Services for International Employees & Scholars


In the United States, the warning system for tornado is divided into two levels of severity: tornado watch and tornado warning.

Tornado Watch

Tornadoes are possible in this area. Remain alert for approaching storms.

Tornado Warning

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been detected on radar or is sighted by a weather spotter. In case of a tornado warning:

In university buildings equipped with voice emergency warning systems, a weather emergency take cover message will be activated when the Lawrence sirens have been activated.

Move immediately to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet or interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Put as many walls between you and the outside. If available, get under a sturdy table or piece of furniture and always protect your head and neck with your arms. Remain there until the all clear is given by local radio stations (KANU/KLWN), police or other official sources of information. In university buildings equipped with voice emergency warning systems, an all-clear message will be activated when an official all-clear has been issued for Lawrence.

If you are outside when a tornado warning is issued and/or the sirens are sounding, take cover in a pre-designated shelter or the lowest level of a building. If those are not accessible, lie in a ditch or depression away from trees and power lines and cover your head with your hands.

If you are driving a vehicle, abandon the vehicle. Move into a pre-designated shelter or lowest level of a building. If a suitable structure is not available, lie down in a ditch or depression but be aware of flash flooding.

If you have a disability and need help getting to a lower level for safety in a KU building, proceed to an area of rescue and activate the system. If you are unable to make it to an area of rescue, call 911 for assistance.

Text Message Alert

You may sign up for severe weather alerts to receive a text message.  This alert system is based on county.  Lawrence is located in Douglas County.  Since tornados typically move northeast, it is a good idea to sign up for alerts in counties that are to the south and west of your residential area.

We strongly recommend that you sign up for severe weather alert notifications.  The local TV station WIBW has a very good text messaging service and you can sign up for alerts based on county. 


Counties to the west of Douglas County are Franklin, Osage and Shawnee.

International Calendar

Founded in 1964 as part of a Ford Foundation campus internationalization grant
One of the first 12 intensive English programs in the United States
Each semester, the AEC enrolls about 250 students representing more than 35 countries on six continents
The Applied English Center offers field trips and conversation groups to our students
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times