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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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University takes precautions for severe weather

The devastation caused by the Oklahoma tornado in May was a reminder of the unpredictable disasters severe weather can cause, but departments at the University are constantly working to deal with these potential hazards.

The Environmental Health and Safety Department (EHS) is responsible for coordinating all aspects of environmental management, occupational health and safety on campus as well as implementing safety regulations for the University, according to the departments page on

Vince Davis, Fire Safety and Emergency Management coordinator, said departments like EHS are primarily concerned with making sure that the University is up-to-date on all of the environmental safety regulations, but the issue is not as simple as it seems.

“If you write a document, but don’t ever practice it, is it really a working document,” Davis said. “It may be in compliance with regulations, but [the question is] does it work. That is why we are constantly practicing our plans periodically on campus to make sure they are functional.”

Senior Tyler Kolach could not recall a moment that he felt unsafe at the University as a student.

“We have had some pretty bad storms in the winter, but I have never been concerned for my safety while on campus,” Kolach said.

Through his on-campus job at the student union, for the University campus operations, Kolach was able to see how secondary plans can be implemented to ensure safety on campus.

“Last summer when they were making all of those renovations in the Falcon’s Nest and around the rest of the Union, they had to shut off the fire alarms for quite a while to accommodate for construction,” Kolach said. “All of us employees had to take turns during our work shifts and go on ‘fire watch,’ which basically meant we had to walk around and make sure there were no fire hazards or potential dangers in the area. It was an inconvenience for everyone working, but it is nice to know that the University didn’t just take a chance on having the alarms down the whole time.”

Kolach’s participation in a “fire watch” is not uncommon, as the fire safety policy for the University is a cooperative operation between the Bowling Green Fire Division, EHS, campus operations, public safety, residence life, risk management and student affairs, according to the EHS page on

Tim James, administrative captain for the University Police Department, said providing immediate updates on potential severe weather or other hazards is also important to ensuring the safety of everyone in the community.

BG alerts, an emergency text message service, allows the University police department to inform students about crime, building closures, severe weather and cancellations on campus.

“When you realize that we run a 24-hour operation here it makes sense that we were put in charge of sending out the BG alerts,” James said. “We are always on top of the weather.”

Students can sign up for BG alerts through their MyBGSU accounts and stay up-to-date on future severe weather.

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