Be Smart. Know your hazard.

Tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent storms, and can cause death, injury, and destruction within seconds. For more information, download the How to Prepare for a Tornado guide, which provides the basics of tornadoes, explains how to protect yourself and your property, and details the steps to take now so that you can act quickly when you, your home, or your business is in danger.

Tornado Basics


A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and is often—although not always—visible as a funnel cloud. Lightening and hail are common in thunderstorms that produce tornadoes.


About 1,200 tornadoes hit the United States every year and every state is at risk. Most tornadoes in the United States occur east of the Rocky Mountains.


Tornadoes can strike in any season, but occur most often in the spring and summer months. They can occur at all hours of the day and night, but are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Know your risk: 

Do you want to have a better understanding of the tornado risk you and your community face? Below is a map of the United States and the frequency of tornadoes rated F3/EF3 or higher in your county since 1996.