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Tornado safety requires a plan and a way to be notified of approaching storms

Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-13 18:36:21-04

History shows tornado outbreaks are a threat in Indiana, but whether it's a single tornado or several having a plan in place can help keep you and your family safe.

Only a small percentage of thunderstorms become severe, producing damaging wind and large hail.

Even fewer end up producing a tornado. Fortunately, most Indiana tornadoes are considered weak with winds of 110 mph or less. However, we are not immune from strong tornadoes.

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Two deadly outbreaks account for 70% of all tornado fatalities in the Hoosier state since 1950.

Indiana's Tornado History

On June 2, 1990, 37 tornadoes formed in a single day. That month, 44 touched down across the state.

In 2011, 72 tornadoes raked the Hoosier state.

But the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak on April 11, 1965 were the deadliest in the state of Indiana. During that outbreak 137 Hoosiers were killed and more than 1,700 were injured.

On April 3 and 4 1974, the 'Super Outbreak' of tornadoes produced 148 tornadoes that swept across 13 states including Indiana. In all, 21 tornadoes ripped across 38 Indiana counties.

What to do

When a Tornado Warning is issued, you should seek shelter immediately.

"Get In, Get Down and Cover Up."


A basement is definitely the safest place to be, but if your home or the place you're visiting doesn't have one you should move to an interior hallway or bathroom with no windows. The key is to put as many walls between you and the outside of your home as possible. Then cover your head with a helmet, blanket or pillows.

If you live in a mobile home, you need to have a plan in place to move to a permanent structure when that tornado alarm sounds. This could be a building within your community or a house close enough to seek shelter. Do your homework and find the safest place for you and your family to move to safety.

If you live in an apartment on an upper floor, seek shelter on the lowest level. You should get to know a first floor resident and make arrangements for severe weather or find another safe place on or below ground level. Ask if your community has a designated shelter available.

The best safety plan is of no value if you don’t know the storm is coming.

Our Storm Shield App is free and acts as a weather radio for your phone. This is especially important when storms arrive in the middle of the night.

Storm Shield App

Peak storm season is just ahead!