- Emergency Management
- Severe Weather
- Cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries each year
- Produce wind speeds in excess of 250 miles per hour.
- Can be one mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles.
- A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
- Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year but are most frequent during the spring and summer months.
- 88% of all tornadoes are classified as weak tornadoes with winds less than 110 miles per hour with a lifetime of 1 to over 10 minutes.
- 11% of all tornadoes are classified as strong tornadoes with winds 110 to 205 miles per hour with a lifetime that may last 20 minutes or longer.
- Less than 1% of all tornadoes are classified as violent tornadoes with winds greater than 205 miles per hour and a lifetime that can exceed 1 hour.
- No place is safe from tornadoes.
- People caught in the open should seek shelter in a sturdy building if at all possible. Overpasses, ditches, and culverts may provide limited protection from a tornado, but your risk will be greatly reduced by moving inside a strong building.
Who Is Most at Risk
People who are in mobile homes and automobiles!
- In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement.
- If an underground shelter is not available, move to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
- Stay away from windows!
- Get out of automobiles. Don't try to outrun a tornado in your car. Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
- Be aware of flying debris.
- Leave mobile homes immediately! Go to the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or a storm shelter.
More information on tornadoes can be found at the Storm Prediction Center website.
- Causes an average of 80 fatalities and 300 injuries each year
- Occurs with all thunderstorms
- Most lightning fatalities and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
- Lightning can occur from cloud-to-cloud, within a cloud, cloud-to-ground, or cloud-to-air.
- The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit - hotter than the surface of the sun! The rapid heating and cooling of the air near the lightning channel causes a shock wave that results in thunder.
- Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
- Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.
Who Is Most at Risk
People who are outdoors especially under or near tall trees; in or on the water; or on or near hilltops!
- Postpone outdoor activities.
- Move to a sturdy building or car. Stay away from tall objects such as towers, fences, telephone poles and power lines.
- Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.
- If caught outdoors, find a low spot away from trees, fences and poles.
- If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter.
- Can exceed 100 miles per hour
- Can cause damage equal to a tornado
- Can be extremely dangerous to aviation
- Straight-line winds are responsible for most thunderstorm wind damage.
- Is the number 1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms... more than 140 fatalities each year.
- Most flash flood fatalities are people who have become trapped in automobiles.
- Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet; depth of two feet will cause most vehicles to float.
Who Is Most at Risk
People who walk or drive through flood waters!
- Avoid walking, swimming or driving in flood waters.
- Stay away from:
- High water
- Storm drains
- If you come upon flood waters, stop, turn around and go another way. Climb to higher ground.
- Do not let children play near storm drains.
- Causes more than $1 billion in crop and property damage each year.
- Large stones fall at speeds faster than 100 miles per hour!