Tornado Preparedness Procedures for Units in the Main Library

Preparing Units:

Unit heads are responsible for ensuring that all personnel within their unit are trained about the Library’s evacuation procedures and the steps they should take to ensure the safety of their patrons and themselves. The table below lists actions that are the unit head’s preparedness responsibilities and a schedule of when they should occur.

Action Schedule
Review Evacuation Procedures Annually before start of tornado season (3/1 – 8/1) with all personnel; at start of any new personnel.
Review Safe Spaces Near Unit Annually before start of tornado season (3/1 – 8/1) with all personnel; at start of any new personnel.
Check Flashlight/Radio Batteries Monthly.
Designate Unit Responded and Alternate to Monitor Weather Situation as Needed As Needed

Guidelines on Evaluating Safety of Evacuation Spaces

In addition to reviewing evacuation procedures with unit personnel, Unit Heads should evaluate nearby alternate locations to be used only when necessary. The table below lists designated safe spaces, provides a potential alternate, and lists identifying characteristics of spaces that should be avoided. Unit Heads should clearly communicate the location of safe alternate spaces to their personnel, but clearly articulate that these are only intended as points of rescue for disabled patrons and personnel or when no other alternative exists.

Space Safe, Only if Necessary, or Avoid?
Basement – West Stacks Safe
Enclosed stairwell – West Stacks Safe
Interior offices or bathrooms not eliminated due to criteria below Only if Necessary
Areas with windows Avoid
Corridors with exterior doors Avoid
Upper Levels – 4th floor; 10th Stack Level Avoid
Any space opposite a doorway Avoid
Under skylights or large open ceilings Avoid
Near a swinging door Avoid
Stairways with windows on the north side of the building. Avoid


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