Tornadoes are one of the most destructive weather events, with winds as high as over 200 miles per hour and leaving a trail of destruction a mile or more wide. Around 1,000 tornadoes form in the U.S. each year; and while most occur in the spring or summer, they have been known to happen at any time of year.
If you live in an area where tornadoes are common, consider building a concrete reinforced safe room in the center of your home or an underground storm cellar. The next best place of refuge in a storm is in a basement, followed by an interior room without windows.
Automobiles and mobile homes are the worst places to be during a tornado, so get out and seek shelter in either a building or a low spot or ditch.
Keep a weather radio set to broadcast alerts when tornadoes are likely, and take shelter immediately. Do not attempt to open windows before a tornado, as it doesn’t prevent damage and may result in injuries from flying glass and debris.
After the severe weather has passed, check on neighbors, but be careful to avoid downed power lines and ruptured gas lines.
Tornado Emergency Supplies
A tornado can strike with very little warning, so it’s important to keep a supply of the items below stored in a storm resistant location for use in the aftermath of a storm.
- Insurance Records: Keep copies of insurance policies and a home inventory in a safe location such as a safe deposit box, or a safe in a storm resistant location.
- Severe Weather Preparedness Page
- How to Reinforce a Home Against Wind Damage (video)
- How to Make Your Home More Wind Resistant (video)
- Dealing with Storm Damage to Trees (article)