The severe weather outbreak this past week reminds us that southeastern states have a deadly track record of night-falling tornadoes. Recent studies indicate nocturnal tornadoes make up more than 41 percent of all tornado events in the region, and are they’re two-and-a-half times as deadly as tornadoes that occur during the daytime.
During the evening hours, visibility is lower, warning times alerting residents of the need to take shelter are reduced, and residents are more likely to be in vulnerable structures like private residences and mobile homes, without a designated safe haven.
With the tornado season just beginning, it’s important for families to think about their options for protecting themselves from a tornado. Having a nearby, safe space where a family can ride out a tornado can mean the difference between life and death. We use our closets and bathrooms every day, but one that is also designed to serve as a high-wind safe room is not just useful, it can literally save your life if disaster strikes.
That’s why FLASH is urging families, builders and emergency responders to visit www.highwindsaferooms.organd“Give an Ordinary Room an Extraordinary Purpose” by building or retrofitting bathrooms, closets, wine cellars or other rooms with a tornado safe room. The website also provides a cost calculator, animation, and links to important safety and structural details.
For families currently rebuilding after a storm or are in the planning stages of a new build or renovation project of an appropriate room such as an interior bathroom or walk-in closet, it is a perfect time to consider the installation of a tornado safe room. Tornado safe rooms, or shelters, built using the International Code Council/National Storm Shelter Association 500 standard or FEMA 320/361 guidance, can provide the ultimate life safety protection from severe winds.
To watch a video on the proper construction and installation of a safe room, click here and then click “Tornadoes.”