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We got a tornado shelter, and it is so exciting!

Today was a BIG day for us. We got a tornado shelter, and it is so exciting! it means that this spring and many to come will be a lot less stressful and that we get to keep our family a lot safer.

I have grown up in Oklahoma where tornadoes in spring time are just a part of life. It is no different than other parts of the country getting snow during the winter. I realize people say, “Then why do you live there?” My answer would be that this is where our homes, families, and jobs are. Living anywhere is going to have its occurrences whether it’s hurricanes, earth quakes, floods, fires, or mud slides. Ours just happens to be tornadoes.

Also, tornadoes are unpredictable. While they tend to come to our area more than others, there’s no safe tornado free zone. Then when there are not tornadoes, Oklahoma can be really beautiful. And if you do have a devastating experience, I guarantee there will be people here to support you and help you rebuild. Oklahomans are typically nice.

 

I thought I’d include some information in case anyone outside of my state or surrounding area reads this.

  • A tornado watch means you should keep an eye on the weather because it may get bad. A tornado warning means it has gotten bad, and you may need to take cover.
  • To “take cover” means getting in the center most room without any windows, in the bath tub, or in a storm shelter for safety.
  • After watching HGTV I realized that most homes outside of Oklahoma seem to have basements. I’m sure there are a few here that exist, but it is unusual. I have heard a couple different explanations on why, but the most common is that our soil is clay based and moist. This makes basements prone to leaks, floods, and mold.
  • Tornadoes are measured by intensity on the Fujity scale, or F Scale, from 0-5. F-0 is the least intense and destructive. F-5 is the most. F-5 tornadoes are extremely rare and dangerous with winds exceeding 200 mph. These only account for about 1% of all tornadoes.
  • There are different types of shelters. Some are installed underground in your yard or patio and tend to be larger. There are above ground safe rooms. Then there’s what we got, a small space in your garage floor. We don’t even have to go outside to take cover now!

image

inside

Where we live seems to be particularly prone to crazy spring time weather. One year hail the size of softballs pelted us when it was sunny just minutes before. It broke the windshield of my car.

Hail

We have had 2 F-5 tornadoes crisscross our house.

tornadoes

 

I’ve had some first hand tornado experiences where I’ve seen one while driving, and another time one came through our neighborhood as a kid. Even though over last few years we have had less contact with tornadoes than before, it’s safe to say it’s been scarier because we have the kids now.

We have family that lives a few miles north and south of us with a shelters. So before the weather would get to the point of needing to take cover, we would go to one of their houses. A few times the meteorologist has said to get underground, and if you didn’t have a place get underground to go get somewhere fast. We would load up the kids to head out, but everyone else would too. Then there would be traffic jams in every direction with bad weather headed straight towards us.

Other times my work would let out early to try to get us home safely, but I worked on the other side of town. I’d race to meet my husband and the kids at his aunt’s house listening to the weather on the radio the entire time. Once it took me hours because all the roads to get to them had already flooded.

There’s no worse feeling in the world than when I was trying to get to my kids and couldn’t or when we were trying to get them to a safe place and couldn’t. I mean that I felt white knuckled, loss of feeling in my limbs type scared.

So we have had to save up for it, but getting a shelter is exciting for us because it means a lot less stress and that we get to keep our family safer.

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23 thoughts on “We got a tornado shelter, and it is so exciting!

  1. We live in Texas I get it. I didn’t grow up here so this is all new to me and I find this time of year absolutely stressful. I agree with you though. I lived in Alaska for 13 years….earthquakes. We had several while I was there and it was terrifying. I would love to see inside your shelter just out of curiosity! How big is it?

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    1. It’s tiny, 4×6. They do have bigger sizes though. I’ll post an inside pic in the post when I get home this afternoon. It’s only two stairs and two side rails to sit on. It’ll do the job though!

      I didn’t know Alaska had earthquakes. Crazy! I hope you have a low stress spring 🙂

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  2. Well the explination did help thank you. I am from you could say out of state… The west country, Somerset in England… probably out of country describes it best. We do not have Tornados or hail the size of softballs and I am glad you have a shelter even if it is small, better to survive I say. I arrived not on the wind like Dorothy, or by way of umbrella like Mary Poppins but via Danny’s blog share and I am pleased I came. Please drop by my writing spot, it is very diverse, with story rhyme, music and observations, lots of happy but a couple of noir pieces too, so if you don’t like one climb into the archives I know I will have something for you.

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  3. I watched a documentary on the Weather Channel. They can be insane! We’ve had them in Wisconsin and Colorado too. I never saw them in Wisconsin with all the dense trees and few vistas, but have seen them several times since moving to Colorado. Unpredictable is right!
    A warning means a tornado has been sighted so you better take shelter! Whoa!
    I’m glad you have one now.
    Thanks for stopping by the Drop and Hop! Have fun meeting the guests!

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  4. When I lived in Minnesota we would–well, okay, we could and very rarely did–take shelter in the basement. Given the shape of our basement and how easily it flooded, I sometimes wondered whether I wouldn’t rather face the tornadoes.

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  5. Very helpful post! Our family lived in Broken Arrow for 13 years. Yes, I remember going thru a couple myself. One particular night we awoke to hear ‘the train,’ coming up our way. It touched down a quarter of a mile away, ripping up the Borden’s Dairy and then lifting for a minute before touching down and shredding part of the Ford glass plant.

    Stay safe and thank you for sharing your info. Tornados now touch down in places they have never defended upon before. This years climate has been ridiculous.

    ☕️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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