Skip navigation

Emergency Preparation in Tompkins County, New York


in this section

Damage caused by a severe windstorm and tornado in Stillwater, NY.
Picture from National Weather Service, Albany.

Windstorms and Tornadoes

In the past:

Tornadoes are not just a central plains phenomenon! Tornadoes have occurred in every state of the US. Tompkins County does not often see tornadoes -- windstorms are more common -- but that does not mean we never will. Some past storms of note:

In each instance, the windstorms caused propety damage, partially from downed trees and limbs, partially direct (roofs or siding blown off). Power losses were also very common.

Risk to Tompkins County residents:

Windstorms and tornadoes are always a threat, anywhere in the country. Tompkins County has a higher risk from windstorms than from tornadoes -- but as any meteorologist will tell you, tornadoes are highly unpredictable!

The greatest risk to people in a windstorm is wind-blown debris. If you're outdoors, get indoors quickly! Windstorms will also cause damage to homes and structures by tearing off siding, blowing roofs off, cutting off power, and downing trees and limbs which may fall into homes. However, being indoors and in a safe room cuts your risk of being hit by debris.

How to prepare:

Additional Resources

Guide to tornado safety by the National Disaster Education Coalition. Although NDEC does not have a document specifically for windstorms, the advice here applies to windstorms as well as tornadoes.

American Red Cross advice on tornadoes.

The Weather Channel. A good place to stay informed about current and forcast weather conditions.

NOAA Weather Radio information.

The National Weather Service.

The National Storm Prediction Center.

top of page
Emergency Preparation Home Page