IN HOMES OR SMALL BUILDINGS: Go to the basement (if available) or to an interior room on the lowest floor, such as a closet or bathroom. Upper floors are unsafe. If there is no time to descend, go to a closet, a small room with strong walls, or an inside hallway. Wrap yourself in overcoats or blankets to protect you from flying debris.
         IN SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, FACTORIES, OR SHOPPING CENTERS: Go to interior rooms and halls on the lowest floor. Stay away from glass or areas with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums and warehouses. Crouch down and cover your head. Don't take shelter in halls that open to the south or the west. Centrally-located stairwells are good shelter.
         IN HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS: Go to interior small rooms or halls. Stay away from exterior walls or glass.
         IN CARS OR MOBILE HOMES: ABANDON THEM IMMEDIATELY!  Most deaths occur in cars and mobile homes. If you are in either of those locations, leave them and go to a substantial structure or designated tornado shelter.

         IF NO SUITABLE STRUCTURE IS NEARBY: Lie flat in the nearest ditch or depression and use your hands to cover your head. Be alert for flash floods.




·         Kentucky averages around 10 tornadoes per year, however the number each year can vary greatly, for instance in 1997 Kentucky experienced 39 tornadoes.
·         Kentucky’s highest chance for a tornado is in the month of April.
·         Most tornadoes are rated as EF0 to EF1.
·         80 people on average die each year from tornadoes.
·         Over 1,500 are injured from tornadoes in an average year.

·         Most often tornadoes travel around 30 mph but are capable of going 70 mph or are even capable of standing still.

What a Supercell tornado looks like on radar.



Enhanced Fujita Scale

The Enhanced F-scale is a set of wind estimates (not measurements) based on damage. Its uses three-second gusts estimated at the point of damage based on a judgment of 8 levels of damage to 28 indicators. These estimates vary with height and exposure. Important: The 3 second gust is not the same wind as in standard surface observations. Standard measurements are taken by weather stations in open exposures, using a directly measured, "one minute mile" speed.


Category EF0:Gale tornado (3-second gusts of 65-85 mph); light damage.

Common damages done – Some damage to chimneys; break branches off trees; push over shallow-rooted trees; damage to sign boards.




Category EF1: Moderate tornado (3-second gusts of 86-110 mph); moderate damage.


Common damages done – Peel surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos pushed off the roads.

Category EF2:Significant tornado (3-second gusts of 111-135 mph); considerable damage.

Common damages done – Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated.



Category EF3:Severe tornado (3-second gusts of 136-165 mph); severe damage.

Common damages done – Roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted; heavy cars lifted off ground and thrown.

Category EF4:Devastating tornado (3-second gusts of 166-200 mph); devastating damage.

Common damages done – Well-constructed houses leveled; structure with weak foundation blown off some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.



Category EF5:Incredible tornado (3-second gusts of over 200 mph); incredible damage.

Common damages done – Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distance to disintegrate; automobile sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 yards; trees debarked; incredible phenomena will occur.

For more information on tornadoes click here. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.