A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds in an area. During a hurricane watch, review your plan for evacuation in case a hurricane or tropical storm warning is issued. Listen closely to instructions from local officials.
A hurricane warning indicates that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph), the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds to allow for important preparation. During a hurricane warning, complete storm preparations and immediately leave the threatened area if directed by local officials.
A severe thunderstorm watch indicates that severe thunderstorms are possible in the area. You should plan what you will do and what items you will need should the storm arrive. If you hear thunder outside, go immediately indoors to avoid being struck by lightning. Remember that lightning can strike as far as 10 miles from the storm.
A severe thunderstorm warning means that severe thunderstorms are imminent or already occurring in the area. You should take shelter in a fully enclosed building or a vehicle with a metal roof (not a covered patio, open garage, and not a convertible). Avoid showers, sinks and electronic equipment during an electrical storm. Stay inside for 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.
A tornado watch indicates that weather conditions are favorable for the formation of tornados in the watch area. You should stay informed about weather conditions and plan what you will do and where to go if a tornado warning is issued.
A tornado warning means a tornado has already been spotted or that doppler radar is indicating storm circulation that can quickly spawn a tornado. The campus emergency siren will sound this warning. You should seek shelter in a basement or an interior hallway of a sturdy building immediately.