For anyone who has a family member with special needs, the sirens that ring in light of a tornado warning are the most horrifying sounds they can hear.
While tornadoes don’t typically strike without warning, it doesn’t take long for them to quickly become more devastating and move toward surrounding areas that weren’t originally in its path. This is why, even if you know a tornado watch was issued, you must take the right steps to help your special needs family member get to safety.
According to a survey conducted by Banfield, a non-profit organization for pets and owners, 91 percent of pet owners aren’t prepared for the next natural disaster.
A concerning situation if there ever was one, this survey only cements the belief that our pets require a lot more care than what we’re giving them. Especially during this season of hurricanes, storms, and tornadoes, we must do what we can to protect them so that they can stay happy, healthy, and safe in our arms.
You just received a tornado warning, and you can already feel the monster coming near. The first and only task on the list is to get your family to safety in your newly-installed safe room.
But is it equipped to keep you comfortable? Given that you don’t know when it’ll be safe to come back out, most experts recommend equipping your tornado shelter with all the necessities you and your family will need for an extended period.
Here is a list of all the things we think are necessary for your safe room emergency kit:
Food and Water
You should have enough food and water to last at least 5–7 days, per person. Although this may seem too much, you have to be prepared if an F4 or F5 tornado were to make landfall.
Baby food, formula, clean bottles, etc., if needed
In addition to the above products, you’ll also need one gallon of drinkable water per day per person. And keep in mind that even water can expire, so keep an eye on the expiration date for each bottle. Additionally, buy disposable utensils, bowls, and glasses so that each person can have their own.
With clothing, your main focus is to keep everyone warm. For that, prepare your shelter by storing the following in an airtight box, so they’re kept safe from any critters or moisture:
Warm clothes such as jackets, hats, and gloves
Extra clothing if your clothing gets damaged
First Aid Kit
In addition to all the necessities for a first aid kit, other things you’ll need to pack beforehand include:
Over-the-counter pain medication
All prescription medication for each person of the family
Instant cold compress
In addition to necessary sanitary supplies such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and more, other things you’ll need, include:
Extra diapers and wipes
An extra trash bag for the diapers
Portable tissue boxes
Preparing For the Season
Especially if you live in Tornado Alley or any of the surrounding areas, you must take the right step for your safety.
At US Safe Rooms, we encourage all customers to invest in tornado shelters and safe rooms, so they have a secure facility to move to in case of a tornado. So, why not put your savings to good use?
US Safe Rooms offers safe rooms in Texas and Oklahoma. Get in touch with us, and prepare for tornado season the right way.
Even with a tornado shelter installed in your garage, which you were able to seal yourself in, just in time, being part of such a frantic, scary scenario is often scarring for children, something that dramatically impacts their recovery process.
So, how do you make sure that your child’s reaction to a tornado is collected and calm?
The Atlantic hurricane season is about to begin, and meteorologists are concerned. With the COVID-19 crisis taking center stage, most people aren’t paying attention to the potentially more dangerous circumstances we may soon face.
As of May 2020, the general weather has not been favoring the U.S. 489 tornadoes have already made landfall in and around tornado-prone areas, resulting in over 70 casualties. Experts have also indicated that there is a 69 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall along the U.S. coastline. There’s also a 95 percent chance that one hurricane will make landfall and cause damage in the U.S.
With such predictions, some experts are asking for homeowners to practice caution if they live in a potentially dangerous zone.
While following a tornado drill plan and squirreling away essentials might help if you already have a hideaway at home in case a tornado hits, these steps can’t save you if your safe zone is still susceptible to tornado damage. This is why tornado shelters are so crucial for homeowners in tornado-prone areas.
However, not all tornado shelters are the same.
Unfortunately, even with something as essential as a tornado shelter, there are many unscrupulous characters out there who don’t sell tornado shelters that meet FEMA guidelines. And that can make a big difference for your safety, a potentially life-damaging one.
Here’s what you need to know about FEMA rules and additional guidelines.
– FEMA Safe Room Design Requirements
To be regarded as a “FEMA safe room,” all designs for the tornado shelter construction have to follow guidelines as specified in the FEMA P-361. The design has to follow all applicable state, federal, and local codes. If a layperson is designing the shelter, they have to also consult with a design professional to make sure their design meets and exceeds the guidelines, as stated in the FEMA P-361.
– Info on FEMA Funding
For any safe room project that requires financial assistance, the person has to contact their State Hazard Mitigation Officer, who will determine whether the person can be considered for funding and whether the applicant’s design qualifies per the state, federal, and local design requirements.
