A tornado is a powerful rotating storm that can cause wide paths of damage. While New Jersey is not a high risk area for tornados, they have and can occur here and often develop with little to no warning.

How to Prepare:

  • Know the difference between a tornado "watch" and tornado "warning".
  • Stay informed about impending severe storms.
  • Become familiar with the warning signs that might indicate a tornado:
    • Dark, often greenish sky.
    • Large hail.
    • A large, dark, low-lying cloud - particularly if rotating.
    • Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
  • Identify an area to seek shelter. Ideal shelter for a tornado is in the lowest, interior room without windows or glass doors.

What to Do:

  • Most injuries and fatalities in tornados come from flying debris. Seek shelter in a low, interior room or hallway.
  • Get under a desk or sturdy table.

After a Tornado

  • Do not touch downed tree limbs or wires as they may be energized and can cause electrocution.
  • Stay out of any building if you smell gas.
  • Follow instructions in case of power outages.
  • Contact Facilities Customer Service at 609-258-8000 if there is any concern that a structure may be damaged.
  • Many injuries occur after the storm as people walk or search among the damage and debris. Be aware of hazards from broken glass or exposed nails. Wear proper footwear, long sleeves and gloves if assisting in clean-up activities.
  • Report any injuries to the Department of Public Safety at 911 or use a blue light phone tower.

For More Information

Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website, Tornado Protection: Selecting Refuge Areas

Tornado Data from Rutgers