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Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
7667 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(225) 925-7500


Tornado Index

What Is A Tornado?

A tornado is a violent windstorm characterized by a twisting, funnel-shaped cloud. It is spawned by a thunderstorm (or sometimes as a result of a hurricane) and produced when cool air overrides a layer of warm air, forcing the warm air to rise rapidly. The damage from a tornado is a result of the high wind velocity and wind-blown debris. Tornado season is generally March through August, although tornadoes can occur at any time of year. They tend to occur in the afternoons and evenings: over 80 percent of all tornadoes strike between noon and midnight.

Tornado Picture

When a tornado threatens, individuals need to have a safe place to go and time to get there. Even with advances in meteorology, warning times may be short or sometimes not possible. Lives are saved when individuals receive and understand the warning, know what to do, and know the safest place to go.

What To Do

If you receive a tornado warning, protect yourself and your family; seek shelter immediately.

At home:

  • Go to the basement or storm shelter, or go to rooms nearest the center of the house.

In high-rises or other public buildings:

  • Move to the interior (preferably a stairwell or hallway).

In your car:

  • STOP! Get out and lie flat in a low area.
  • Cover your head.

In an open field:

  • Lie face down in a low area (a ditch or ravine if there is one nearby *be aware that this might be a danger in areas prone to flash floods).
  • Cover your head with your arms.

Avoiding Wind Damage-A Checklist (Adobe Acrobat format) 235 KB  

Animal Disaster Plan Worksheet - Information Sheet

Disaster Supplies Kit

Disaster Planning Tips for Pets, Livestock & Wildlife - Information Sheet

Food & Water In An Emergency

Fact Sheet: Thunderstorms & Lightning

Pets & Disasters - Information Sheet

Protective Actions Fact Sheet-Shelter In Place

State Evacuation Routes

Shutters or Plywood Window Covers

Taking Shelter From The Storm-Building A Safe Room In Your Home - (Adobe Acrobat format)  Includes cost estimates & plans 

Thunderstorms & Lightning -The Underrated Killers!

What To Do In Case Of A Tornado  

Your Evacuation Plan

Your Property - Trees & Airborne Debris  

 Related Information
Thunderstorm Index
FEMA
NWS "HAZSTATS" - database and reports to include statistics on weather-related deaths, injuries, and damage estimates
Mitigation Index
Steps To Take After The Disaster
The Disaster Assistance Process for Individuals & Households
American Red Cross Donations: 1-800-435-7669
American Red Cross Food, Shelter, & Financial Assistance: 1-866-438-4636
Salvation Army Donation Helpline: 1-800-725-2769
Information Regarding FEMA's Individual Disaster Assistance
Public Assistance Forms Index
Disaster Recovery Page
FEMA's Individual Assistance
Parish Emergency Preparedness Office Phone Numbers
Charitable & Relief Agencies Links
News Sources

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