure all persons are in “duck and cover” positions under desks or tables.
  • Remain in safe area until warning expires or until emergency personnel have issued “all clear” signal.

Hurricane/severe storm/flooding

  • Monitor emergency alert systems (radio, test alerts, website) and RU-Alert communications.
  • When advised, evacuate to designated safe areas.
  • If time permits, remove items from near windows and secure loose objects.
  • Stay indoors during high winds. Stay away from and do not open windows, and keep away from exterior walls and doors.
  • If time permits, turn off water/electricity at main controls, unplug appliances.
  • Remain in safe area until warning expires or until emergency personnel have issued “all clear” signal.

Inclement winter weather (snow/ice/wind)

  • Monitor emergency alert systems (radio, text alerts, website).
  • Closings or other restrictions of travel can be monitored through the University website, radio and television, RU-Alert, emergency text alerts and school monitors.

Earthquakes – with or without warnings


  • Get students and staff under desks/tables or supported doorways and interior hallways.
  • Stay clear of exterior walls, skylights and falling objects.
  • Do not evacuate building unless exits and avenues of egress are safe.


  • Stay in the open, away from buildings where window glass and other objects may fall, and protect your head.
  • Be aware of fires, downed power lines, aftershocks and broken utility pipes.