Tornado Shelters for Severe Weather
Stay safe during the stormsTornado Shelters can be a great investment for you and your family especially if you live in tornado prone and severe weather areas. Find out if underground or above ground shelters are the best, as well as plans for shelters.
Living in tornado prone or severe weather areas can be dangerous for you and your family. So why not invest in a tornado shelter? Although there are many ways to stay safe during a tornado, a well built shelter preferably underground (but above ground shelters work as well) could possibly save your life one day.
Many homes are built with basements already, but many older and even newer homes are not built with a any kind of protective shelter at all. So what should you look for when considering buying a shelter for your home?
Underground Tornado Shelter
Tornado Shelter Image by badgerwork
Many places in the Midwest and Southeast have underground shelters or simply basements. This is not very common in some places however as it depends on how easily the area floods.
You won't find many of them where they could be flooded easily by heavy rain over a short or long period of time. To me, underground shelters provide the best safety from a tornado. You are safe from debris, and the tornado can pass right over you. If your house does not have a basement, you can have an underground tornado shelter built right next to your house for reasonable prices.
Tornado Shelter Image by samdogs
These shelters usually have angled doors (which make them easier to open in case debris falls on them) and it allows debris to easily pass over the shelter without damaging it. Of course it is good to have ample warning time as you will have to run outside to get into the shelter.
If you wait to long, you may have to deal with dodging debris as the tornado approaches. However, many underground shelters are now built with covered walkways and these shelters may also provide better protection than traditional basements as you don't have to worry about debris from above falling on you. There have been many cases of strong EF4 and EF5 tornadoes wiping homes off their foundations which then exposes the people taking shelter below. These shelters can also be used as bomb shelters although hopefully we will never have to deal with that!
Generally the consensus is that below ground shelters are safer. If an EF5 tornado comes ripping through your town, I'm sure you would feel much safer underground, than above. However, there are some things to consider. Above ground shelters are cheaper, they can be used for other things, and you can often build them yourself if you want.
The cheaper and do it yourself option is why many people go for these, and they also consider the chances of an EF5 or strong tornado hitting their home (which are pretty low). Usually these are made of concrete and can withstand pretty much anything. They are also popular for hurricane shelters as well.
In conclusion, you have to analyze your budget and find out what's more important to you. Cost? Or safety? If you know you live in tornado alley, maybe an underground shelter is better for you despite the cost. If you live in an area where tornadoes can happen, but the chances of a destructive tornado are low, maybe the cheaper above ground option is better for you.
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Lightning strike on the Renaissance Center
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