Tornado Evacuation Procedures and Instructions for Unit Closure: Main and Undergraduate Library

Notification Procedures

In the event of severe weather, the Library’s procedure for the notification of individuals within the library gives responsibility to the Central Stacks and Circulation Unit. In most cases, this notification will be via the Library’s PA system and postings to Lib-news. Central Circulation will make every effort to notify library personnel and patrons of watches and warnings, but units also need to monitor the weather situation by keeping their weather radio on at all times.

 

The sequence of notifications and the unit-level responses are outlined as follows:

 

Type of Warning

Meaning

Stacks Action

Unit Response to Notice

Tornado Watch Announcement for Champaign County

The conditions in the county are favorable for the development of a tornado.

Notify units via PA system; post notice to Lib-news.

Notify personnel and patrons; monitor unit weather radio.

Tornado Warning Announcement for Champaign County

A tornado has been sighted somewhere in Champaign County.

Notify units via PA system; post notice to Lib-news

Notify personnel and patrons; monitor weather radio; prepare unit for possible need to close immediately.

Civil Defense Sirens/Tornado Warning for Urbana-Champaign

There is immediate and life-threatening danger in the Urbana-Champaign metropolitan area.

Evacuate immediately.

Evacuate immediately.

SSHEL staff member will walk to UGL via the tunnel to notify them

   

Evacuation Procedures 

  1. Starting at the back of the unit, evacuate all patrons and personnel from the space.
  2. If you have orange vests for designated staff, these whould be worn.
  3. Close and lock the unit doors as you leave.
  4. Post the appended signs on the doors of your unit as you leave (Appendix __).
  5. Avoiding the use of elevators and stairwells with windows (if possible) make your way quickly to designated safe spaces within the Library. These spaces include: 

    a. The tunnel between the Main Library and the Undergraduate Library.
    b. The basement of the western-most stack additions.
    c. The enclosed stairwell within the western-most stack addition.
    d. Interior offices or bathrooms without windows that are at least one level below the top floor.

  6. Assume a seated position on the floor, with the head down and hands locked over the head during the disaster period. If you are wearing a heavy jacket or have access to other heavy cloth material, use these items to cover your upper body and head. This will help protect you from any flying glass and debris. Always try to stay close to the floor.
  7. Remain in the sheltered location until notified that the warning has been lifted, or thirty minutes have lapsed without sounding of the Civil Defense sirens indicating a continued danger.
  8. In the event that you cannot reach one of the identified safe spaces noted above, locate a room with few bookshelves and take shelter under a strong table or desk in a windowless room.
  9. In the event that the tunnel between the Main Library and the Undergraduate Library is filled to capacity, the staff in ILL/DD, Main Stacks, and CMS will coordinate to open the door from the tunnel to the basement staff work area (7/11 Hall) and the door from there to the stacks. Staff will assist in directing patrons and/or staff to areas of safety within the Main Stacks as necessary.

 

Evacuation of Patrons and Personnel with Disabilities (Non-Stacks Units): 

  1. Without putting yourself in jeopardy, Library personnel should assist all employees and patrons with disabilities to areas of safety for tornadoes, fires, and other such emergencies.
  2. In the event that you cannot reach one of the identified safe spaces identified above with the patron, assist them in reaching the safest position possible.
  3. In the event of actual storm damage to the facilities, please inform the Library’s Head of Facilities (or designate) of the location of this individual.

  Evacuation of Patrons and Personnel with Disabilities in the Stacks

  1. The safest identified space within the stacks includes the basement of the west stacks.
  2. Without putting yourself in jeopardy, Library personnel should assist all employees and patrons with disabilities to areas of safety for tornadoes, fires, and other such emergencies.
  3. In the event that you cannot evacuate the individual to the west basement, please assist the individual in reaching the enclosed stairwell in the west stacks.
  4. In the event of actual storm damage to the facilities, please inform the Library’s Head of Facilities (or designate) of the location of this individual.

 


PDF Version

Back to Emergency Policies

Back to Policies 

Back to Office of Services