At one point or another, all of us will experience the effects of a storm in some way. Some of us are lucky enough to live in areas where storms are either rare or typically mild — but many more live in areas that are prone to extreme weather. Extreme weather is typically associated with exotic locales, but many parts of the United States regularly experience issues like tornadoes and thunderstorms, as well as hurricanes. In some cases, these storms are so severe that they require evacuation — and certainly, if the authorities are advising evacuation, you need to leave as soon as possible. But in some cases people wait until the last minute, or for that matter are unable to leave for other reasons. And in that case, you need to take shelter. This is why, in some areas, the authorities recommend that people install tornado shelters, otherwise known as tornado safe rooms. Of course, tornados aren’t the only storms that can benefit from shelters; storm shelters can also be more general. Before installing any kind of storm shelter, however, you need to be sure about the conditions you’re dealing with and for that matter when to take shelter. With the right storm shelter, you’ll be much safer in case of emergency — and so will your loved ones.
Storm Conditions: When To Take Shelter
Perhaps you’re skeptical as to whether or not you actually need a tornado safe room or another type of storm shelter. Maybe the storm conditions in your area don’t seem that bad. But it’s quite possible that you’ve gone without a storm shelter when you could have used one — and thus put yourself in danger. Some of the most dangerous storms include tornados and hurricanes. While hurricanes can be difficult to take shelter from, often requiring evacuation, tornados can arise with much less warning and thus require shelter rather than evacuation in certain situations. They’re also much more common than you might think — each year, the United States averages about 1200 tornados. These tornados are usually expected to hit between three and nine p.m. 2% of these tornados turn out to be violent tornados, which can last for over an hour and truly wreak havoc. They can head in any different direction, but generally move from southwest to northeast. Their forward speed can be anywhere between 30 and 70 miles per hour. Tornados can on occasion be accompanied by thunderstorms and even flooding — though of course, these issues on their own can be extremely threatening. Of course, there’s a big difference between the average thunderstorm and a severe thunderstorm. A severe thunderstorm produces hail at least one inch in diameter and has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Often, lightning comes with thunderstorms — and this can contribute to the danger level. Though lightning-related fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, it continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the U.S. The average number of Americans killed by lightning each year is 51, though hundreds more can be injured. The most dangerous issue related to thunderstorms is flooding, which can result in 140 fatalities each year.
Tornado Safe Rooms: How They Work
A tornado safe room works differently from older versions of tornado shelters. Older versions were often more prone to collapse and even flooding. A tornado safe room is more compact. While this makes it less spacious and more uncomfortable, a tornado safe room is also safer and more durable than older versions of storm shelters. A big difference between a safe room and older storm shelters is that they’re above ground. Not only does this make them safer — it also means easier access in case of emergency.
Is It Worth It?
A safe room can be the difference between life and death. While it is an investment, remember that evacuation is not always an option — this could save your life.
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