More than 1,300 tornadoes have been verified in Indiana since 1950, causing more than 5,000 injuries and 300 fatalities. In 2019, 32 tornadoes were recorded in the state, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Tornadoes are violent, rotating cylinders that can have wind speeds in excess of 300 mph, be more than a mile wide and cover approximately 50 miles during destruction. Because tornadoes are one of the more common natural-disaster risks the state faces, it is imperative Hoosiers are prepared before one occurs.
Staying Safe Through the Storm
In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries. Protecting Hoosiers since 2015, the IDHS Safe Room Program has helped residents and communities statewide install hardened structures specifically designed to provide "near-absolute protection" in extreme weather events, like tornadoes.
Safe rooms provide a shield of protection, and studies demonstrate that they can survive winds as high as 250 miles per hour. Built above or below ground level, safe rooms are customizable. They can be small enough for a family to seek shelter or large enough for dozens of school students and staff to hunker down.
IDHS coordinates with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on the grant program to provide partial reimbursement for safe room projects. For more information on community and residential safe rooms, visit the Mitigation and Recovery page.