If you look at the statistics, it’s easy to notice that on a yearly basis tens of thousands of people in the United States are killed either by extreme windstorms, hurricanes or tornadoes.
Added to that the fact that property damage amounts to tens of millions and sometimes billions of dollars, it’s simple to understand that one of the best ways to protect yourself from such situations is to invest in the safety of your home or better yet, in a storm shelter.
After hurricane Katrina has swiped New Orleans and caused massive damages amounting to tens of millions of dollars, a lot of people have understood clearly that the only way to be protected from the harshness of nature is to build hurricane shelters that would last even in the event of an F5 tornado. When you have a safe room or a shelter built into your house, you have a much higher chance of survival in extreme weather conditions. Yet at the end of the day, not everyone in the United States needs a tornado shelter and to find out for sure whether you need one or not, take a few minutes and answer the following questions:
1. Do you live in an area that has been hit by tornadoes in the past?
2. If you find out a tornado is heading your way, how fast can you reach to safety?
3. Do you care so much about your family that you’d never take any shortcuts when it comes to building your own tornado shelter?
4. What would you want your tornado shelter to feature?
5. How many days would you like the shelter to guarantee a comfortable living for if you’re going to be trapped in it?
6. How many people would you want your shelter to comfortably accommodate?
Depending on how you answer these questions, you may or may not need to build a tornado shelter in your home. But if you live in an area that always gets hit by tornadoes, then it all boils down to when you want to start working on building your shelter and how safe you want to make it.
a. New homes versus existing homes
The designs regarding tornado shelters that you’re about to find in this report are primarily geared towards people who have new houses, but they can also be used in existing homes. So if you’re about to build a new home, then you can use this information in order to build the foundation and walls of your home in such a way that they’ll be resistant to tornadoes and other extreme weather conditions.
b. Types of foundations
If you have a house with any of the following foundations, then your home is suitable for installing a shelter:
2. Slab on ground
3. Basement foundation houses
If your home has one such foundation, then it means your home’s foundation has been built by pouring concrete masonry or concrete. Most of the times, these foundations are also reinforced with steel straps or bars, but if your house has concrete masonry foundation walls, they won’t feature steel reinforcements. And when it comes to the framing for the floor above the basement, this will generally be supported either by a center beam or by the exterior foundation walls.
If your home already has a basement, it’s best that you build the shelter in it and if you want, you can build it with its own walls as an entirely separate structure. On the other hand, some people find it more appropriate or easier to use one or more of their basement walls as walls for the tornado shelter.
Keep in mind that if you decide to use the walls of your basement, you need to reinforce them properly. This is because the typical reinforcement techniques used in the walls of regular homes offer little protection against massive weather calamities. When you’re building your home, it’s simple to reinforce these walls and ensure your shelter will provide you adequate protection.
It’s very important that your shelter is well built, since you know very well that a tornado can lift cars and trucks in the air and if you have a truck falling on your shelter from a few hundred feet above the ground, you can imagine just how much damage that can make.
4. Supply kits and emergency planning
Some people, depending on where they live and the weather conditions in their area, will decide that having a shelter is not a good idea. If you are one such person though, you need to take 2 major steps if you want to protect yourself and your family in the event of a tornado. First of all, you need to have an emergency plan in place and secondly, you have to build an emergency supply kit.
If you do make up your mind in the end and want to build a shelter, one of the things your emergency plan should include is notifying family members, emergency managers and everyone else outside the immediate area that you do have a shelter and that there is enough space for more people to take cover in it.
As for the emergency supply kit, it’s best if you already have it in your shelter, since going somewhere else to get it while the weather is raging is not a good idea.
There are several vital items the kit should include and they are as following:
1. A good amount of water for each of your family members. Not everyone has water filtration systems in place and if that’s your case as well, then be sure to make up for that by having lots of bottled water.
2. Non perishable foods that don’t require cooking or preparation. A good example in this case is canned food, but also ready-to-eat meals.
3. One or two first aid kits.
4. Supplies and tools such as multi-tools, portable generators, two way radios and flashlights.
5. A wrench (for turning the water and gas supply on and off), extra glasses (for adults), diapers if you have a baby, mobile phones and battery operated radios.
Do You Have Storm Shelter?
Getting a shelter and/or a safe room, built into your home can help you protect your family from injury or fatalities caused by the storm force, extreme weather conditions.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money…
They cost a lot less money to build than you might think.
If you want to win in a survival situation …click here: The Ultimate Guide On Storm Shelters