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< Emergency Preparedness


  • Tornado/Severe Weather Watch - Conditions are favorable for a tornado/severe weather.
  • Tornado/Severe Weather Warning - A tornado warning is issued when a tornado/severe weather has been sighted in the area.

What to do in case of a tornado

  1. Once notified by the media, tornado siren or by the Ottebein University Police Department, remain calm.
  2. Go to the nearest tornado shelter area in your building.
  3. Account for everyone in your room/area.
  4. If outside, take shelter inside the nearest building.
  5. After the storm has passed, contact the Otterbein University Police Department at (614) 823-1222 or call 9-1-1 to report any injuries or building damage.
  6. If the building is severely damaged, evacuate the building as soon as possible after the storm has passed. Gather at the Campus Center or another safe location as determined by the Otterbein University Police Department and law enforcement.

Campus Tornado Shelter Areas

  • Administrative Buildings

  • Academic Buildings

  • Residential Buildings

  • Greek Life and Theme Housing

Prepare Now for Tornado Season

On average the U.S. sees more than 1,000 tornadoes every year, more than any other country in the world. According to the National Weather Service, Ohio ranks 21st in the country for average tornadoes, seeing approximately 16 tornadoes per year. The majority of tornadoes have winds between 110 and 205 mph.

The peak time of year for tornados in Ohio is April through July, and the Otterbein University Police Department has several suggestions to keep you as safe as possible when a tornado strikes.

Follow these tips to ensure that you will be as ready as possible when a tornado strikes:

  1. Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit – Include a first aid kit and any essential medications. You also need canned food, a manual can opener, and at least three gallons of water per person. Include protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags, a battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
  2. Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings – Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information and know the difference between a tornado WATCH (a tornado is possible in your area) and a tornado WARNING (a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area).
  3. When a Tornado WATCH Is Issued – Listen to local radio and TV stations for further updates and pay attention to changing weather conditions. You may see blowing debris or the hear sound of an approaching tornado. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.
  4. When a Tornado WARNING Is Issued or You Hear a Tornado Siren…
    • If you are inside, go to the pre-designated shelter to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects.
    • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
    • If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety.
    • Account for everyone in your room/area.
  5. After the Tornado Passes – Watch out for fallen power lines and stay out of damaged areas. Listen to the radio for information and instructions, use a flashlight to inspect for damage, and do not use candles at any time, in case gas lines have been damaged by the tornado.

/ Otterbein Police

In Case of Emergency
Dial 9-1-1

Call (24 hours) 
p/ (614) 823-1222
e/ Police@Otterbein.edu
f/ (614) 823-1999

194 West Main St.
Westerville, OH 43081

Office Hours
Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

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