Severe Weather Preparedness

Michigan weather can change at any moment. Be prepared in the event of a tornado or severe thunderstorm with these safety tips from the U-M Office of Emergency Preparedness.

  • Register for the U-M Emergency Alert System on Wolverine Access. In the event of a tornado or other serious emergency, the University will notify students via e-mail, text, or voice message.
  • In the event of severe weather, tune to local radio or television stations for timely status updates. Always seek shelter first, however, even if it means moving away from a computer, television or radio. Remain in a sheltered area and monitor local broadcasts until an “all clear” message has been issued.
  • If a severe weather warning is issued, close all doors and secure loose materials that could become a projectile.
  • If you are outdoors and hear the warning sirens, find shelter immediately. If there is no easily accessible interior space, lie flat in the nearest ditch and cover the back of your head.
  • Safe shelter areas include
  • Lowest interior space of the building
  • Internal classrooms, offices, or stairwells without glass windows
  • Do not use large rooms with high ceilings or rooms with an outside wall/windows as safe shelter.
  • Be careful of downed power lines, gas line breaks, broken glass, etc. after a severe storm.
  • If the building has sustained damage or if anyone is in need of medial assistance, call 911 immediately.
  • Know the following types of alerts from the National Weather Service:
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch: conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms in your area – keep an eye on the weather and be ready to take shelter.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: a severe thunderstorm with high winds, lighting, and/or hail has been detected in the area – take immediate shelter inside a building.
  • Tornado Watch: conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop in the next several hours – tune in to local TV or radio stations for updates and be ready to take shelter.
  • Tornado Warning: a tornado has been detected in the area – take immediate shelter inside a building.