Severe Weather Blue Line Procedures

Tornadoes are generated from powerful thunderstorms and appear as rotating, funnel clouds that extend to the ground with winds around the vortex that may exceed 300 mph. Tornadoes normally travel 30-40 mph. If you and your passengers are caught in a tornado warning, the supervisor on duty will issue specific instructions via two-way radio.
Alerts are issued by the National Weather Service and are classified in two major areas:


This means conditions are such that storms capable of producing a tornado may develop.


This means that either a tornado has been sighted or that it is highly probable that one will develop.

A warning will be signaled by the outdoor warning sirens. TigerText, social media and email alerts will be activated. Alert employees and students in your immediate area.

Keep tuned to local radio if it is available.

Supervisor and Shuttle Driver Preparedness Guidelines

  • Remember your priorities:
  • Protect life
  • Preserve property
  • Maintain service
  • Remain calm, be prepared to make decisions quickly
  • Monitor local radio as the weather system develops and keep the two-way radio traffic to a minimum to receive instructions

In the event that the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning and the outdoor sirens are activated all buses must be evacuated in a safe and timely manner. Per severe weather protocol outlined in the University of Memphis Crisis Management Plan, please adhere to the following procedures:

All routes:

  • Never try to outrun a tornado.
  • Passengers must be informed of the situation and advised to exit the shuttle immediately upon stopping.
  • Park the bus in any area and ensure the bus is not obstructing emergency vehicle traffic.
  • Take shelter in the basement of the closest building, if a basement is not available, find shelter in an interior room or hallway. Stay away from windows! If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the vehicle immediately and take shelter in a ditch or low-lying area between the vehicle and the tornado. Do not take shelter in a ditch that is downwind of the vehicle. Use arms to protect your head and neck.
  • Once the bus is evacuated the driver must:
    1. Verify all passengers are evacuated
    2. Obtain a numerical count of passengers
    3. Notify your supervisor of your location
    4. Activate the 4-way hazard signals
    5. Turn off the bus and secure the door
    6. Seek shelter

All Clear Procedure:

Once the supervisor on duty has verified an all clear has been issued by the National Weather Service:

  • All bus drivers will wait on instructions from the supervisor on duty
  • Once advised, drivers will be instructed to board passengers and resume service
  • Verify number of passengers and notify supervisor of discrepancies
  • Report any passenger injuries
  • Be alert for any road debris or downed power lines
  • If bus is damaged and deemed unsafe for passengers, notify supervisor and remain at location for additional instructions

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