Tornado Resource Center

Up-to-date information, checklists and tips to help you prepare and recover

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Be prepared for tornadoes

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. They can devastate well-made structures, uproot trees, and launch objects through the air like deadly missiles. Tornado season typically starts in April and runs to June, but tornadoes can occur at anytime, anywhere – even though they are more common in the Plain States.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there were 1,376 tornadoes in the United States in 2021, compared with 1,075 in 2020. Tornadoes killed over 100 people in 2021, including about90 in the December 10 series of tornadoes.

Tornado tips

  • Don’t forget your pets. Make sure they are in the safe place with you.
  • In a high-rise building, pick a hallway in the center of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor.
  • In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your safe place. Mobile homes are not safe for tornados.
  • Gather all important documents such as insurance papers and place in a sealable, waterproof folder or receptacle.

Leading experts in emergency and disaster management

We provide unmatched experience and resources to organizations, businesses, governments, and communities to help them effectively prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate natural and human-made disasters.

Resources and downloads

Stay Informed About The Weather With

Plan Ahead For Disasters With The DHS Website

What our experts have to say

“Tornadoes and their powerful winds can be very destructive. The best way for your family to prepare for a tornado is to know the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning, designate a safe place, have safety kits nearby, and have an emergency communication plan and practice it.”
– Stephanie Murphy, MS, CEM

“With tornadoes being such an unpredictable event, it’s important for local governments to have a debris management plan that clearly identifies the responsibility of force account labor, debris removal and monitoring contractors, as well as pre-permitted property for staging debris. Having this plan ensures a speedy recovery because each party understands their role in clearing debris from roadways for emergency services and identifies the location where that debris will be disposed of.”
– Chris Denney

Stephanie Murphy

Vice President, Project Management Office (PMO)

Chris Denney

Program Manager, Debris Services

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