Be prepared for nature’s most violent storms

Tornadoes occur most frequently in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.

The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide.

Tornado Safety Tips

Watches vs. Warnings

A TORNADO WATCH means that tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms. Find out what counties are in the watch area by listening to your NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television stations.

A TORNADO WARNING means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take cover immediately.


Outside, in mobile homes, or in homes of modular construction:

Tornado Safety Tips During COVID-19

Don't let the COVID-19 pandemic prevent you from seeking refuge from a tornado. Prepare now for tornadoes by identifying your best available shelter. If a public shelter is your only possible option, determine if your local shelter is open. It's recommended that you follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19 transmission prevention, including physical distancing, when seeking safety during severe weather. Visit the American Meteorological Society for more information on safe sheltering procedures.