The University has established uniform instructions in the event of a severe storm, tornado, and/or winter storm.  Severe weather conditions would include the possibility of high winds, rain, lighting, hail, funnel clouds, etc. Please know tornadoes can occur at anytime during a given year.  The typical tornado season for the TCU area is March through September.

Understanding the difference between a severe storm watch and a severe storm warning:

  • The National Weather Service issues two types of severe weather notices; watch and warning.
  • Severe Storm/Tornado WATCH indicates a tornado or severe thunderstorm is possible until a set time.  During a watch, you should monitor the weather and be prepared to seek immediate shelter.
  • Severe Storm/Tornado WARNING indicates a tornado or severe thunderstorm has been detected by either sight or radar.  Be aware that since tornadoes can form quickly, there may not be enough time to issue a warning for those in the immediate area.  For this reason, during a warning you need to move quickly and take action to seek shelter as a tornado or severe thunderstorm has been sighted in your immediate area.

Pre-Planning – in preparing for severe weather, here are things to know and do:

  • Know where the storm shelter is for the building you are in.  Typically it is the the lowest floor or basement level of the building.
  • Try to place as many walls/doors between you and the outside wall of the building you are in (interior restrooms, interior closets, small interior conference rooms, etc.).
  • Stay away from rooms with large roof spans (lecture halls, gyms, etc.).
  • Stay away from areas with glass windows or glass walls (lobbies, hallways, etc.).
  • Have a flashlight or other light source (light stick, cell phone, etc.) available.  Battery-powered options are recommended.
  • Plan to monitor weather through the use of the radio, television, or internet.

During an emergency, TCU Alert will notify building occupants through indoor speakers of the severe weather.  Be prepared to move if needed.  Also, to assist in knowing what to do during a severe storm, visit the helpful online video training links below:


  • Upon notification by the TCU ALERT system, the City of Fort Worth’s Department of Emergency Preparedness Sirens or outside weather clues begin to monitor the weather through local stations (see links below). Outside weather clues may consist of dark skies, large cloud wall, rain, hail, loud thunder, etc.  Outdoor Warning Sirens are strategically placed about the city to warn people of imminent danger. TCU has two such all-hazard sirens on campus – one by the Charlie and Marie Lupton Baseball Stadium and one is located by Steve and Sarah Entrepreneurs Hall.

KXAS, NBC Channel 5

WFAA, ABC Channel 8

CBS Channels

  • Upon notification move to the storm shelter area with in your building.  If you are outside when these sirens are activated seek shelter inside the closest building.
  • Take a weather radio, tablet, smart phone, or laptop if possible with you to continue to monitor the weather in the storm shelter area.
  • Have a flashlight or other light source (light stick, cell phone, etc.) available.  Battery-powered options are recommended.
  • Remain at the shelter until you can determine the severe weather/tornado has passed.