For the storm cellarless
Cut a section of sturdy plywood that fits over the edge of the
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.
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
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
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.
On 7/4/2011 1:21 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org 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)
On Mon, 04 Jul 2011 20:28:46 -0400, " email@example.com"
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
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.
On 7/4/2011 8:20 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
Probabaly not legal without some way to get out from the room other than the
I am sure there are ways around this that would give some security incase of
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.
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".
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.
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
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.
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,
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...
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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