VCU Alert

On-campus emergency: 828-1234
Off-campus emergency: 911

Snowy day on VCU campus

Weather safety

A variety of weather conditions can impact VCU. Specifically, thunderstorms, tornadoes, high wind, flooding, tropical storms, hurricanes, snow and ice have all impacted VCU at one time or another.

Specific considerations for dangerous weather conditions are detailed below.

Hurricane/tropical storm

A hurricane will be forecast several days in advance of its actual impact. Consequently, this provides an opportunity to check disaster supplies (e.g., food, water, flashlights, batteries, etc.), bring inside anything that can be picked up by wind (e.g., lawn furniture, bikes, etc.), make sure your car’s gas tank is full and learn about emergency support contacts (e.g., VCU Police).

If the storm is forecast to directly impact VCU, it is safest to evacuate to an area far from the storm’s predicted path before it arrives. However, if you are unable to evacuate, simply shelter in place until the worst of the storm passes. After the storm has passed, it is extremely important to listen to local authorities to ensure safety is maintained while the VCU community recovers.

Tornado/high wind event

A tornado or high wind event will have minimal warning, so it is important to use official communication sources like the VCU Alert system or other trusted sources (e.g., a local television station or the National Weather Service). If this type of event occurs, the VCU Alert system will be activated in full and will necessitate immediate emergency sheltering in a location that is as low and interior as possible in a given building. If you are outside, you should immediately find shelter indoors.

After the storm passes, it is extremely important to listen to local authorities to ensure the risk has passed and safety is maintained while the VCU community recovers.

Severe winter storm

Winter weather events are good opportunities to prepare your emergency kit with nonperishable food, water and supplies for you and your family (don’t forget your animals) for two to three days. You might also consider items like rock salt, sand, snow shovels, windshield scrapers and extra blankets to deal with the conditions the winter weather may leave.

It is also important to prepare your vehicle by making sure the gas tank is at least half full, antifreeze is sufficient, tire tread is adequate and windshield wipers and washer work well. Because these events can last for several days, it is critically important to listen to local authorities and trusted sources of information.