• A  A  A
  • Tornado

    Tornadoes are spawned from powerful thunderstorms. In a matter of seconds, they can uproot trees, destroy buildings and turn harmless objects into deadly missiles. Tornadoes can strike quickly with little or no warning and affect the Texas Panhandle region each year. Although our peak tornado season runs from March through June, tornadoes can occur any time of the year if the meteorological conditions are right.


    The Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management operates 89 outdoor warning sirens for our jurisdictions. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will activate in full Weather Watch mode when conditions are favorable and the Amarillo Emergency Services (AES) will deploy storm spotting units to monitor the skies, reporting back storm reports and damage information. We also work closely with the National Weather Service and news media in monitoring possible tornadic threats.

    When they strike and you are home/office….


    • The best place to seek shelter is in a basement, storm shelter, or saferoom.
    • If one is not available, use a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the ground floor of your home or business.
    • Mobile homes offer little protection in a tornado. If you do live in a mobile home, find a sturdy building nearby.

    When they strike and you are in your vehicle….


    Mobile homes and vehicles offer little protection in a tornado. Wind flows underneath vehicles, causing them to overturn or become airborne. Wind speeds of less than 100 mph can easily flip a car and there have been numerous cases of vehicles being carried up, dropped, and more commonly penetrated by flying debris. Over a third of the people killed by the Mid-May 2008 tornado outbreak died in a vehicle.

    • If a tornado is approaching, leave your vehicle and seek shelter in a sturdy building.
    • If a building is not available, get away from the vehicle and lie flat in a ditch and cover your head.
    • DO NOT get under bridges or overpasses as a tornado passing over will create a wind-tunnel effect that can cause HIGHER wind speeds, driving debris towards you and possibly carry you out from under the overpass.