At 5:31 PM today, Wesleyan sent out an email with the subject line “URGENT – Shelter in Place” to the campus. This occurred almost half an hour after many received weather alerts from various weather services on their phones, including the one in this tweet from WesWings:
Shit’s getting real pic.twitter.com/GHi8psF15b
— WesWings (@Weswings) May 15, 2018
Many students were surprised by the sudden appearance of the severe weather (this is Connecticut! We’re not supposed to get tornados in Connecticut!)(Except for when we do), as evidenced by the dozens of people I witnessed pour out into the Exley lobby to ogle at the strange-colored sky, high winds, and lightning. One of our editors captured this lightning strike from an upper floor window:
The Shelter in Place warning was lifted in a follow up email by PSafe at 5:50 PM, but weather.com reports that the threat has been lowered to a severe thunderstorm watch until 11 pm.
Read below for the full text of the two emails:
Subject: URGENT – Shelter in Place
Wesleyan Public Safety has been notified of a severe weather threat/Tornado Warning approaching our area. All students, faculty, staff, visitors should SHELTER IN PLACE indoors immediately. If outside, seek shelter in the nearest building.
Keep away from all windows and doors.
Keep a distance from heavier objects that may fall, as well as large glass objects.
If possible, direct individuals with disabilities to a safe place.
Avoid overcrowding by selecting several interior rooms in advance with the fewest number of windows and vents.
The rooms should have sufficient space for everyone to be able to sit, including space for potentially anticipated visitors.
Large storage closets, pantries, break rooms and conference rooms without exterior windows are ideal shelter locations.
Additionally, access to bathrooms is preferable.
Try to seek rooms with hard-wired telephones. Cordless-phones may be used if necessary, but cell phones may overload the system in an emergency.
See more information at http://wesleyan.edu/publicsafety/Shelter%20in%20Place.html. When it is safe to exit, you will be advised by a uniformed officer or receive a message. Again, this is only a test.***
***It appears as if the last sentence of this email is an error left over from the test Shelter in Place alert that was sent on February 28.
Subject: All Clear Tornado Warning Lifted
The severe weather threat/Tornado Warning has been lifted for the area. Please exercise caution as there are storms in the area and monitor local news sources for additional information.
From all of us here at Wesleying, stay safe from the weather and good luck on your finals!