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BGSU prepared if tornado strikes

While tornadoes that have been sighted have not touched down on campus, the University is prepared in case one does.

“We do have a very comprehensive emergency plan,” said Capt. Tim James of the University police.

The Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, also referred to as CEMP, is a planned response the University has in place in case a tornado or other natural disaster occurs on campus.

The plan can be accessed on the University website, but has not been necessary for use in a while.

“We have never had a tornado touch down on campus since I have been here,” said James, who has been at the University for more than 20 years. “However, we have had strong wind storms that have caused damage to some of the buildings on campus.”

The Student Recreation Center and the airport were two of the buildings that were damaged during these storms.

Each building on campus has a shelter map, James said. The shelter map shows where students, faculty and staff in that building should go if there is a tornado or the threat of one.

“Any building or substructure is a good place to go if a tornado occurs on campus,” James said. “If there is a tornado warning, you need to seek shelter at that time.”

Residence halls on campus have specific areas in the building where students are to be taken if a tornado occurs.

“Harshman and Kreischer have underground tunnels. If you live there or are close by, that’s where you want to go,” James said.

Some students do not know what to do or where to go if a tornado occurs on campus.

“I have no idea,” said senior Crystal Edwards. “I’m a transfer student and I’m still learning the basics.”

Other students have learned what to do during their time at the University.

“I know more than I did if you would have asked me a year ago,” sophomore Jasmine Staten said. “It wasn’t enforced much so up until this year I had no idea what to do.”

The University is making an effort to make sure students and faculty are prepared in case a tornado ever hits campus.

“Back in June, the Campus Administration held a table top exercise to show what to do in case there was a tornado on campus,” James said.

Table top excercises are discussions about emergency situations that are guided by a facilitator.

These exercises have been done in the past, and there are plans to do them in the future.

“We try to have two a year, one in the spring and one in the fall,” James said.

A more in-depth exercise has been scheduled for Jan. 30.

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