– FEMA Approval
Because of federal regulations, there are no products, firms, or individuals who have FEMA approval, endorsement, or certification, or recommendation. However, design professionals who are registered can design safe rooms, under the condition that their design meets and exceeds the current FEMA guidelines.
– Additional Guidelines on Safe Rooms
Besides following FEMA guidelines, safe room designs also have to follow all underlying building codes. Alongside, safe room construction must also comply with code requirements. The safe room design must also satisfy the standards set by the International Code Council in collaboration with the National Storm Shelter Association.
Considering the above rules, it’s vital that residents and commercial clients seeking safe rooms choose a company that satisfies all demands, like US Safe Rooms.
Catering to clients in Denison, Dallas, and other regions of Texas, our safe rooms are designed according to FEMA guidelines. So you can rest assured, knowing that you’ve made the right choice. Contact us today at 469-629-6000 and talk to us about our aboveground shelters and safe rooms in Texas.
With weather predictions estimated to be even more uncontrollable this year, many citizens are now choosing to have tornado shelters installed on their properties, with underground shelters being a more popular choice.
Yet, due to some mishaps in recent years regarding underground shelters, many homeowners are second-guessing their choice.
To put your worries to rest, US Safe Rooms offers some information on underground tornado shelters.
The Basics of Underground Shelters
Without a doubt, underground tornado shelters are still the safest option when it comes to choosing safe shelter from a storm or tornado.
Almost perfect in design, underground shelters (or safe rooms of any kind) are designed to meet FEMA guidelines and go through the Texas Tech Impact Test before being provided to the public.
But, keep in mind, not all tornado shelters will be created equal.
Some unfortunate stories have come to light involving underground shelters and people getting hurt because of stuck doors or water seeping into the shelter. In these cases, the problem is that most homeowners believe that underground shelters are all alike, whether it’s a new edition or an old, outdated model.
The great thing about underground tornado shelters from US Safe Rooms is that ours meet FEMA guidelines. But, if you’re thinking about investing in a cheap shelter or even a second-hand bunker, be warned that you will be putting your life at risk.
Constructing a Safe Storm Shelter
We have received queries from people worried about water getting into the shelter, which is a definite disadvantage with the underground option.
But the easy solution here is that instead of installing the storm shelter so that its flush with the floor of your garage floor, many homeowners have their shelter raised slightly above the level, whereas others choose to have their shelter door installed in a way that imitates an underground cellar entrance. So, even if there’s water from the storm, the entrance stays well above the floor level.
The right size for your tornado shelter ultimately depends on the number of people who’d use it.
FEMA recommends that every person have at least three feet of floor space in the tornado shelter. Multiply that by the number of people you have, and you get your total square footage for the required tornado shelter.
But, with so many people taking up space, what about the bare necessities? Food, water, radio, flashlights, emergency kits, space for sitting, food and water for pets, and additional space—with so much to bring on board, how do you decide on the right size for a tornado shelter?
Here are some details to help you decide.
Deciding on the Size for Your Tornado Shelter
Typically, the safe room designer has the authority to decide how big your safe room should be.
Before even estimating how much space needs to be leftover, the designer determines a base number by calculating the expected occupancy of every person seated or standing in the tornado shelter, as well as their basic needs.
So, taking an example of a hospital that wants to build a tornado shelter for the building occupants.
According to the guidelines for the minimum usable floor area, a person who uses a wheelchair would require 10 square feet of space in a shelter, whereas a bedridden patient would require 30 feet. According to the number of occupants in the hospital at any given point in time, and the total staff, the designer should be able to come up with a feasible, safe room that would comfortably keep all occupants safe.
Taking this rule and applying it to the design for a residential safe room, the designer would use the same tactics to determine whether every person of the house requires more space than what’s regular. Let’s not forget; there are many people who may have a problem staying in confined spaces. To provide them with enough breathing space, your designer would have to add even more space to make the room comfortable.
Besides, if any older adults in the family use wheelchairs or oxygen tanks, they would require extra space as well. Children, pets—every person would need enough space so they can stand or sit comfortably. Once that is decided, only then would your designer be able to add some more space in your tornado bunker for storing necessities.
Contact US Safe Rooms and let us know your requirements. With us by your side, you’ll benefit from a comfortable, reliable, securely built safe room that’ll keep you safe from almost all sorts of weather damage.
According to reknowned weather predictors, like Accuweather, we might see higher tornadoes and storms in this year than the previous years. Tornado shelters guarantee protection again the devastating effects of tornadoes and storms.