Severe Weather Awareness

Be Alert to the Onset of Severe Weather

If you do not regularly watch or listen to weather reports, consider purchasing a NOAA Weather Alert Radio. There are many widely available alert systems through local television stations, the Weather Channel, or such Internet providers as Weather Alert or Weather Bug, that you may download to your personal computer. Local weather alerts are also broadcast over any of the Oberlin Cable Co-op TV channels.

The National Weather Service

The National Weather Service issues weather warnings to the public. The following terms will help you understand the severity of storm warnings:

Severe thunderstorm watch: identifies a geographic area where storms are likely to develop. Possibility of frequent lightening and damaging winds of greater than 58 mph, hail ¾ inch or more in diameter, and heavy rain.

Severe thunderstorm warning: issued when severe weather is occurring or is imminent. Frequent and dangerous lightening strikes are probable along with hail and winds greater than 58 mph. The possibility of tornado development exists.

Tornado watch: conditions are favorable for tornado development.

Tornado warning: a tornado is imminent, has been sighted in the area, or is indicated on radar. Seek safe shelter immediately.

The City of Oberlin Fire Department

The City of Oberlin Fire Department uses five weather warning sirens in the community to warn residents when a tornado warning is issued or a tornado is sighted near the Oberlin area. The siren nearest to campus is located on South Main Street. The standard siren signal consists of an alternating siren (ten seconds on, then ten seconds off) for a four-minute period. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is then activated on Oberlin Cable Co-Op TV stations.

The emergency siren system is only used for alerting the public to impending danger associated with severe storms and tornado warnings. When you hear the siren, seek shelter immediately.

Since the National Weather Service issues all warnings, the fire department does not issue an all-clear signal; rather, residents are encouraged to monitor advent and expiration of weather advisories by standard broadcast means.

We test the siren system every month at 11 a.m. on the second Wednesday, from March through August. We do not conduct siren tests during inclement weather to avoid confusion. Listen for the test so you understand what you may hear during an actual alert.

More information is available on the Tornado and Severe Weather Safety in Oberlin website.

Emergency Alert System

Oberlin College will use its EAS to notify subscribers that the National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Warning for Lorain County.

The message will advise recipients of the National Weather Service announcement, and that they should be alert to changing weather conditions announced by the National Weather Service or to be alert for city siren activation.

To subscribe or to verify and update personal contact numbers in Oberlin’s Emergency Alert System, please visit the EAS website. Faculty and staff who do not want to receive warnings while away during the summer months should modify their primary contact number to their office phone number until they return to Oberlin.

Safety and Security Office Numbers

Safety and Security Emergency Line
24 hours a day
(440) 775-8911

Emergency - Police, Fire, Ambulance
24 hours a day
Call goes directly to County Emergency Services, not through Oberlin College Safety and Security

Non-Emergency Services

24 hours a day
(440) 775-8444

Student Shuttle Service

9 p.m. to 2 a.m. during semester
(440) 775-RIDE (Campus Ext. 57433)