Tornadoes are not unheard of in the Central Illinois area. The tornado that hit in Washington, IL in 2013 was a tragedy for many families. Homes and properties were demolished and lives put in danger. This was a wakeup call for many Illinois residents. It is clear now how important it is to be prepared for an event like a tornado. While making sure that you have enough supplies to sustain you and your loved ones are important, it is crucial to have a place to go and wait out the worst of the storm; and what better place for that than a safe room.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, “a safe room is a hardened structure specifically designed to meet the FEMA criteria and provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes.” These rooms are made to withstand the effects of a tornado or other severe storms better than a basement would. Things that should be considered when building a safe room include:
- The Safe Room must be adequately anchored to resist overturning and uplift.
- The walls, ceiling, and the door of the shelter must withstand wind pressure and resist penetration by windborne objects and falling debris.
- The connections between all parts of the Safe Room must be strong enough to resist the wind.
- Sections of either interior or exterior residence walls that are used as walls of the Safe Room must be separated from the structure of the residence so that damage to the residence will not cause damage to the Safe Room.
It is important to keep your family as safe as possible in severe weather situations. Should you decide to build a safe room for your home, there are plenty of tips and guidelines provided on the FEMA website. There are funding options for residential and commercial properties that can help create a safe spot for people to go when disaster strikes. It is important for you to follow your local weather forecasts and pay attention to weather alerts when they come out. Preparation and paying attention are the key to staying safe and happy.
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Remember – if you do experience loss due to a tornado or other severe weather in North Central Tazewell County, call SERVPRO® at 309-346-5600.