Uh oh, you are using an old web browser that we no longer support. Some of this website's features may not work correctly because of this. Learn about updating to a more modern browser here.

Skip To Content

Tornadoes & Twisters

What they are, and how we help

What are tornados and twisters?

Tornadoes are vertical funnels of rapidly spinning air. Their winds may top 250 miles an hour and can completely destroy well-made structures, uproot trees and hurl objects through the air like deadly missiles.

Twisters erupt in thunderstorms and are often accompanied by hail. These violent storms occur around the world, but the United States is a major hotspot with about a thousand tornadoes every year.

How do Save the Children help children affected?

In general, when responding to a tornadoes and twisters Save the Children provide:
  • Essential items: Distribute urgently needed items such as blankets, clothes, shelter supplies as well as hygiene and household kits, as often thousands of families lose everything they own.
  • Shelter: Provide emergency shelter for families who have lost their homes.
  • Child Protection: Set up child and adolescent friendly spaces to provide children with a safe place to play and continue their education.

Oklahoma City Tornado 2013

Tornado that hit Oklahoma in May, 2013

Destruction caused by the tornado that hit Oklahoma in May 2013

In May, two tornados hit communities in the south and southwest of Oklahoma City, killing 44 people (10 of whom were children, including two infants) and injuring around 400. 

12,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, two elementary schools were destroyed, and a hospital was severely damaged.

Our teams distributed family house hold kits, containing items such as blankets, torches, candles, and sleeping mats to families affected by the tornado. We set up essential Child Friendly Spaces to keep children safe and supported education centres to ensure children could continue to learn.