Tornado Resources

Tornadoes can strike at any time of year in Florida. They may develop from severe thunderstorms, waterspouts, or hurricanes. Considered nature’s most violent and erratic storm, they consist of whirling winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour. Tornadoes can sweep through an area, causing serious damage and destruction in their path, and then change direction and strike again. In addition to injuries, structural damage/electrical shorts/gas leaks may create fires or other hazards. Time is critical. Since there may only be seconds to respond, you should be familiar with tornado procedures. 


Tornado Watch

Conditions are favorable for tornado formation. 

Continue normal routine. 

A tornado watch occurs when weather conditions (i.e., thunderstorms or hurricane) are considered favorable for the development of a tornado. 


When a tornado watch is issued, PCC’s Emergency Operations personnel are notified immediately by the National Weather Service. 


Emergency Operations team members monitor weather conditions and are prepared to act if a tornado develops in the vicinity of PCC campus. 


Normal routine is not interrupted during a tornado watch.

Tornado Warning

A tornado is spotted in the area. 

Move indoors immediately.  

A tornado warning occurs when a tornado has been sighted or identified by radar in the area. If campus is within the tornado polygon issued by the National Weather Service, a Shelter-in-Place order will be issued immediately. Tornadoes can develop and move quickly. 


When a Tornado Warning is issued by the National Weather Service and campus is within the tornado polygon: 

  1.  Emergency Operations personnel issue a critical alert to shelter in place (unless students are already in residence halls for the night or sheltered during a hurricane), communicating an Everbridge alert to subscribed cell phones, emails, indoor/outdoor speakers, Campus Connection monitors, and student/employee websites. 
  2.  Everyone is directed to proceed quickly (in an orderly fashion) to the nearest building and to stay away from windows and doors. 
  3.  Anyone unable to get indoors before a tornado strikes should lie flat in a ditch or depression and protect the head while staying away from large trees, metal poles and other electrical conductors. Vehicles should not be used as shelter. 
  4.  Classroom/office doors should be closed. 
  5.  Assistance is provided to persons with disabilities. 
  6.  Elevators should not be used. 
  7.  If a tornado does touch down on campus, a safety assessment is conducted by Emergency Operations personnel before normal operations resume. 
  8.  You will be reminded to continue sheltering in place until an All Clear has been issued through the critical alert system. 

For more information, please see what to do in a Tornado.