As you are probably aware, it’s not necessarily the wind that will harm you, it’s the debris that the wind picks up and hurls perilously through the air that you have to watch out for.
That’s why it’s a smart move to build a safe room either during the construction of your new home or have one built into your existing home, especially if you live in areas that are prone to tornadoes and hurricanes.
What is a Safe Room?
FEMA has outlined loads of great information on safe rooms.
So-called “safe rooms” are reinforced small rooms built in the interior of a home, which are fortified by concrete and/or steel to offer extra protection against tornadoes, hurricanes and other severe windstorms. They can be built in a basement, or if no basement is available, on the ground floor. In existing homes, interior bathrooms or closets can be fortified into “safe rooms” also. Source
If you don’t have plans to build a safe room, you should always grab a pillow and go to the innermost closet, or bathroom, in case of a severe storm or tornado. Get in the tub and place the pillow over your head.
Better yet, if you have a basement you should secure a position in the area of your basement that has the least amount of windows and is the deepest underground.
You and you your family members should also have a predetermined spot in which to meet if you happen to loose contact during the course of the storm.
- Here are a few tornado safety tips outlined by NOAA.
- View images of a tornado safe room being built.
- FEMA has loads of information available regarding residential safe rooms.
- NOAA also has their share of material regarding safe rooms and tornado safety. It’s an overgrown FAQ, to say the least, but very informative. Pick your topic.
Here are all of the plans and specifications for constructing a safe room that you would possibly need in all types of residential formats, provided by FEMA. The plans are very detailed and cover things like the materials you will need and different types of safe rooms depending on your particular residential situation.
FEMA has safe room initiatives and block grants for individuals and communities alike. It explains the Tornado Shelter Act that was signed into law in 2003. FEMA also discusses safe room funding, if you’d like to know more about it.
FEMA also outlines the National Performance Criteria for Tornado Shelters guide available.
-photo by ccarlstead on flickr