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College of Arts & Sciences
Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute


Improving Tornado Warning Effectiveness and the Fujita Scale Assessment Process

This project investigated the problems with the Fujita Scale assessment process. Using photographs of damage from an F3 tornado that struck Indianapolis on 9/20/02, a detailed analysis of the tornado’s damage path throughout Marion Co., IN was constructed. It is difficult to determine the F-Scale rating using some types of damage (e.g. damage to signs, factories, and malls). Surveys were used to assess how people responded to tornado warnings. The results from the project can be used to improve public safety during tornadoes and to make the warning process more effective. (Jamie D. Mitchem, PI, Natural Hazard Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado at Boulder, Quick Response Grant # 161)

An Analysis of the September 20, 2002, Indianapolis Tornado: Public Response to a Tornado Warning and Damage Assessment Difficulties: Click here for the full report.