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Emergency Information

Inclement Weather

In the event of hazardous or inclement weather, students, faculty, and staff who have registered their cell phones with WU Alert will receive notification by text and/or voice mail. Other sources of notification include university e-mail or the university website where additional details related to campus closings or delays can be found. Should you not have access to cell phone notifications, e-mail, the Web, or other information, call the campus alert line, 803/323-2222, for a recorded message.

Please do not call Campus Police for closing information, as this will tie up phone lines that may be needed for an emergency.

Earthquake

  1. If indoors, quickly seek refuge away from windows, shelves and heavy equipment, preferably in a doorway or under a desk or table.
  2. If outdoors, quickly move away from buildings, utility poles, and other structures.
  3. If in a vehicle, stop in a safe place away from buildings, utility poles, and other structures; stay in the vehicle.
  4. After the initial tremor, evaluate your situation and if you need emergency assistance, call Campus Police at 803/323-3333 or 911.
  5. Be prepared for aftershocks and protect yourself at all times.
  6. Be aware of any structural damage around you, and if necessary, leave the building per the “Building Evacuation” guidelines.

Tornado

A tornado watch means that tornadoes are possible.
A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted somewhere in the warning area. Usually the warning sirens will sound.

  1. If indoors, quickly seek shelter in the lowest level of the building, preferably in an interior hallway or room. If time does not permit, go to the safest area of the room you are in, usually the inside wall, farthest away from doors and windows.
  2. Doors to rooms should be closed.
  3. Take shelter underneath a desk or other piece of heavy furniture. Assume a fetal position to protect your head and eyes.
  4. If outdoors, immediately seek shelter, if available. Otherwise, take cover in the nearest ditch or depression, away from power lines, buildings, and trees. Do not remain in a vehicle or a non-permanent structure or attempt to outrun a tornado.
  5. After the tornado has passed, evaluate your situation and if you need emergency assistance, call Campus Police at 803/323-3333 or 911.
  6. Be aware of any structural damage around you, and if needed, leave the building per the “Building Evacuation” guidelines.

Hurricane

A hurricane watch is declared for an area when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
A hurricane warning is declared when hurricane conditions are expected in an area in 24 hours or less. Hurricane conditions include winds of 74 miles per hour or greater.

If a hurricane warning is in affect and safe evacuation from campus is not an option:

  1. Move all furniture away from windows. Electrical appliances should be unplugged and off the floor, preferably in a closet.
  2. All loose objects should be placed in drawers, file cabinets, or closets.
  3. Close all windows tightly, raise blinds, and close all curtains or drapes.
  4. Those students who reside in residence halls that have bathtubs should clean the tub and fill it half full with water. (The water in the tubs may be needed for washing and flushing toilets if the water supply is cut off.) Fill smaller containers with water for drinking purposes.
  5. Anyone with a car should set the emergency brake and place the vehicle in park. Cars with manual transmission should be in lower gear or reverse.
  6. Await instructions from Campus Police, your building coordinator, Residence Life staff, or other authorized personnel.

In the event of a hurricane:

  1. Stay indoors until the storm is completely over. Do not leave your area or room until you are instructed to do so by Campus Police, your building coordinator, or other authorized personnel.
  2. When instructed, quickly seek shelter in the lowest level of the building, preferably in an interior hallway or room.
  3. During the peak of the storm, close doors and remain in hallways.
  4. Stay away from windows, doors, and other dangerous areas.
  5. Power failure is likely to occur during a hurricane, therefore, do not attempt to use the elevators.
  6. Do not attempt to open windows or doors.
  7. Report all accidents, injuries, broken windows, or excessive water to Campus Police at 803/323-3333 or to Residence Life staff.
  8. Keep campus phone lines clear for emergency communications.

Media Coverage

University Relations staff also will notify, as quickly as possible, the following local media outlets regarding closings and delays.

Please Note: The following links will open in a new browser window or tab.

Notices also may be listed in the Rock Hill Herald, Charlotte Observer, and SC's The State newspapers, provided decisions to close or delay classes meet publication deadlines.

Weather-Related Policies

If a weather incident requires cancelling classes on a weekend, there is a separate policy for that event.

Members of the Winthrop community should use their discretion in judging the safety of traveling to the university during periods of inclement weather. Check the Hazardous Weather/Emergency Leave Policy for details to help faculty and staff determine how inclement weather affects the work schedule.