Severe Weather & Flooding | College of Biblical Studies

Severe Weather & Flooding

Severe Weather Conditions

  • Flood 
  • Tornado
  • Hurricane

Should inclement weather arise where circumstances may impact the ability of CBS to conduct business in a normal fashion, CBS may suspend operations. Each emergency situation is unique and CBS reserves the right to alter this policy and issue specific procedures as dictated by circumstances.


A. If emergency or severe weather conditions develop, employees may leave who have good cause to believe that their safety or the safety of others in their household is at risk. Leaving must be coordinated with the department manager or supervisor to make sure that the employee’s work and work area have been adequately secured in accordance with the department’s emergency plans for protecting the work area.

B. Department managers or designees will communicate any change in work schedules to employees. The decision to evacuate the facility will be addressed by the members of the executive team.

C. The CBS Watchman Alert System will be utilized to disseminate necessary information to CBS faculty, staff, and students. This alert system will be utilized to notify local media outlets regarding campus closings and return to work notices as appropriate. The CBS phone system and website will be utilized as a notification system. 

D. During an emergency or other disaster, CBS buildings will not be available as a storm shelter. This is due to the unavailability of food, water, lighting, air circulation, sanitary facilities, and elevator service. A skeleton crew may or may not be in each building to secure the facilities and minimize potential damage, or to provide essential services.

When a decision to dismiss classes or close the campus is made by leadership due to weather or other conditions posing a potentially serious threat to the health or safety of the College’s students and/or employees, the following procedures are presented as general guidelines.


Full Alert/Evacuation: Declared by the mayor of Houston, means a hurricane is estimated to reach the area within 48 - 72 hours. Upon notification of mandatory evacuation by the city, or earlier based on other supporting guidance by other trusted agencies, CBS evacuation and shut down will be initiated.

  • The CBS campus will be fully evacuated and manually shut down.
  • The CBS campus water supply, electricity, and gas will be turned off.
  • All CBS campus entry points will be locked.
  • Access into the CBS campus will be denied until further notice.

Office Area Guidelines

  • Turn off and unplug computers and other essential office equipment.
  • Move essential office equipment to protected areas. (Best location: Away from windows, preferably behind a protected wall.)
  • Move equipment off the floor.
  • Delicate, non-replaceable computer data storage media should be stored in a watertight secure container above the floor.
  • Place all loose papers and important documents in cabinets or files.
  • Lower and close all blinds.
  • Remove personal items as those are not covered under CBS insurance.
  • Employees check with immediate supervisor prior to leaving campus at completion of hurricane preparations.
  • Facilities and the IT department will carry out final technology & equipment preparations across campus.

When weather is no longer an immediate threat, authorized CBS and Boxer employees will be allowed access to complete a full damage assessment of the buildings. Utility services and normal operations will be restored as soon as possible. 


  • Thunderstorms can produce extreme and sudden winds which may also expose you to tornado-like weather hazards.
  • Seek shelter inside buildings or other secure locations. Avoid glass and exposure to flying debris.
  • Department heads should have a specific (take cover) area within their department identified, where all employees should meet that is clear of glass windows.
  • Move to the main or “take cover” areas. Assume a seated position on the floor with head down and hands over head, or place yourself under a desk or between fixed seating (if possible) with head lower than the back of the seat.
  • Hallways and stairwells away from glass are also acceptable shelters/take cover areas.
  • Once the hazard has stabilized, exit the building to an evacuation point.


Minor flooding around the campus or area flooding could be a result of major  rainstorms, a water main break, or loss of power to sump pumps. In the case of weather-related flooding, the crisis management team will monitor the National Weather Service and other emergency advisories to determine necessary action.

Flash Flooding

Most flash flooding is caused by slow moving thunderstorms, thunderstorms repeatedly moving over the same area, or heavy rains from severe storms. Alerts are issued by the National Weather Service and are classified in two major categories. 

Flood Watch - Conditions are favorable for the development of floods. Many more WATCHES are issued than WARNINGS. A WATCH is the first sign a flood may occur, and when one is issued, you should be aware of potential flood hazards.

Flood Warning - Flooding is occurring or is imminent in the area.

  • The rule for being safe in flood situations is simple: Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwaters. 
  • Even a shallow depth of fast-moving flood water produces more force than most people imagine.
  • Turn around, don't drown. The most dangerous thing you can do is to try walking, swimming, or driving through floodwaters. 
  • Two feet of water will carry away most automobiles.
  • Appropriate communication via CBS Watchman Alert System will be maintained with the campus community until the threat has passed.
  • If you can safely do so, secure vital equipment, records, and hazardous materials and move items to a higher level. 
  • Shut off all electrical equipment. 
  • Wait for instructions from the crisis management team. 
  • Do not return to your site until you have been instructed to do so via the CBS Watchman Alert System or a member of the crisis management team.
  • Report any oil, chemical, biological, radioactive materials, or food preparation areas suspected of mixing with the floodwaters to the director of real estate operations.
  • Do not dump floodwater down any drain (storm or sanitary) unless approved by facilities.

Flooded Area

Be aware of the potential for electrical shock! Wear rubber boots in wet areas. 

  • Call facilities @ 713.545.8543 to turn off all main electrical switches and gas supplies. 
  • Do not enter or allow anyone else to enter the building or space until circuits and equipment are tested and proven de-energized by qualified personnel from facilities. Do not turn power back on until appropriate repairs have been performed and electrical equipment has been inspected and approved by qualified electrical personnel.
  • Electrical equipment used in flooded areas must be protected with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). 
  • After the main power is off, unplug electrical appliances and do not turn on any appliances that have become wet until they are checked for proper operation. 
  • Do not use any open flame until the area has been ventilated for the potential presence of natural gas. 
  • Precautions should be taken to prevent contact with any sewage and to isolate the area to prevent contaminants from being tracked to other parts of the building. 
  • Occupants not involved in the cleanup must be evacuated from these areas when sewage is present. 


If indoors:

  • Stay calm and await instructions from the Emergency Coordinator or a designated official.
  • Stay indoors if possible.
  • If there is no heat:
    • Close off unneeded rooms or areas.
    • Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
    • Cover windows at night.
  • Eat and drink. Food provides the body with much needed energy and heat. Fluids prevent dehydration.
  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, light-weight, warm clothing, if available.

If outdoors:

  • Find a dry shelter. Cover all exposed parts of the body.
  • If shelter is not available:
    • Prepare a lean-to, windbreak, or snow cave for protection from the wind. 
    • Build a fire for heat and to attract attention. Place rocks around the fire to absorb and reflect heat.
    • Do not eat snow unless you melt it first. It will lower your body temperature. 

If you are stranded in a vehicle:  

  • Stay in the vehicle!
  • Run the motor about ten minutes each hour. Open the windows a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
  • Make yourself visible to rescuers.
    • Turn on the dome light at night when running the engine.
    • Tie a colored cloth to your antenna or door. 
    • Raise the hood after the snow stops falling.
    • Exercise to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.


National Hurricane Center Prepardness Videos


Additional Resources 

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