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Hope College has developed a campus wide Emergency Action Phone Tree which is activated by Campus Safety whenever a tornado watch or warning is issued.  When you become aware of a weather warning you should do the following:

In the event of a TORNADO WATCH (weather conditions which may develop into a tornado.)

  1. Have someone in your building or department listen and monitor local radio or television for updates in the weather conditions.
  2. Refresh your memory on where the emergency shelters are located and be prepared to move to them on short notice.

In the event of a TORNADO WARNING (actual sighting of a tornado by spotters or Doppler radar in the Ottawa County area.)

  1. You should IMMEDIATELY seek shelter in the nearest designated shelter area.
  2. Continue to monitor e-mail, local radio, and television for indications from the National Weather Service that the Tornado Warning is lifted.  Do not clear your shelter area until officially given the all-clear for Ottawa County by the National Weather Services via local television or radio.  Hope College will not issue an all-clear unless it is based on official information from the National Weather Service.


Severe Thunderstorm and Wind advisories are frequently issued for the West Michigan area. If a high wind advisory (sustained winds of 50 mph or more) is issued by the National Weather Service the Phone Tree will be activated.  Severe Thunderstorm advisories are issued frequently and the phone tree will not be initiated unless the status is issued as a warning and presents an imminent threat to the Holland area.
If lightning is detected, outdoors activities should be postponed for 30 minutes.  Each time lightning is detected, the 30 minute clock will be reset, if after 30 min no additional lightning is detected the event will continue.  

Prepare ahead of time for an emergency! Know in advance where to go and how to get there. If your building does not have designated shelter areas go to the lowest level.  Interior rooms without windows such as bathrooms or closets serve as good shelter areas.  Stay away from windows or open spaces especially near the SW corners of the building.

shelter area direction The shelter areas are designated by color coded signs which are blue and red.  The blue signs indicate direction of the shelter areas. 
shelter sign The red signs indicate the actual shelter area.