Tornadoes can cause death and destruction in a matter of minutes, but there are efforts to make alerts more effective.
FOX News Radio's Jennifer Keiper reports in our special series "The Next Disaster":
Some 1,200 tornadoes that have touched down here in the country's midsection over the last five years have had winds faster than 113-miles per hour.
Even with alerts going out, people are still dying.
In Moore, Oklahoma, an EF-5 tornado claimed the lives of 24 people. A day earlier two were killed in nearby Shawnee.
In Granbery, Texas earlier this month, Sheriff Roger Deeds says he was talking directly to the National Weather Service.
(Deeds) "What we saw, they confirmed it and they did recommend the warnings and they put it out, we put it out basically at the same time."
In recent years, Joplin, Missouri was hit with wind speeds over 200 miles per hour.
(Joplin Man) "It's just pure devastation. You just, you can't believe it."
Some 160 people died.
Chicago TV meteorologist Tom Skilling says forecasts are better than ever.
(Skilling) "We're often able with computer modeling today to identify the basic structure of a storm that's going to produce one of these disasters - a week ahead of time."
Ed Fenelon with the National Weather Service says they're trying to ring the bell a little louder.
(Fenelon) "We're adding a considerable damage threat warning tier - and we're also adding some concise wording on the impacts of the risks that go along with the threats that we might be anticipating."
The Weather Service is also assessing itself, going out after tornadoes and talking to emergency management, survivors and media.
Jennifer Keiper, FOX News Radio.