quick tornado shelter

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For the storm cellarless
Cut a section of sturdy plywood that fits over the edge of the bathtub. drill holes in it and secure a handle or rope to hold onto. This is easy and would be better than a blanket. Plus easy to stash near the wall. Downside is its only good for 1 or 2 people.
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I'm not sure. While the plywood would offer better protection from debris, I'd be surprised if you could hold it down if the walls or ceiling in your bathroom gave out. More likely to drag you out with it if you have a good grip, I would guess...
If you had a way to really secure it to the tub you might have something...
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wrote:

The plywood, and tub for that matter, are protection from flying debris. There isn't much, other than dumb luck, that will save you from a direct hit.

Yeah, no way out. ;-)
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wrote:

use those suction cup handles like for moving sheets of glass. HF sells them for $5 on sale. Put a couple in the tub,and HANG ON!
BTW,the usual advice for using the tub as storm shelter is to drag your mattress in there to put over the top.... if you can fit a mattress in your bathroom!
--
Jim Yanik
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On 7/3/2011 4:33 PM, internaughtfull wrote:

I once toured the area devastated by the Palm Sunday tornado (1965)...if you had seen that, you would not even consider staying in a home with no basement and with a t. coming at you. If the home collapses, the ply might keep some debris off you. In a direct hit, you, the house and the plywood will likely take a long trip. Tornadoes do freaky things - deliver your belongings many miles away, ram 2x4's through tree trunks, pull children out of their parent's arms, etc.
Buy a weather radio and have a designated shelter to go to in case of t.
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On Mon, 04 Jul 2011 06:29:19 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

AIUI, the biggest problem in the Tuscaloosa disaster this year was that several warning sirens had been taken out by a storm earlier in the day and it hit just about the evening rush hour.
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On 7/4/2011 1:21 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Conditions all that day and, I think, for several days afterward, were very threatening. Weather radios might give a little more time; they do where I live. Have seen the aftermath of several tornados, so I don't take watches or warnings lightly. My daughter was on the road recently when a warning came out....advised everyone on the road between mileposts x and y to leave their vehicle and get in a ditch! She was only a mile beyond that designated area, with her son home alone, so she beat it for home. Got pounded by hail on the way home, but made it okay. There were 3 or 4 tornadoes in the area that day.
Even without warnings or sirens, one can often tell when conditions are threatening...when we had no basement, we just headed for friend's home. Vice versa now :o)
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On Mon, 04 Jul 2011 20:28:46 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

One hit about 15 miles from here (Lake Martin) about 8:00 that night. I keep meaning to buy a SAME weather radio but I haven't like the ones I've seen, for various reasons.

We have no basement. They're extremely rare here. Only one house of all we looked at had a basement and it was on the side of a cliff, with only a retaining wall keeping it out of the creek 40' below. No thanks.
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On 7/4/2011 8:20 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

If I was building a house in "tornado alley" without a basement I would really consider a "shelter room". There are supposed to be plans at the homeland security site.
For existing houses the recommendation is digging a small pit and finishing it, with lid, in the garage floor (preferably attached).
Bathrooms are small rooms (typically) with a tub that is one of the least likely to move objects in the house. I agree that luck is a big part, particularly something like Joplin.
I have more than one weather radio with SAME (alert by county) - highly recommended.
The same day as the Joplin tornado the weather radio went off with a "tornado warning". Average warning is 13 minutes. About 3 minutes later a tornado came through (Minneapolis). Knocked down all the boulevard trees on this block (some over 24") and a lot of the front yard trees. Remarkably little damage right here to houses. Further north much bigger damage (F1).
--
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If I lived there, my bedrooms would be in the basement.
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wrote:

You would drown in your sleep. ;-)
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Probabaly not legal without some way to get out from the room other than the door. I am sure there are ways around this that would give some security incase of the tornado.
Someone mentioned it flooding. There may be a high water table that would prevent a basement. My real comment was ment to be that I would have a place in the house to sleep that would be tornado resistant.
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Sorta like this? http://www.fema.gov/hazard/tornado/to_saferoom.shtm
And an interesting FAQ on the subject. http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/saferoom/faq.shtm
--
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On 7/6/2011 9:53 AM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

The code here (IBC/IRC?) requires 2 means of egress form habitable rooms (like bedrooms). One can be a window, but there are requirements for how high the window is off the floor and the openable area. A window can be cut into a basement wall with an egress pit on the outside. (Seems like a nice place to break in. We used a window sized door instead.)

