Photo by John Drews

Severe weather blowing through the Atlanta Metro Area the week of April 3 imposed conditions including heavy rain, strong winds and the occasional hail on Tech’s campus.

Many students from Tech expressed concerns on social media regarding the continuation of a normal class schedule during inclement weather.

Tech’s emergency notification system, known as GTENS, was not activated during storms on April 3 and April 5 and classes were not officially cancelled. Individual professors did cancel classes at their own discretion.

“GTENS is reserved for use during an imminent threat requiring immediate action. For severe weather, it is deployed when the National Weather Service (NWS) issues a tornado warning for the Georgia Tech campus,” said William Smith, Director of Emergency Preparedness.

“On April 5, NWS did issue a tornado warning for portions of south Fulton County, but this warning did not include the Georgia Tech campus,” Smith said.

The Executive Leadership Team is comprised of Executive Vice Presidents Rafael Bras of academic affairs, Stephen Cross of research, and Steven Swant of administration and finance.

“The Georgia Tech Office of Emergency Preparedness monitors severe weather and provides situation reports to the president and Executive Leadership Team (ELT),” Smith said. “Depending on the timing of the weather event, the president convenes the ELT to discuss campus closure options. The president, with his leadership team, makes the decision on campus closure.”

In Tech’s Emergency Action Plan, there are no protocols set for preemptively canceling classes due to tornadoes, unlike those for winter weather. Forecasts for continuing dangerous weather may simply delay an “all clear” after a GTENS alert has already been issued.