KOKOMO, Ind. – For about an hour Wednesday afternoon, Indiana University Kokomo students, faculty, and staff lined up along the interior walls of basements on campus due to the threat of a tornado. At 2:47 p.m., the campus alert system was activated and notifications of the tornado warning were sent via text messages and emails. An all-clear was issued nearly an hour later.
The campus Emergency Management Team responded quickly, walking halls and classrooms in each building to give instructions and ensure everyone’s safety.
“Campus safety is our number one priority,” said Chancellor Michael Harris. “I am proud of our team that worked together and handled the severe weather alert very well, with the safety of our campus community in mind.”
Sitting with their backs to the walls, students relied on modern technology to keep themselves informed – either using a cell phone to text messages or surfing the Web on their laptops. Other students simply used the time out of the classroom to read or visit with friends.
“I was in a humanities class when someone with a cell phone said we had a tornado emergency,” said Angela Bird, a sophomore majoring in education. “Then a staff member came by and said we all had to go to the basement. We actually all sat down here and finished our assignments together, doing our individual artwork for class.”
A group of students on the second floor of the Main Building for Spanish 203 had just returned from a class break when they were directed to head to the basement.
“I received a text message on my cell phone telling me to go downstairs,” said sophomore Nicholas Sheets.
IU Kokomo has an emergency notification system in place, IU-Notify, which automatically sends campus emergency and weather closing announcements via telephone, e-mail, and text messaging. It is important that students, faculty, and staff update their contact information for prompt notification. Please go to www.iuk.edu/campus/safety_security/emergency_preparedness.html to update.Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.