A basement is safer than above. But it is not guaranteed. You can have the demolished house piled in the basement. Advice is to be in the basement but in a place like under a workbench or with additional protection. IMHO the first thing to do is get a weather radio with SAME (not just a weather radio).
Probably not practical to make a basement bedroom a "saferoom".
For existing no basement high water table the option is probably a "saferoom", but it is more expense and hassle then adding when the house is built. I sure would want a basement or something in "tornado alley".
>

Thanks for digging up the links.
-- bud--
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most people make their "safe room" part of their closet,thus not needing a second exit route. I doubt they sleep in there,though.
Who can sleep thought a tornado? A tornado sounds like a freight train. Hurricanes,you have days of advance notice.
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Well, I sleep through the freight train most nights. ;-)

If you're even there, you have no one to blame but yourself.
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Years ago I had a friend that lived less than 100 feet from a main train track. I spent the night there once and slep all night. That was in a single wide mobile home so I doubt it was very sound proof. Not sure if any trains cam through that night, but I am sure they come by there on many nights.
I have never been near a tornado, so how long do you have before you hear it and it gets to you ?
A small one came within 1000 feet of my house severl years ago while I was at work. It took some siding off a building, but did not do too much damage. That is not the normal thing for this area. There are not usually any very big ones in North Carolina.
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On 7/6/2011 10:30 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

It would depend where it forms, how long it stays on the ground, how wide a path....good reason for taking shelter if there is a warning. I lived in northern Indiana after the Palm Sunday t. that killed a lot of people. At that time, it seemed we had a lot more violent thunderstorms than we do now (in the region)...lived near RR tracks, too, and if there was a train goin' by during bad storm, it was a tad more scary. The P.S. tornado left a wide path and it can still be seen where it went through woods like a mower.

We saw aftermath of a smallish t. that tore up friend's egg farm...crossed both long egg-laying buildings, ripped those apart and spread insulation and building parts for a couple of miles. Nat'l. Guard was out helping with clean-up. I was about 5 mi. from the path of that storm, in the basement due to t. warning, power out and loud, violent thunder/lightening.
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On 7/6/2011 9:30 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote: ...

...
You may never hear it until it's already there (and probably won't hear it specifically until it's likely too late to take effective action if were relying on sound alone).
They're generally spawned in severe thunderstorms and can be occluded by rain and heavy cloud cover or after dark. Some, of course, are classic photo shots of the funnel clearly visible...the pattern is there is no pattern you can rely upon other than extreme vigilance in the area.
Doppler radar has really improved the odds as the areas of high rotation show up as adjacent measurements of approaching and departing wind velocities in near conjunction to each other. The can pinpoint that to within a few miles at distances of 100-200 miles from the radar sites.
From anecdotal experience, there was a sizable one that did fair amount of damage in town 3-4 miles west of the house that went across HV transmission line (the very large 2-pole wood post variety line) and broke off a half-dozen of those poles that were nearly 24" diameter at the west end of the west section 1-1/2 miles from the house. It remained nearly calm at the house all through the event; w/o weather radio would have had no clue anything was happening other than a decent t-storm going on west of us that finally did produce some rain and some inflow winds but nothing approaching severe t-storm levels that near the actual funnel itself.
The key is if there's a warning for the area you're in, take protective measures then and don't go out trying to catch it on the video or cell phone; you may just walk right into it w/o knowing it until it's too late.
While in general there is a SW to NE movement, you can't count on that, either. I stood out and watched a small funnel about 5-7 mi S form from some SLCs and then head off _towards_ the SW a couple of summers ago...fortunately it is open country down that way and it dissipated before it reached the small town area...
Greensburg, KS, even of (I think '05, lost track of which year for certain now) was a granddaddy, the first recorded EF-5 (w/ the "E" enhanced scale factors). It was a monster supercell that had at least one EF3 or greater on the ground for over 6 hours that evening/night that had total track lengths probably approaching or exceeding 100 miles; the biggie was 30-some and nearly 2 mi in width at max.
There not something to mess with thinking you're somehow different...
--
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On 7/7/2011 9:09 AM, dpb wrote:

I agree with the whole post. I couldn't hear "train" from the tornado that came through here inside the house. (The closest windows to me were closed.)
If you want a warning get a weather radio with SAME. You can put some of them in your pocket.

My understanding is the EF scale is substantially the same as E. It is all based on damage. There is a much more detailed guideline in EF. Different strength is required to lift the roof off of a 150 year old farm house vs my house vs G's house in "hurricane alley". The EF scale takes into account the differences, and has more levels of damage. And the wind speeds have generally been lowered. Wind speed is a secondary factoid - it is virtually never measured. Associated wind speeds are general guesses. EF and F are both based on damage. There used to be an F6 (and higher). There may have been an an actual F6. EF only goes to 5. The thinking is you can't tell the difference once it gets to EF5.
--
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