Office of Public Safety - Tornado Safety

The Cameron Office of Public Safety is very concerned about the safety and well being of those associated with the university.

Tornadoes are a frequent occurrence in southwest Oklahoma and can happen at any time of year, although they typically occur in the spring and summer. We cannot overstate the importance of knowing how to respond correctly to a tornado warning.

To assist everyone in developing a tornado safety plan, you are being provided both general information on tornadoes and specific information on protective areas on Cameron's campus.


A tornado's path may vary from 100 yards to one mile in width. Its forward speed will average 25 to 40 miles per hour. The following instructions for different areas and situations should be studied:

If you are in the open:

  • Move at right angles to the tornado.
  • Attempt to reach shelter, such as a building with a basement.
  • If there is no time to escape or find shelter, lie flat in a ditch or depression, avoiding areas subject to rapid water accumulation or flooding in heavy rains.

If you are in class:

  • The instructor will advise you of the building's designated protective areas.

If you are attending a university function:

  • Participants will be advised of the building's designated protective areas.


The cities of Lawton and Duncan maintain Civil Defense warning siren networks that are used to signal imminent danger from tornadoes. It is a familiar sound, as sirens are tested in Lawton and Duncan every Monday at noon when the weather is clear.

A steady siren for three to five minutes means IMMINENT DANGER. Take shelter immediately in a designated protective area. Once the siren sounds, it is too late to seek shelter in a remote location.

An "all clear" signal will not be given via the siren system. This and other forecast information can be obtained from broadcast media. An "all clear" signal will usually be given over local radio and TV stations after the danger has passed. KCCU-FM (89.3) and other area stations may also be used for weather advisories or updates.


CU Physical Facilities has identified suitable protective areas within each university building. To protect persons using these spaces against airborne debris, all doors should be closed while in use.

Academic Commons South classrooms, restrooms, fraternity & sorority rooms 102, 103, 105 & 106.
Administration Basement corridor & offices.
Aggie Gym Lower dressing rooms on north and south sides away from windows.
Aggie Rec Center Restrooms & dressing rooms.
Animal Science Men's & women's bathrooms.
Art Building Interior hallway, restrooms & storage/work rooms. Rooms 111, 112, 116, 119, 120 & 121.
Burch Hall Basement offices, classrooms, storerooms & basement corridor.
Cameron Exchange Men's & women's restrooms.
Cameron Village See below
McMahon Center South Corridor - behind closed corridor's doors
Women's Restroom, No. 106
Men's Restroom, No. 107
Suites A-B
1st Floor - East and West Corridors - behind closed corridor's doors
Suites C-D 1st Floor - East and West Corridors - behind closed corridor's doors
Suites E-F 1st Floor - North and South Corridors - behind closed corridor's doors
Carpentry Shop Equipment storage rooms.
CETES Women's Restroom, No. 114
Men's Restroom, No. 116
CETES Conference Center Conference Room B and Emergency Operation Center.
Communication Interior corridor, offices & Room 115.
Transportation storage/parts room.
CU-Duncan Restrooms (Room numbers 119 & 122).
Administrative Office (Room 117) with all overhead doors closed.
Cynthia S. Ross Hall Interior offices and conference rooms without windows.
Women's Restrooms, No. 108 & 115.
Men's Restrooms, No. 109 & 114.
Farmhouse - Trailer Low-lying area outside.
Engineering Shop/ Agriculture Classroom Storage room & shop area.
Grounds Shop Equipment & storage rooms.
Haggar Hall Interior corridor, practice rooms & restrooms.
Howell Hall First floor restrooms, reception area of Room 104 & Rooms 110 and 113.
Library Lounge, vault, storage rooms, first floor restrooms & mechanical rooms
McMahon Centennial Complex

First floor northeast (loading dock) corridor, first floor restrooms 103 (women) and 104 (men).
Music Restrooms, Rooms 139, 140 & 141, offices 111 & 113 and storage Rooms 118, 119 & 126.
Nance-Boyer Hall
Center Section
Basement mechanical room & offices 1053, 1054, & 1062.
Nance-Boyer Hall
North Section
First floor restrooms (not in lobby) & interior core offices.
Nance-Boyer Hall
South Section
Second floor restrooms (not in lobby) & interior core offices 1078, 1078A & 1078K.
Physical Facilities Carpenter shop equipment storage.
Plant Science Men's & women's restrooms.
Sciences Complex Interior corridor of west wing, first floor restrooms, offices 137, 138A, 138B, 139, 139C, 140 & 140B. Workroom 139A.
Shepler Center First Floor & Mezzanine Basement. Go through kitchen to go to basement.
North Shepler-2nd -10th floors Restrooms & lounge/conference rooms.

South Shepler-2nd-10th

Restrooms & lounge/conference rooms.
Theatre First floor restrooms basement & storage area.
Transportation Parts storage room.


The National Weather Service, media and public safety agencies use standardized terminology when referring to severe weather conditions; terms most frequently used are listed and defined below: 

Severe Thunderstorms  Wind gusts of 50 knots (58 mph) or greater and/or hail three-quarters of an inch in diameter or larger

Damaging Winds  Sustained or gusty surface winds of 60 mph or greater.

Tornado  A violent local storm of short duration with very high-speed winds rotating about a vortex with a funnel extending from the base of the cloud to the ground.

Funnel Cloud  A tornadic-type funnel extending downward from the clouds, but NOT touching the ground.

Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm WATCH  Issued by the National Weather Service as a precautionary alert when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes or severe thunderstorms in the specific area.

Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm WARNING  Issued when a tornado or severe thunderstorm has been sighted visually or detected by radar. The location and direction of movement, if known, are given and residents of the specific WARNING area should take immediate safety precautions.

Questions regarding Cameron University's Tornado Safety Information should be directed to the Office of Public Safety by email or at ext. 2237.

Cameron University wishes to acknowledge and thank the University of Oklahoma Police Department for information it made available in preparing this web page.

OU Police Department Tornado Safety Site

Veteran's Day flags with Science Complex and roses

Cameron University Office of Public Safety
2800 West Gore Blvd.
South Shepler, Room 108
Phone: (580) 581-2237
Fax: (580) 581-5556
Emergency: (580) 581-2911