Campus News

UGA to participate in statewide tornado drill Feb. 3

UGA to participate in statewide tornado drill Feb. 3

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will participate in a campus-wide tornado drill Feb. 3 as part of the state of Georgia’s Severe Weather Awareness Week 2010.

The drill, which usually occurs between 9 a.m. and noon, should last only a few minutes but should affect every building on campus, said Steve Harris, director of UGA’s Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness.

After the drill, OSEP encourages faculty, staff and students to complete a post-drill survey on its Web site at

“The data we receive from the UGA community about how the drill affects them is invaluable,” Harris said. “It helps us to see what works and what doesn’t, which we can use to modify our emergency plans to help as many people as possible if an actual emergency occurs.”

In addition to its Athens location, the UGA satellite campuses in Gwinnett and Griffin also will participate in the drill. But unlike in Athens, the satellite branches will include a test of UGAAlert, the university’s mass-notification system. The system won’t be used on the Athens campus because it was activated on Jan. 24 due to a tornado warning impacting Athens-Clarke County, making a test unnecessary.

In the case of actual severe weather Feb. 3, the drill will be postponed until Feb. 5.

Each building on campus is encouraged to participate through its designated Building Safety and Security Representatives, who are responsible for developing emergency plans for their buildings. A list of BSSRs is available on the OSEP Web site at

Severe Weather Awareness Week is an annual event sponsored by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the state governor’s office and the National Weather Service. Its aim is to ensure Georgians have sufficient emergency plans and public education to prepare them for natural or man-made disasters.

In addition to UGA, state institutions as well as private businesses across Athens and the state will participate in the tornado drill.

For more information on UGA’s involvement in Severe Weather Awareness Week or tornado safety tips, see or contact the OSEP office at 706/542-5845.