Emergency Management Office, 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069

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Facts about Tornadoes:

  • Although they occur in many parts of the world, they are most frequently found in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring and summer months.
  • In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries.
  • A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
  • The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be over one mile wide and 50 miles long.
  • Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings cause most structural damage.
  • It's a MYTH that windows should be opened before a tornado approaches. Opening windows allows damaging winds to enter the structure. Instead, go immediately to a safe place.

Know the terms:

Tornado Watch

Tornadoes are possible your region. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather radio, AM/FM radio, or television for updated information.Watches are intended to heighten public awareness and should not be confused with warnings.

Tornado Warning

A tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm. Move to safety immediately.

When a Tornado Warning is Issued:

  • Prepare BEFORE a warning is issued. Develop a plan for you and your family at home, school, and when outdoors.
  • When threatening weather is imminent, remain calm, but take immediate action.
  • In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement.
  • If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of automobiles.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately.
  • If caught outside or in a vehicle, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression.
  • Get out of mobile homes. Even if they are tied down, mobile homes offer little protection from tornadoes.

After the Storm:

  • Help injured or trapped persons. DO NOT try to move the seriously injured unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  • Turn on the radio or television to get the latest emergency information. Obey all curfews and emergency orders.
  • Avoid all downed power lines. Assume that all have live electricity.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • Leave buildings immediately if you smell gas or chemical fumes.
  • Don't use your electricity if you suspect damaged or wet wiring, or a gas leak.

Questions about Oswego County Emergency Management?