Message From The Chief
One of the most difficult types of severe weather to predict is a tornado. Fortunately this year, Texas and most of the U.S. have experienced relatively few tornadoes. But, this is no time to become complacent. With little warning, deadly tornados can strike at anytime and anywhere. Typically, around 132 tornadoes strike Texas each year, and well over half of those occur between April and June, with one third occurring in May. As April began to wind down, the frequency and intensity of severe weather began to rise, reminding us that we are in tornado season.
Since 1950, there have been nearly 60 tornadoes in the U.S. with wind speeds exceeding 200 mph. By comparison, only three hurricanes have made landfall with winds over 155 mph. The 2011 season, the second most active year on record, had the most tornadoes in a single day and a single month on record.
Everyone needs a safe place to go when a tornado strikes, and one way that Texans can protect themselves and their families is by having access to a tornado safe room. Financial assistance for construction of tornado safe rooms is available to individuals and families, as well as to communities in high or moderate tornado risk areas. To find out if you or your community qualifies for financial assistance, go to the TDEM Safe Room Rebate Page.
Not all areas of the state are subject to the same level of tornado risk. The first step is to check to see if your county is in a high- or moderate-risk area. In addition, to participate in the state’s mitigation grants, your community mitigation plan must be current and should have attained the basic level on its emergency management plan.
Take the time now to invest in your community’s awareness and preparedness for future storms. Visit the following links to learn more about programs to help prepare for these types of severe weather events.
Other Helpful Links
Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM® TEM