When a tornado watch is issued for Tuscaloosa County, the Capstone Best Available Refuge Area (BARA), East Campus Storm Shelter, Hewson Hall Storm ShelterJohn H. England, Jr. Hall Storm Shelter, Julia Tutwiler Hall Storm Shelter (for residents), Magnolia Best Available Refuge Area (BARA), North Campus Storm Shelter, North Lawn Hall, and basement of the North Engineering Research Center (NERC) will be available for students, faculty and staff until the watch expires. The Magnolia BARA can accept pets with their owners. Read more about sheltering with pets in the Magnolia Deck BARA.

*The University of Alabama has identified Best Available Refuge Areas (BARAs) in many buildings on campus. These locations are pre-identified as the best sheltering option in that building for building occupants who are unable to reach a designated storm shelter. Not all BARAs are available during a severe weather event. The sheltering locations listed below are opened any time a tornado watch or warning is issued for campus.

Sheltering Locations:

Capstone Best Available Refuge Area (BARA)
Located within the Capstone Parking Deck on the west side of the lowest level.

East Campus Storm Shelter
Located behind the Judy Bonner Child Development Center.

Hewson Hall Storm Shelter
Located on the first floor. Follow signage. Please note: Classes may be in session. If instruction is occurring in these classrooms during a tornado watch, do not interrupt the class. You may seek shelter in any classroom not being used for instruction during a tornado watch. During a tornado warning, all of the identified classrooms are available for refuge.

John H. England Jr. Hall Storm Shelter
Located on the basement level of the dormitory.

Julia Tutwiler Hall Storm Shelter
Located on the west side, lowest level of the building and is available to residents.

Magnolia Best Available Refuge Area (BARA)
Located within the Magnolia Parking Deck on the west side of the lowest level. BARA can accept pets with their owners.

North Campus Storm Shelter
Located on the lowest level of the Robert E. Witt Student Activity Center in Presidential Village.

North Engineering Research Center (NERC)
The basement is available for students and employees. From the main entry doors, proceed down the stairs to the lower level and thru the door to the basement.

North Lawn Hall Storm Shelter
Located inside classrooms 1010, 1011, 1014, 1015, and 1018. Please note: Classes may be in session. If instruction is occurring in these classrooms during a tornado watch, do not interrupt the class. You may seek shelter in any classroom not being used for instruction during a tornado watch. During a tornado warning, all of the identified classrooms are available for refuge.

Storm Shelter Parking:

The Storm Shelter Parking map highlights parking options near storm shelters and BARAs. A campus map of all parking options is available here.

Storm shelters and BARAs are available to all students, faculty and staff who live on or off campus. Once a tornado watch is issued, parking enforcement staff only monitor for safety violations like blocking a roadway, fire-hydrant, access aisle or fire-lane; as well as parking on the grass, double parking or disability parking. Students are encouraged to use any legal parking in proximity to a shelter or BARA. Once the tornado watch has ended, ample time is allowed to return to correct parking zones, if applicable.

What to do when a tornado warning is issued:

If a tornado warning is issued, you should avoid traveling and seek shelter immediately. Classes are immediately suspended. For your safety and the safety of others, please follow the guidance of University officials while you are in the shelter.

Seek shelter in the closest Best Available Refuge Area (BARA) location if you are unable to make it to a storm shelter. A list of BARA locations can be found here. The BARA location can also be found on the Building Emergency Plan posted near entry/exit locations and within the UA Safety mobile app.

Storm shelters are also located throughout Tuscaloosa County. Visit Tuscaloosa County EMA website to find the closest storm shelter to your location. If you are not on campus and cannot safely reach a storm shelter, you should seek shelter on the lowest floor in the center of the building and stay away from windows. Do not seek shelter in a vehicle or a mobile home. If you live in an apartment building, seek shelter on the lowest level. Do not remain in apartments on upper floors.

Generated by wpDataTables

Best Available Refuge Areas (BARAs)

Sheltering in Place