The Emergency Management Team sent the following email to the campus community Thursday, March 7, 2024 as part of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s statewide Tornado Drill – Ed.

Dear William & Mary community – 

While W&M is not participating in the Statewide Tornado Drill, we thought it would be a great opportunity to remind you of steps that you could take in case you were ever threatened by a Tornado Warning.

During a tornado warning

If a tornado is sighted approaching the campus:

·       Go to the interior hallway on the lowest floor if time permits. If time does not permit, go to the safest area of your classroom or office furthest away from the doors and windows.

·       Avoid windows, auditoriums, gymnasiums, or other structures with wide, free-span roofs.

·       Take shelter underneath a desk or any heavy furniture available.


Campus emergencies such as tornados, hazardous materials incidents and active shooter incidents may require sheltering indoors for safety. The W&M Warning Siren System will sound if an emergency requires sheltering-in-place. Take the following steps if you hear the siren:

Take shelter indoors. Close windows and doors.

Seek information:

  • Check: email and other campus communications
  • Visit: or
  • Watch: any cable TV channel on campus 
  • Wait for an “all clear” message.

As a reminder, reminders of what action to take during a tornado and other weather emergencies are available on the university’s Emergency Management website and through the W&M Mobile App.

Throughout the rest of Severe Weather Awareness Week, we encourage you to think of these steps are you are making your way around campus and identify areas where you can seek refuge during severe weather events.

Ginger Ambler, EMT co-chair

Don Butler, Interim EMT co-chair

William & Mary