Tornado Preparedness

What is a Tornado?

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

How strong are tornadoes?

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

Where/when does a tornado occur?

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.

What are the 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

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