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Charleston Southern University > Campus Security > Weather Emergency Procedures

Weather Emergencies

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 CSUs tornado response plan into action.

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



Storm Shelter Areas

  • Art Building: Interior rooms, restrooms.
  • Ashby Hall:  First floor restrooms, interior walls crouch and cover.
  • Athletic Center: Locker room, interior hallways, restrooms, training rooms.
  • Athletic Performance Center: Interior rooms and restrooms.
  • Athletic Training Classroom: Do not shelter in this building. Move to a permanent building structure nearby like the Field House.
  • Brewer Center: Interior rooms and restrooms. STAY OUT OF THE GYM AREA.
  • Communications Center: Interior hallways, pool restroom.
  • Dining Hall: Restrooms, kitchen hallways and storage areas.
  • Field House: Locker rooms, classroom restrooms, interior rooms, weight room and hallways. STAY OUT OF THE ARENA AREA.
  • Hunter Reception Center: Interior storage rooms, hallways and restrooms.
  • Jones Hall: First floor restrooms, interior walls - crouch and cover.  First floor reception area.
  • L. Mendel Rivers Library: Library basement and restrooms.
  • Lightsey Chapel: First floor Chapel restrooms and basement, the lower level of the music building.
  • Music Building:  Basement, interior hallways.
  • Norris/Wingo Halls: First floor restrooms, interior walls - crouch and cover.
  • Nursing Building: First floor interior hallways and restrooms.
  • Physical Plant: Interior offices, restrooms.
  • Quads: First floor restrooms or rear of any room on the first floor.
  • Russell West/East: First floor restrooms or rear of any room on the first floor.
  • Science Building: First floor interior hallways and restrooms.
  • Singleton Baseball Complex: Interior area, restrooms.
  • Softball Center: Interior area, restrooms.
  • Strom Thurmond Center: First floor interior hallways and restrooms, faculty suite.
  • Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership: First floor restrooms, first floor hallways away from glass windows and doors.
  • Whitfield Stadium Center: Downstairs in concession area and restrooms.
  • Whittington Hall: Interior classrooms and restrooms. DO NOT GO INTO LARGE BAND ROOMS.
  • Wingate by Wyndham Hotel: First floor interior hallways and restrooms.
  • Women's North/South: First floor restrooms or rear of any room on the first floor.

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 integrated marketing 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.

Sign Up For BUC Alerts

BUC Alert is an emergency communication system that sends notification to the entire campus community before, during and after an emergency. To signup for BUC Alert notification system, you must be logged into your MyCSU account.