These facts/Safety tips are brought to you by Missouri Storm Shelters
  • Each year, about a thousand tornadoes touch down in the United States, far more than any other country.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over a body of water.
  • A strong tornado can pick up a house and move it down the block.
  • Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas make up Tornado alley, where tornadoes strike regularly in the spring and early summer.
  • Many houses in tornado alley have strong basement shelters.
  • Some people have seen inside a tornado with their own eyes lived to tell about it.
  • Knives and forks have been found embedded in tree trunks flung from a tornado.
  • Usually a tornado starts off as a white or gray cloud but if it stays around for a while, the dirt and debris it sucks up eventually turns it into black one.
  • 3 out of every 4 tornadoes in the world happen in the United States.
  • Thunderstorms most likely to give birth to Tornadoes are called supercells.
  • Tornado winds are the fastest winds on Earth.
  • A Tornado in Oklahoma once destroyed a whole motel. People later found the motel’s sign in Arkansas.
  • A Tornado can sometimes hop along its path. It can destroy one house and leave the house next door untouched.
  • In 1928, a tornado in Kansas plucked the feathers right off some chickens.
  • In 1931 a tornado in Mississippi lifted an 83 ton train and tossed it 80 feet from the track.
  • The United States have an average of 800 tornadoes every year.
  • Each year, dozens of Americans die from tornadoes.
  • Usually, a tornado’s color matches the color of the ground.
  • Some tornadoes make a considerable amount of noise while others make very little. It depends on the objects a tornado might hit or carry. A tornado moving along an open plain may make very little noise.
  • Some people think the crop circles in the UK are the result of weak whirlwinds. About 60 of these small tornadoes are formed every year in Britain.
  • Small tornadoes sometimes form on the edge of bigger tornadoes.
  • In Oklahoma, a small herd of cattle were sucked up by a tornado and carried across the countryside, before being set down unharmed.
  • In 1981, a tornado that swept through the Italian City of Ancona lifted a sleeping baby from its baby carriage and set it down unharmed on the ground.
  • The UK gets about 60 tornadoes a year, even with its moderate climate.
  • The deadliest Tornado happened in 1925. It swept through three states and killed 689 people and injured 2,000.
  • Tornadoes is from the Spanish word, tronada, meaning thunderstorm.
  • Dust Devils are strong tornadoes that pass over desert areas.
  • Some people in ancient times thought dust devils were ghosts.
  • The safest place to be during a Tornado is underground, which makes basements and cellars the ideal shelters to get away from Tornadoes.
  • Most of the world’s destructive tornadoes occur during the the summer in mid-western states of the US.
  • Sometimes multiple tornadoes form and travel together in swarms.
  • Rescue workers have compared the destruction left behind by a tornado to a bomb blast.
  • Cities have also been hit by tornadoes like Nashville and St. Louis.
  • Tornadoes have hit places even in big cities like in Brooklyn.
  • The myth of opening the windows in a house will help prevent a tornado from it being destroyed is false. In fact, opening the wrong windows could allow air to rush in and blow the house apart from the inside

Choose a Safe Place

  • Designate a place in the home where family members will gather in the event of a tornado. The Red Cross recommends that this be a storm cellar or basement. If neither option is available, select an interior room located on the lowest level of the home. The designated room should not have windows. In some cases, the hallway may be the best option. If the home is a mobile home, the Weather Channel urges you to leave immediately and find alternative shelter. Even a hallway in a mobile home is considered unsafe during a tornado.

Develop a Plan

  • When a tornado is imminent, the natural reaction for many people is to panic. Put a plan together to keep your home and family safe and put everyone's minds at ease. In the plan, include the location of the safe room and any supplies. Point out where emergency numbers are stored and how to turn off the water, electricity and gas. Decide who will take care of getting any pets to the safe room. Include in the plan any instructions for contacting each other if separated. Most importantly, keep the plan in a place where it can be easily accessed during a tornado.

Create an Emergency Kit

  • During tornado season, prepare for what may happen during the tornado as well as the aftermath. Gather supplies for an emergency kit that can be placed in the designated safe space in your home. According to the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, this kit should include nonperishable foods and a can opener, as well as a three-day supply of water for each family member. The kit should contain one change of clothing and shoes for everyone, first-aid supplies, blankets, pillows, batteries, a portable radio and NOAA weather radio, a flashlight, extra keys and credit cards. If needed, pack any pet supplies, extra baby items, such as formula and diapers, and any needed medications.

Practice Drills

  • Run through your plan with your family. By practicing drills, you can be sure that each family member knows where to go and what to do during a tornado. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management recommends that you start by announcing the drill, then acting exactly as you would during a real tornado. Go to the safe place in the home and take cover. Use the drill as an opportunity to look around and determine if there is anything in the area that may cause injury, such as clutter or items hanging on walls. Once the drill is over, assess how long it took for everyone to get to the room or if there were any parts of the plan that did not work.

Know the Warning Signs

  • Educate yourself and your family on the difference between a tornado warning and tornado watch. A warning means a tornado has been spotted and you should take shelter; a watch indicates that a tornado is in the area. According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, tornadoes are often preceded by dark, green skies, wall clouds, large hail and loud roaring sounds. Know where to check for more information on tornado warnings and watches including television and radio; you may also a NOAA weather radio. Be aware of your community's emergency warning system.