Emergency Procedures

Signup for Emergency Notification

IMPORTANT: As a key part of Carleton's emergency preparedness, all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for this email and text messaging service.



Severe Weather Definitions


  1. Tornado Watch-Current weather conditions could produce a tornado. Be prepared to take shelter.
  2. Tornado Warning-A tornado or funnel cloud has actually been sighted or detected on radar in the area. Take shelter immediately.
  3. Severe Thunderstorm Watch-Conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms. Stay informed of conditions as they develop.
  4. Severe Thunderstorm Warning-Thunderstorms with large hail and/or damaging winds in excess of 57 miles per hour. Frequent lightning is likely, a tornado is possible. Be prepared to take shelter.
  5. Winter Storm Watch-Severe winter weather conditions may affect the area. Freezing rain, sleet, or heavy snow may occur either separately or in combination thereof.
  6. Winter Storm Warning-Severe winter weather conditions are imminent.
  7. Heavy Snow Warning-An expected snowfall of 4 inches or more in a 12-hour period or 6 inches or more in a 24 hour period.
  8. Blizzard Warning-Sustained wind speeds of at least 35 miles per hour accompanied by considerable falling and/or blowing snow.


State, County, and City Warning Notification Procedures


  1. The Minnesota State Warning Point, (651) 297-3934, is responsible for disseminating all watches and warnings to Rice County, except warnings for conditions generated within Rice County.
  2. The Rice County Sheriff's Department, 128 NW 3rd Street, Faribault, MN, (507) 334-4391, is responsible for disseminating all watches and warnings issued for Rice County to the Northfield Safety Center.
  3. The Northfield Safety Center, 300 West 5th Street, (507) 645-4475, shall disseminate all watches and warnings issued for Rice County to the Carleton College department of Security Services. Notification of all watches and warnings shall be accomplished via the telephone or "Skywarn" radio channel and, if appropriate, activation of the city public warning system (outdoor sirens).

Public Warning Signals


1. Tornado Warning

  • 3-5 minute steady blast on the Civil Defense siren system repeated as necessary;
  • Commercial radio/television broadcast; and
  • Weather radio.

2. Severe Thunderstorm Warning

  • Commercial radio/television broadcast; and
  • Weather radio.

3. Winter Storm Warning

  • Commercial radio/television broadcast; and
  • Weather radio.

Shelter Areas


  1. The Facilities office shall ensure that shelter areas are posted inside of each campus building, residence hall, and off-campus house.
  2. Upon notification of a tornado or severe thunderstorm warning, all occupants of campus buildings should be directed to the pre-designated shelter areas by each building's Evacuation Team.
  3. During periods of severe weather warnings, campus telephones and the 2-way radio system should only be used to report emergencies.