GWU Officials Prepare Students for Possibility of Severe Weather

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Warning Systems, Weather Apps Used to Help Alert Campus Residents of Dangerous Weather Conditions

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University officials are planning for the possibility of inclement weather this evening, and are encouraging students to be proactive with effective storm preparation.

Meteorologists are predicting several waves of strong to severe storms moving through the Carolinas today through Wednesday, and believe there is a moderate likelihood of tornadic activity. Flash flooding is also a concern.

Storm preparation tips include:

  • Charge all cell phones and tablets;
  • Know where to go in case of a tornado (signs posted in all GWU buildings);
  • Keep helmets (bike, baseball, motorcycle, etc.) nearby for protection during a tornado warning;
  • Have a flashlight with fresh batteries;
  • Have prescription medicine nearby; and
  • Visit for other storm preparation ideas.

Authorities say receiving warning alerts from multiple sources is a top priority. At Gardner-Webb University, there are several warning systems on campus that provide alerts for potentially hazardous weather.

Lightning Threat

The University is equipped with a WeatherBug Lightning Alerting System. Once lightning is detected, there will be a 15-second horn blast. When you hear this horn blast, you are encouraged to seek shelter. If there is lightning within the general area, the strobe on the alerting system will flash. (The flashing strobe is located on top of the Soccer Field Press boxes.) When the threat has passed, there will be three five-second horn blasts signifying that lightning is no longer a threat.

Severe Thunderstorm Threat 

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when a thunderstorm is reported within the immediate area. Warning sirens sound a tone (three long wails) that a thunderstorm is nearby and people who are outside should seek shelter inside. Emergency alerts will be sent to cell phones, campus email and campus telephones.

Tornado Threat

Tornado warnings are issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) when a tornado is approaching the area. City warning sirens will sound a tone (three long wails) that a tornado is approaching and people should take shelter immediately. Emergency alerts will be sent to cell phones, campus email and campus telephones.  In the event of a tornado warning being issued for the Boiling Springs area, those on campus will need to go to the designated tornado location posted within each university building. Other tips include:

  • Go to the most interior room on the lowest level of the building;
  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside; and
  • Wear a helmet and protect your head.

In addition to the on-campus storm warning alarms, University Police will also utilize the Bradford message system for emergency alerts.  Students are also encouraged to download the WeatherCaster app, which is a free app available for download on smart phones and tablets. Though this application does not take the place of watching the news, it can provide up-to-date information about the weather, and send weather alerts.  To sign up to receive GWU emergency alerts on your cell phone, log into WebbConnect with your user ID and password. Click “Maintain Information” and select “Opt in for Emergency Texting.”

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 55 major and minor professional programs of study, a comprehensive academic experience that flows from our Christian commitment to intellectual freedom, service and leadership.