Tornado Warning ... then what?

What had started out as a somewhat sunshiny day turned quickly into a dark day that the few of us who were there will never forget. The storm blew in on a Sunday night and we were left confused on our balconies, trying to find shelter with tornado sirens blaring in the distance. Five minutes previous to the warning I was comfortably sitting in my pajamas, watching the newest episode of Moving to Alaska on HGTV. I watched the rain come in, and come in hard. In the distance I could see the lights shining on the infamous bell tower. The strong winds were carrying rain over the top of the tower with such a force it seemed as if we were sitting in the middle of a tsunami.

The warning message ran across the screen and few seconds later the sirens were singing outside. Confused and concerned as a third floor Commons resident, I stepped out onto our balcony. A few neighbors were also standing in their doorway, wondering where to go or what to do next. I knew I had to get lower, but I only knew a few people on the first floor. As I was getting ready to make a move, a girl in shambles ran past me crying, saying she was going to the Campus Center. I decided this was probably a better idea than trying to text a first floor friend, so I followed. The Campus Center ... why hadn't I thought of that? That must be where the storm shelter is, I guess I had just never seen it.

The crowd of students, who were stuck on campus, shuffled through the rain towards to the doors of the Campus Center. Once inside, we were ushered to sit in a hallway with no windows. Was this supposed to be the shelter? The safehaven? A crowded hall with no windows, surrounded by my fellow students; was this where I was going to die? Death honestly never really occured to me, but I could tell that it was a real fear for a few scared students sitting near me.

The warning ceased but shockingly, only a few students received the Lion’s Alert that we were now in the clear. "Why didn't every student on campus receive one?", said freshman Lion's Den Resident Henry Gutierrez. We shuffled back to our rooms just as we had shuffled to our so-called “shelter.” I left more concerned than I did when I had arrived. Was this really the disaster plan we had in place? If this is the case, I am baffled and somewhat disappointed. We go to a University that prides its self on multi-million dollar academic buildings, but does not provide an adequate storm shelter. Granted, I realize that we are not in the middle of tornado alley, but I think we are close enough to have an escape from the storm. What are our priorities?

We would love to hear your opinion on the subject. Tweet us at @LionsEditor with your responses.


Payton Allen
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, April 15, 2014