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Severe Weather

Be Prepared

  • It is sometimes possible to forecast the arrival of severe weather sufficiently in advance to implement precautionary measures. When forecasts indicate that severe weather will affect the campus, all students and staff should take timely and necessary action to minimize the possibility of injury or damage to personal property.
  • Staying informed and being prepared is everyone’s personal responsibility.
  • Weather advisory definitions:
  • WATCH: Conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather in the area. Everyone should closely monitor the situation in case of deterioration.
  • WARNING: Severe weather has actually been observed and is imminent or is occurring in the area.

General Precautions

  • Keep a good flashlight on hand.
  • Avoid exposure to any severe weather. Plan ahead and stay informed when severe weather is anticipated. Do NOT call 911 unless you have an emergency and need immediate assistance.


  • Hurricane season is from June through November in the Tampa Bay area.
  • Hurricanes are accompanied by high winds and heavy rains.
  • No place outside is safe during a hurricane. A substantially constructed building offers the best chance for protection.
  • Plan for the worst. Have adequate clothing, food, medications and water ready before it is needed.
  • Residence Life will keep residents informed.
  • View  Hurricane Frequently Asked Questions for more information.


  • Stay away from telephones, electrical appliances and plumbing.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go indoors immediately.
  • Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
  • Become familiar with the alarm sound of UT’s Thor Guard lightning detection system. The alarm sounds may be heard on  Thor Guard, UT's Lightning Warning System.


  • Unlike hurricanes, tornadoes do not have a season and may form during any time of the year. However, they are most likely to occur during May and June and during the hurricane season in the Tampa area. Although tornadoes may last only minutes, they can travel as much as four miles during that time.
  • If you hear a tornado warning, immediately move to safety and away from windows.

Items to have in case of an emergency:

  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Drinking water
  • Snack foods and nonperishable foods (high energy foods—peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, etc. and comfort foods—cookies, candy, etc. are great to have!)
  • Any prescription medications
  • Pillow and blanket
  • Cards and/or board games
  • Battery operated radio
  • Cash (without power; banks may be closed, checks and credit cards unaccepted, and ATMs may not work)

Residential Students

The University is not responsible for damages to or for the loss of personal property as a result of a hurricane.

Before you leave your room:

  • Do not tape your windows
  • Remove furniture from the vicinity of windows
  • Close your blinds
  • Turn lights off
  • Leave air conditioning on low
  • Remove valuables from the floor
  • Unplug all electronics
  • Disconnect computer from the network and cover it with a plastic bag, if possible
  • Place a towel around the bottom of your refrigerator
  • Lock your door and take your key with you

Before you leave campus:

  • Sign out with your RA or member of the Residence Life staff.
  • Complete the residential student location form in Residence by Symplicity.

At the shelter:

  • In the event of campus evacuation, transportation will be provided to the American Red Cross Shelter. View Evacuation Procedures and Hurricane FAQ to learn more. 
  • Maps and Shelter information is available online and at each residence hall front desk. 
  • You may bring all of the items listed below:
    • You will be allowed only one bag
    • 3 meals per day will be provided
    • No pets, alcohol, drugs, or weapons will be permitted in the shelter

The University of Tampa provides a free emergency alert text messaging service to students, faculty and staff.

What do I do if a shelter in place order is issued?