Here are some frequently asked questions to help you prepare:
Basement shelters: Often the most affordable option, providing good protection from tornadoes and severe winds. Ensure your basement is waterproofed and has proper ventilation.
Above-ground shelters: Prefabricated shelters offer protection from tornadoes and some windstorms. Choose one anchored securely to withstand strong winds.
Interior safe rooms: Reinforced rooms within your home can offer protection from tornadoes and windstorms. Consult a qualified contractor for proper construction.
Basement shelters: Ideally located in the center or away from exterior walls.
Above-ground shelters: Install on level ground, away from trees, power lines, and other hazards. Securely anchor it to prevent uplift or movement.
Interior safe rooms: Choose an interior room on the lowest level, preferably without windows or exterior doors.
Essentials: First-aid kit, non-perishable food and water for at least 3 days, battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, blankets, toilet paper, medications, games or activities for children.
Comfort items: Pillows, sleeping bags, books, cards, etc.
Have a family plan: Discuss shelter location, escape routes, and communication plan with everyone in your household.
Practice drills: Conduct regular drills to ensure everyone knows how and where to go when a storm warning is issued.
Keep the shelter clear and accessible: Avoid storing clutter that could impede entry or movement within the shelter.
Charge your phone and other electronic devices beforehand.
Bring important documents like IDs and insurance papers in waterproof containers.
Have a battery-powered or crank-operated radio for updates and emergency information.
Stay calm and follow the instructions of local authorities during a storm.
Remember, having a storm shelter is just one step in being prepared. Staying informed about weather alerts and practicing safety measures are crucial for keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during storms.