Thunderstorms are common in this region and can vary from light to severe. Severe storms may result in tornadoes, downed trees, loss of power and other safety issues. Being prepared for a storm can help reduce your risk of injury.

How to prepare

  • Identify in advance a safe location to seek shelter. Safe locations include a parked car or the interior of buildings away from windows.
  • Know the difference between a watch and a warning.
  • Monitor the weather in your location.
  • Make sure electronic items are plugged into a surge protector.

What to do during a storm

  • Seek shelter immediately. Do not wait for the rain to intensify. If you hear thunder or see lightning, it is no longer safe to be outdoors.
  • Avoid driving through standing water. Most cars and light trucks will float in as little as a foot of water.
  • Avoid using corded electronics, such as a plugged-in phone.
  • Unplug electronic devices that aren’t connected to a surge protector.
  • Avoid taking a shower.
  • If you’re outdoors during a storm and cannot get to a safe indoor location:
    • Avoid high ground, open spaces and water.
    • ​Do not seek shelter under trees.
    • Avoid being near metal objects, including metal fencing, umbrellas and machinery.
    • Avoid sheltering in open areas such as bus shelters and pavilions. They shield the rain, but do not keep you safe from lightning.
    • Crouch down and put your feet together. You may also need to cover your ears to protect them from hearing loss from thunder.
    • Do not stand in a crowd.
  • Persons injured by a lightning strike do not carry an electrical charge and can be touched safely. Immediate first aid should be administered while calling campus police at 704-687-2200 or by activating a blue light phone.

After the storm

  • All outdoor activities should be suspended until the storm has completely passed and there is no evidence of lightning.
  • Do not touch downed tree limbs or wires, as they may still be live.
  • If you notice an on-campus power outage from the storm, call Facilities Management at 704-687-1311.