A Decade After 2011 Tornado Super Outbreak, Survey Reveals Americans Have More to Learn about Tornado Safety

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes launches #TornadoStrong campaign to help Americans better prepare for tornadoes

Many Americans still lack awareness of basic tornado safety information and essential ways to protect themselves if a tornado strikes, a new survey from the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) shows. Today, on the ten-year anniversary of the 2011 Tornado Super Outbreak, FLASH is launching the #TornadoStrong campaign and website with resources and information to increase consumer knowledge of tornadoes, as well as lifesaving preparedness plans and safe rooms.

FLASH surveyed 1,000 residents and homeowners in tornado-prone states to measure awareness and understanding of safe and unsafe behaviors during tornadoes, the importance of certified safe rooms and storm shelters, and common terms used by meteorologists and the media.

Top survey findings found that nearly 50 percent of respondents were unaware that safe rooms can provide near-absolute protection in most tornadoes, and more than 44 percent of respondents overestimated the cost of purchasing and installing a safe room. Additionally, 50 percent of respondents mistook a tornado watch for a tornado warning.

“Almost 90 percent of U.S. counties were under a tornado watch at some point in the last five years, and we want residents and homeowners across the country to know how to prepare for a tornado and what to do when one hits,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “We created the #TornadoStrong program and resources to help increase consumer awareness and save lives.”

The #TornadoStrong website features Choosing the Right Safe Room for You, which lays out the six different types of safe rooms along with shareable social media graphics and materials to spread the word about tornado safety. A toolkit for meteorologists is available with downloadable b-roll video, graphics, and key messages to help communicate clear tornado guidance.

To find out more about tornado safe rooms, shelters and how they are constructed, view this powerful video from our partner MyRadar, filmed on location at the Extreme Storm Shelter facility, Weathering the Extremes – #TornadoStrong.  Visit www.tornado-strong.org to learn more today.