Charleston Southern University / Campus Security / Weather Emergency Procedures

Weather Emergency Procedures


The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the University’s organization for the management of campus responses to major disasters. The EOC’s major decision-makers come together to facilitate a coordinated effort during a major campus emergency. Though designed for hurricane emergencies, the EOC could be activated during other long-term emergencies where key decision-makers need to be together for rapid decisions, coordination, and communications.
Hurricane Preparedness - Watches & Warnings
Understanding the difference between National Weather Service watches and warnings is critical to being prepared for any dangerous weather hazard, including hurricanes.

A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur. It literally means "be on guard!" During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific     threat and prepare for action - monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.

A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent - it is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) - or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to     take action: grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately. Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.
Hurricane Watch
At the time a Hurricane Watch is posted for our area The CSU Emergency Operations Center will notify the campus community via BUC Alert as to what action steps to take.

Hurricane Warning
At the time a Hurricane Warning is posted for our area The CSU Emergency Operations Center will notify the campus community via BUC Alert as to what action steps to take.
Tornado Emergency Information
A tornado watch is issued when there is a good possibility that a tornado will touch down. A tornado watch usually encompasses many counties and last several hours.
A tornado warning is issued when severe weather is happening. When a tornado watch is issued, it’s time to go to a safe place and put CSU’s tornado response plan into action.

The campus will be notified via BUC Alert when the weather bureau issues a tornado warning for our area.


Tornado Shelter Areas

  • Wingo/Norris: Get as close to the interior walls as possible. Crouch and cover.
  • Jones Hall: The west side of the first floor reception area
  • Ashby Hall: First floor labs under lab tables and in interior first floor restrooms and offices.
  • Library: Library basement
  • Chapel: Library basement, first floor chapel restrooms and the lower lever of the music building
  • Hunter Reception Center: Interior storage rooms and restrooms
  • Women's North and Russell Halls: The first floor bathroom or rear of any room on the first floor.
  • Quads: First floor bathrooms or rear of any room on the first floor.
  • Field House: Men's or women's locker rooms, classroom restrooms, weight room and hallways. STAY OUT OF THE ARENA AREA.
  • Art Building: Interior rooms
  • Brewer Center: Interior rooms and restrooms. STAY OUT OF THE GYM AREA.
  • Whittington Hall: Interior Classrooms and restrooms. DO NOT GO INTO LARGE BAND ROOMS
  • Whitfield Stadium Center: Downstairs in concession area

If time permits, the safest places for everyone to go are the Library and Chapel basements. 

If you are unable to get to a shelter, go to an interior room away from windows. If caught outside, lie face down in the nearest spot and cover your head.

DURING A TORNADO WATCH: Tune in to a local radio or television station and be alert to changing conditions. THERE MAY NOT BE TIME TO ALERT EVERYONE IN THE EVENT OF A TORNADO.

General Rules

  • When told of a warning, go immediately to the nearest shelter area. Get on your knees in a tucked position with your hands covering your head.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • A tornado comes swiftly and goes the same way. Stay in the shelter until the all clear is issued.
  • If indoors , seek refuge in doorways, under desks or heavy tables. Stay away from windows, shelf units or heavy equipment. Crouch and cover.
  • If outdoors , move quickly away from buildings, utility poles and other structures. Go to outside safe areas.
  • After the initial shock, evaluate the situation in your immediate area. If damage seems serious, activate the building alarm and leave the building as soon as it appears safe. Protect yourself and others at all times.
  • The physical plant director will inspect each building and will consult with Campus Security and ranking officials as to the safety of the structure.
  • After all buildings and areas have been inspected, the ranking senior officer will decide if we should return to normal operations, restricted operations or close and evacuate campus.
  • As with all emergencies, the ranking senior officer and the director of university relations will handle the press.
  • Injured persons will be treated as medical emergencies and will be treated by campus first responders until local EMS units can get to campus.

CSU Student Handbook

It's important to know the student policies and procedures while living or visiting the CSU campus. Download the Student Handbook.


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