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Tornado over open field, photo by Brad Goddard

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Share Your Tornado StoryTornado Safety

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornadoes are capable of completely destroying well-made structures, uprooting trees, and hurling objects through the air like deadly missiles. Tornadoes can occur at any time of day or night and at any time of the year. Although tornadoes are most common in the Central Plains and the southeastern United States, they have been reported in all 50 states.

This website is designed to teach you how to stay safe when a tornado threatens. If you know what to do before, during and after a tornado, you will minimize your risk of injury and increase your chances of survival. You'll also find links to research, past events other topics of interest as well as downloadable safety handouts about thunderstorms, lightning, and tornadoes.

If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of a tornado, please share your story so we can prevent others from becoming a victim. When you write, please note that NWS has permission to use your story and, if possible, let us know the town and state you were in and the year the event took place.