Tornado Safety

Kansas lies right in the heart of "tornado alley." In 1997 alone, 62 tornadoes touched down, 36 of them in May. Luckily, no deaths were reported. During the time frame of 1950-1997, Kansas ranked 3rd in the nation in the number of tornadoes, accumulating an average of 48 per year over that time frame. Kansas ranks 8th in the number of deaths, 14th in injuries, and 3rd in the cost of damage caused by tornadoes. In 1991, 116 tornadoes touched down while only 14 touched down in 1976. From 1950-1997, Butler County had 55 tornadoes, 28 fatalities, and 225 reported injuries. On April 26, 1991, a killer tornado swept through Andover, Kansas. This tornado flattened a mobile home park killing 13 people, and injuring hundreds more. When a tornado warning is issued, be sure to take shelter immediately!
  • Go to your basement or storm shelter and get under the stairs or under a heavy piece of furniture (to protect yourself from falling debris).
  • If you don't have a basement, go to the interior part of the lowest floor of your house (a bathroom or closet is often the best choice). Stay away from windows and get under something sturdy.
  • If you're in a mobile home, leave it and go to a community shelter. If there is no shelter available, go to the nearest ditch, lie flat, and protect your head with your arms.