National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Tornado Safety: Before, During & After the Storm



   Photo by Will Wight   near Washburn, IL 02/28/17                                                           Photo by Marc Wells  Washington, IL  11/17/13



In Illinois, nearly 80% of all tornadoes occur from April 1st through June 30th, during the late afternoon and early evening hours. However in the past few years, nearly half of all Illinois tornadoes occurred in the fall or winter (September through February) including an outbreak on February 28th, 2017.

In a typical year, Illinois averages 50 tornadoes. Last year there were 50 tornadoes reported, resulting in 3 fatalities, 17 injuries, and more than $12 Million damage.

When a tornado threatens, you may only have seconds to save yourself, and your family. Have a preparedness plan for your home, school, workplace AND anywhere groups of people gather.

The best shelters are:

  • In a substantial building
  • Away from windows and doors
  • In a basement
  • No basement? Get to the lowest floor in a small, interior room, such as a closet, hallway or bathroom without windows