Campus and Weather Hazards

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  • UNC sirens will sound if the University issues an emergency warning. Emergency situations include the presence of an armed and dangerous person, a major chemical spill or a tornado warning. If you are inside a building or driving in a car, you may not hear the sirens, which are intended to be heard by people who are outdoors.
  • The University uses multiple methods of emergency notification, such as emails and text messages, to contact those who are registered with the Alert Carolina system.
  • To receive Alert Carolina text messages, please visit the Alert Carolina website. All members of the Gillings School community are urged to register their cell phones.
  • Upon receiving an Alert Carolina notification, please share the information with those around you. Do not assume that others also have heard the siren or received the message. You may save someone’s life.
  • When an Alert Carolina warning is issued, classes should cease and not resume until an “all clear” is announced. Please follow the instructions that accompany the warning message.
  • An “all clear” announcement will be made by both siren and text to let the campus community know when it is safe to resume regular activities. The Gillings School’s leadership and designated emergency coordinators will assist in spreading the “all clear” message once an emergency has passed.

Tornado Information


Tornado or severe weather watch:

This means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms either in or close to the watch area.


When a watch is in effect, be aware and ready for a possible tornado or severe weather warning (or several warnings throughout the day).

Be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions, listen for warning sirens and stay tuned to media channels that will have the most up-to-date weather information.

Know the location of safe areas in your building, more than one route to your location and the name of your unit or department’s emergency coordinator.

Tornado or severe weather warning:

This means that a tornado has been sighted or that dangerous, severe weather is present or approaching.


When a warning is in effect, seek shelter in interior spaces on the lowest floor of your building, away from windows and doors.

In the Gillings School buildings, the safest shelter areas are (see maps below):

  • Basement of Rosenau Hall
  • First floor hallways of McGavran-Greenberg Hall, or inside classrooms 1301, 1304 and 1305
  • Ground floor of Michael Hooker Research Center, either inside storage room 0005 or inside the restrooms.

Share with others any weather updates you receive.

Stay put until an “all-clear” is given.

Lab occupants should close and seal all chemicals and place all hazardous materials in primary containment.

Lab occupants also may want to move valuable or sensitive equipment and materials away from windows and shut down and unplug sensitive electrical instruments.


Severe Weather Shelters at Gillings


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