Weather Advisory: Tornados

Nancy Parrish
Tornado graphic

Summer months carry the threat of severe storms and tornados in our area. Take a few moments to consider how well you are prepared in the event of a tornado warning.

The time to prepare for a tornado is before it happens. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides information on how to prepare and what to do in the event of a tornado. Take a few moments to read the important safety information FEMA has assembled:

Sign Up for Text Alerts from Frederick County

You can also sign up for text alerts to your cell phone from Frederick County at

Tune in to Radio or Television Stations

Stay tuned to local radio or television stations for tornado watches and warnings.

Be Alert for Announcements from Environment, Health, and Safety

When the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for the area, Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) will use the following means to contact you:

  • Public address system announcements to all facilities (including the Vaccine Pilot Plant and the Advanced Technology  Research Facility)
  • Pop-up messages on your computer screen
  • E-mail

What to Do When a Tornado Warning Is Issued While You Are at Work:

  • Remain calm.
  • Regardless of what you are doing (even in the laboratory), stop working immediately and move to shelter.
  • If you are in a modular building or trailer, evacuate to a permanent structure if at all possible, and if the storm has not yet arrived (see map).
  • Go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway), away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • Stay there until you hear the public address system announcement that the tornado warning has ended.                                                                       

If you have any questions, please contact EHS’ emergency management staff at 301-846-1451.

Buildings to evacuate during a tornado warning: The buildings that are trailers or modular on the NCI at Frederick campus, or have other significant hazards such that they should be evacuated, are colored red in the building map.