Tornado Safety

A tornado is one of the most mesmerizing, yet one of the most feared natural disasters. These giant rotating columns of air normally measure between 250 feet and two miles across, and travel between 110 and 300 miles per hour. They can decimate a town in a matter of minutes. These powerful cyclones, also known as "twisters," develop from warm, moist air mixing with cool, dry air, creating a vacuum effect.
 
Tornadoes have been spotted on every continent except Antarctica, but the most heavily hit area in the world is "Tornado Alley," which is in the central states. "Tornado Alley" is comprised of Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Florida, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Mississipi, and Alabama. Based on the high numbers of tornadoes, building codes often are more strict in this part of the country, and require storm cellars in residential areas.
 

 Tornado Preparedness

 
Disaster Center: Tornado Preparedness and Response
Keep your family safe during a tornado.  Follow these guidelines to ensure a supply kit contains the right equipment. 
 
Discovery Channel: Curiosity
Why does the United States have more tornadoes annually than anywhere else in the world? Find out!
  
Four Tornado Hot Spots Defined
University of Akron researcher Michael Frates, long fascinated by tornadoes and atmospheric phenomena, has redefined Tornado Alley.
 
Mother Nature Network: What Causes Tornadoes?
The U.S. has more tornadoes than anywhere else on Earth, but their sudden twists and turns still make them mysterious and mesmerizing.
 
National Geographic - Tornadoes
Follow members of a National Geographic team as they careen into the hearts of storms and take a closer look at tornadoes and the phenomenal forces that drive them.
 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center
Monthly and annual U.S. tornado summaries.
 
Quake Kare: Emergency Preparedness Experts
Basic guidelines to follow before, during, and after a tornado occurs.
 
Tennessee Tornado Preparation
Forget the Wizard of Oz notion that "Twisters" only happen in Kansas. In the United States, tornadoes have been reported in every state. And while they generally occur during spring and summer, they can happen any time during the year.
 
Tornado Alley
Join Storm Chasers star Sean Casey and the researchers of VORTEX 2, the most ambitious effort ever made to understand the origins and evolution of tornadoes, on this heart-pounding science adventure.
 
Tornadoes|Ready
Know what to expect from and how to prepare for a tornado.