Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms. They are rotating, funnel-shaped clouds that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. Their whirling winds can reach 300 miles per hour. They can strike quickly with little or no warning, devastate a neighborhood in seconds, and leave a path of damage over a mile wide and 50 miles long. Tornadoes can also accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
Although there are no guarantees of safety during a tornado, you can take actions to protect yourself. You should have a disaster plan. Being prepared can help reduce fear, anxiety, and losses. If you do experience a disaster, it is normal to feel stressed. You may need help in finding ways to cope.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
- After a Tornado (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency Available in Spanish
- National Weather Service: Watch, Warning, Advisory Display (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
- Summary of Natural Hazard Statistics for 2014 in the United States (National Weather Service) - PDF
- Tornadoes (Department of Homeland Security)
- Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Children (American Psychological Association)
- USDA Programs That Assist Individuals and Small Businesses (Department of Agriculture) - PDF