4A.3
Toward a Better Understanding of Tornado Fatalities

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Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 11:30 AM
Toward a Better Understanding of Tornado Fatalities
Room 19A (Austin Convention Center)
Hope-Anne L. Weldon, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and G. W. Carbin and H. Brooks

Between the years 1991 through 2010 there were over 400 tornadoes that directly caused the deaths of over 1130 people. Although the details surrounding the deaths are available, they are by no means easy to locate, and over 10% of the information was completely missing. By collecting this historical data from numerous sources, including Storm Data, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) web page, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) database, and various newspaper articles, a single, searchable database was created. With this information all in one place, the circumstances concerning United States tornado fatalities were able to be analyzed with a more accurate data set for the years involved. In this study the United States was divided into three predetermined regions. Region one, the southeast, contains the states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Region two, the south plains consists of: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The remaining states make up the third region. The tornado fatality demographics from these regions were compared to each other as well as information from the United States 2010 Census data. It can be concluded from the data that in all regions men were preferentially killed over women, elderly people died at a greater rate than those who were younger, people in were in mobile homes died more than any other circumstance and on average just as many fatalities occurred between 8am-8pm as 8pm to 8am. The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness amongst both the public and the meteorological community, by exploiting the differences and similarities of age, gender, circumstance and time of day of those fatalities across the different regions.