Emergency Preparedness

Weather Emergency


Severe Summer Weather

A tornado or severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are right for severe weather to develop rapidly. If a watch is issued for southern St Louis County, the following steps should be taken:

  • Monitor the local emergency alert radio station, the Duluth media, or the National Weather Service web site.
  • Supervisors with employees working outdoors should consider instructing them to go inside the closest building with safe areas.
  • Supervisors with employees working indoors (such as in offices or laboratories) may instruct employees to close windows and blinds, and be ready to move to safe areas.
  • Faculty with classes in session should close windows, inform students of their building's safe areas, and be ready to relocate to those areas.

A tornado or severe thunderstorm warning means that the severe weather is happening and the situation is dangerous. The National Weather Service will sound the sirens in the event of a tornado warning, but not in the event of other severe storms. The University will activate tone-alert radios. If a tornado or a severe thunderstorm warning is issued for southern St Louis County, the following steps should be taken:

  • Move students and staff to a safe area immediately. Safe areas include basements, pedestrian tunnels, or interior hallways on the lowest floor. Avoid large, poorly supported roofs and structures such as auditoriums or gymnasiums.
  • Close classroom, laboratory, or office doors, and stay away from windows.
  • Remain in a safe area until the warning expires or until the all-clear signal has been issued.

Heat Guidlines

When temperatures inside classrooms are expected to reach 85 degrees or above during class times, the EVCAA office will issue a heat cancellation for classes in non-air-conditioned buildings. Faculty, staff and students will receive this email in the same manner they do for other weather related closings. The notice will specifically apply to classes being held in buildings without air-conditioning. All other classes will remain in session. Faculty may, at their discretion, assign an online assignment or prearrange a meeting in another appropriate location that students know to go to during heat dismissal.

Severe Winter Weather

As a general practice, the University of Minnesota Duluth does not close unless the health, safety, or security of University personnel and students is seriously brought into question.

If the decision to close the Duluth campus is made, all official University announcements will be made exclusively through Office of External Affairs. Announcements of an emergency closing will, to the extent possible, specify the starting and ending times of the closing, and whether the closing includes specific University services, events, and evening or Saturday classes and programs.

Office of External Affairs will use a variety of communications tools to announce any closing. Duluth media, the UMD Snow Hotline 218-726-SNOW (7669), UMD Alerts text messaging, the University Web page will all be used to alert the University Community. The community is expected to seek out announcements and information on possible closing. Calling University offices will not guarantee that the latest or most accurate information is provided to the caller.


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