Emergency Response Guide

Severe Weather


Tornadoes can occur any time during the year with the right weather conditions.  However, Wisconsin’s peak tornado season is May through August.

A tornado “watch” means that weather conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado.  A tornado “warning” is issued when a funnel cloud has actually been sighted in the surrounding area by a qualified spotter or has been detected on radar.  Emergency warning sirens are activated in the city of River Falls when there is a tornado warning.

When the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning:

  1. Move to the building’s designated storm shelter area.  
  2. Assist people with disabilities to the designated storm shelter.
  3. Remain sheltered until the tornado threat has passed.

Designated Shelter Location

Shelter locations are indicated in yellow on the “Tornado and Fire Procedures” posted on every floor of university facilities.


Water damage can occur from a number of sources:   broken pipes, clogged drains, damaged skylights or windows, construction errors, or weather related events.  The best way to prepare for this is to familiarize yourself with the campus evacuation plan.

If you become aware of a water leak:

  1. Contact University Police at 715-425-3133.
  2. Be ready to evacuate as directed by University Police.
  3. Follow the recommended primary or secondary evacuation routes.


A Blizzard Warning is an advisory issued by the National Weather Service where sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35mph or greater with heavy snow is forecast for a period of 3 hours or more.  A Severe Blizzard Warning is where there are winds above 45 mph expected with temperatures below 10°F.  In some cases, this will also activate the Emergency Alert System.
Please check the UWRF website for more information related to delays and closings for this type of severe weather.