April 3, 2014

JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – While warmer temperatures are much appreciated here in Southern Illinois after an unusually brutal winter, the threat of severe weather is never far from mind.

In May of 2009, for example, straight-line winds later termed a derichio, hit the region and did substantial damage to property, including the John A. Logan College campus. Hundreds of trees were uprooted and had to be replaced. Fortuntately, there were no injuries reported at the college.

Don Priddy, Director of Emergency Planning and Risk Management at Logan, began cautioning employees and students earlier this week to be prepared in the event of bad weather.

“In typical Southern Illinois fashion, we’ve gone from too much snow and ice to 70 degrees and wind, which is bringing along the threat of severe storms,” Priddy said. “Campus Police interns are working with others to update and create maps for classroom and office areas. If your area has a severe weather shelter map, please familiarize yourself with it. If it doesn’t, please trust that it will soon.”

Priddy said the basic rule for severe weather shelter is to go to the lowest floor of a structure and stay away from glass.

“Try to put as many walls between you and the outside as possible,” he said. “An interior room with no windows is best. This can be a closet, office, bathroom, etc. Be aware that some of the bathrooms on campus do have windows and should not be used for shelter.

“Avoid areas with high ceilings or wide-span roofs (such as the gym) and be aware of the possibility of ‘wind tunnels’ in hallways with outside doors at the end of them (such as the hallway which runs south from the coffee shop in ‘E’ wing). Stairwells, which do not have windows, are also good shelter areas.”

Priddy said it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

“Please take a few moments to look around your area and find a safe shelter area and how to get there quickly,” he said. “If a tornado comes, it is not the time to be looking for shelter. You should already know where you are going to go. If you are not sure, call me (X 8218) and I will help you locate the best area.

“Should a tornado warning be issued, we will use all of our communication resources to get the word out,” he said. “Please remember that students may not know where to go and faculty and staff will play a vital role in ensuring they get to safe areas.”
 
A pamphlet “Severe Weather Safety Guide” issued by the National Weather Service, is available at the Campus Police Department in E120.