Tornado Preparedness

What's a tornado? A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm cloud to the ground.

Where / When a Tornado Occurs - Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world. The U.S. has one of the highest tornado occurrences in the world, with the Midwest and Southeast having a greater risk of tornadoes.

Tornado Strength - Tornado strength is categorized by damage. Based on the damages, where wind speeds are estimated through the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Expected Damages of the Enhanced Fujita Scale

  • EF-0: Minor Damage - shingles blown off
  • EF-1: Moderate Damage - windows broken, external doors damaged/lost, or mobile homes turned over or damaged
  • EF-2: Considerable Damage - roofs torn off, houses shifted from foundation, mobile homes completely destroyed
  • EF-3: Severe Damage - significant damage to large buildings, homes with weak foundations blown away
  • EF-4: Extreme Damage - well-constructed homes are leveled, cars are thrown significant distances
  • EF-5: Massive/Incredible Damage - steel reinforced concrete structures are critically damaged
How to Stay Safe

Before a Tornado Warning is Issued

  • Understand the signs of a tornado: funnel shape cloud, approaching debris, loud roar (similar to freight train)
  • Sign up for emergency notification alert systems due to minimal warning time between notification and tornado impacts
  • Identify a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of your home or workplace

When a Tornado Warning is Issued

  • Immediately go to the safe room identified
  • Seek additional cover for your head and neck like blankets or furniture to protect your head and neck from debris and glass
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle
  • Monitor weather alerts with weather radio, local emergency alert systems, and local authorities