Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.
- Apply now for assistance through DisasterAssistance.gov
- If you experience difficulty applying online, you may also call (800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585 to apply.
- Document and materials you need to apply for assistance.
- Tips to recover after a disaster.
- Search for a Disaster Recovery Center to speak with a FEMA representative in person.
- Let your friends/family know you're safe.