Severe Weather

Due to Eckerd College’s location, severe weather routinely affects the campus. Campus Safety and various departments constantly monitor the weather and issue alerts through the College’s emergency notification system (ENS). Eckerd College has been certified by the National Weather Service as a StormReady institution.

Eckerd College encourages all members to stay alert to forecasts on TV, radio and NOAA weather radios for up-to-date information.

Terms to Know

  • Areal Flood Warning:  When flooding develops gradually due to prolonged and persistent moderate to heavy rainfall.  This results in gradual ponding or buildup of water in low-lying, flood prone areas.
  • Tornado Watch: Tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms. Know what counties or parishes are in the watch area by listening to NOAA Weather Radio or your local radio/television outlets.
  • Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.


If a tornado warning has been issued for the Eckerd College area, Campus Safety will issue an emergency notification text and email message.

  • Move indoors or remain indoors – moving to the first floor, interior portion of the building.
    • Stay away from glass windows and exterior doors.
    • Assist other members of the community if needed.
  • Continue to monitor weather alerts.
  • Stay in place until you receive an all clear notice.
  • If there are any injuries, notify 911 then Campus Safety (x8260).
  • If there is damage to a building or structure, stay clear of the immediate area and notify Campus Safety (x8260).


Thunderstorms may develop at any time of the year. Thunderstorms occur most frequently in the summer months with more violent storms occurring in the winter and early spring.  Thunderstorms can consist of high winds, rain, lightning, and possibly hail. Lightning is the most dangerous aspect of thunderstorms.

Campus Safety, Waterfront, and Athletics use a certified detection system to monitor lightning in the area. To request text message or email alerts when lightning is within 10 miles of the College, email

  • When thunder can be heard or lightning is within 10 miles (determined through certified detection system), individuals outside need to seek shelter.
    • Advise individuals in surrounding areas that lightning is near.
  • Seek shelter in a building that has four solid walls.
    • GO Pavilion, James Center Canopy, South Beach Pavilion and like structures are not lightning shelters.
  • If a building is not accessible, a fully-enclosed, hard top, metal vehicle provides good protection.
  • Wait a minimum of thirty minutes since the last sound of thunder or lightning strike within 10 miles (determined through a certified lightning detection system).
  • Report any lightning strikes to a building, structure, or tree to Campus Safety.

If an individual is struck by lightning

  • Immediately call 911, then call Campus Safety (x8260).
  • Provide care to the victim.


Eckerd College is prone to areal flooding due to low-lying areas and poor drainage. The flooding usually causes minor inconveniences by covering roadways and walkways.

  • Individuals should take precautions when walking or driving through standing water.
  • Campus Safety will block off roads that are considered to hazardous to drive on.

If flooding or leaks occur in buildings:

  • Call facilities (x8262) or Campus Safety (x8260).
  • Keep electrical equipment away from the water, if this is safe to accomplish.