- Education and Science
A Tornado Shelter May Save Your Life
U.S. Tornadoes Statistics
A tornado shelter might have saved many lives in the past few years as a record number of tornadoes hit the Midwest in numerous states. The sale of small residential shelters, also known as safe rooms, has increased dramatically. Apparently manufacturers are barely able to keep up with demands, especially in the states that have been hit the hardest.
Every year approximately 1000 tornadoes hit the US, which is more than any other country. Tornado winds are the fastest on earth and tornadoes can jump around, so you can’t predict its path with any certainty. Some storms are actually very quiet, while others roar through like a train. The noise usually depends on what the storm hits. The color of a tornado usually matches the color of the ground.
Hardest Hit States
The top 10 state list for the number of tornadoes:
- South Dakota
America's Tornado Alley
In 2011, 1,691 deadly tornadoes hit across the United States and the death toll is 358, and 161 individuals died just in Joplin, Missouri. This year more than 60 people have died in the twisters.
In Maplesville, Alabama there is a dome shaped shelter which held 50 people in January, as a tornado ripped through their town, and no one died. The problem with large shelters is sometimes twisters arrive before people can get to the shelter.
However, since 2005, FEMA has built 31 community shelters in Missouri with more under construction, which has saved countless lives.
Many states are also giving rebates of up to $1000 for people adding a safe room on their property. Arkansas alone has processed 16,000 rebate checks. The amount of home and property loss is probably incalculable. As we’ve all seen in the news reports on TV, people are left standing in a pile of rumble with virtually nothing left to reclaim.
The area hard hit by tornadoes is referred to as America’s Tornado Alley. In preceding generations, homes were often built with safe rooms of concrete in storm cellars or buried in the back yard. Homes are often built now without basements, which may leave only a bathtub as a place to hide.
U. S. Tornado Alley
Installed Underground Tornado Lifesaver Storm Shelter
Garage Safe Rooms
New safe rooms are often being installed in garages, utilizing thick steel walls and doors that can stand against winds up to 250 miles per hour. They do not typically have electricity, as power lines would be down in those strong winds anyway. There are no windows, of course.
The tornado shelters can be bolted to the floor of a garage or custom made to fit in a small area, like a closet. People use flashlights, bottled water, and a radio while they ride out the storm. This type of structure will run in the range of $3,500 to $6,000. Most of them hold only a few people.
Tornado Video 2012: Unbelievable Footage Shows Survival, Devastating Loss
The modular unit is constructed from durable polyethylene material, thus making it practically maintenance free and nearly indestructible. Many features including articulating handrails, carpet, battery operated lighting system, molded in seating, triple locking aluminum door and stainless steel hardware. The polymer construction of the unit allows the unit to have a very long 1000+ year lifespan and limited lifetime warranty provides decades of protection from harm, for many generations to come. The Granger ISS Tornado Shelter exceeds FEMA 320 Debris Impact testing.
At least storm shelters provide safety for the family in the home. They don’t protect the house itself, or all the things we all accumulate over the course of our lives. Some states have toughened up their building codes. Florida changed theirs after 4 hurricanes hit the state in 2004. It still doesn’t insure no damage to your home, but it may limit the amount of damage. Some things can’t really be replaced, but the most important thing is saving the lives of your family.
Article(C), the copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.