Living in the Midwest, residents know that you don’t mess with the weather. From floods to tornadoes, extreme weather conditions are a constant reminder of unpredictable seasons in some parts of the country. Citizens and local authorities are always on the lookout for ways to protect themselves and their communities against nature’s deadliest weapons, therefore it comes as no surprise that tornado shelters are becoming popular in at-risk areas.
Tornado shelters were common in the 1900’s and are shown in many of our favorite movies (Twister, Wizard of Oz) but it seems their effectiveness came into question over the years.
Many lives are changed forever because of tornado destruction, and residents are beginning to change their tune about precautionary measures. Tornado shelters still have some of the same characteristics of those in the past: such as being located underground or being bolted to a garage floor, but they have also received some updates. The shelters have thick concrete walls, no windows and are able to withstand 250 mph winds, so they are arguably equipped to serve great purpose. These shelters might only have enough room to fit a few people but nonetheless they can potentially save lives.
The need for shelters has increased in areas such as Joplin, MO, where recent tornadoes caused monumental damage, destruction and chaos. Residents are therefore not only adding shelters to their homes, but they also recently voted on and approved a bond that will equip schools with tornado shelters. Other tornado-prone towns have taken steps to protect their communities by installing public shelters. Sometime families fear leaving the safety of their home to travel to a nearby community shelter; but the safe houses continue to pop up all over the Midwest.
FEMA has allocated grant money for residents to purchase tornado shelters, so it’s not surprising that many are taking advantage of the opportunity. The ability to save your family for $3000-$6000 per shelter seems to be a fair price tag. Plus, with some states offering rebates to add these shelters, it seems like a solution to Mother Nature’s wrath.
For those of you residing in the Midwest or southern states, have you looked into tornado shelters for your home, or has your community looked into installing them in local public schools or alternative common community areas?