The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tips for Tornado Season

June is tornado month in Nebraska. More tornados occur in June than any other month in our state.

With the recent terrible loss of life in Missouri and Alabama there are some tips we can do to protect ourselves in case of a tornado.

1. Have a plan. If you do not have a plan your chances of surviving a direct-hit tornado are slim. Retreating to the basement is not enough. Many times the force of the winds can pull you and your family right up out of the basement. If you do not have a basement find the location of the nearest storm shelter and become familiar with the route and time it takes to get there.

2. Create a shelter area in the basement with very strong walls and ceiling over your head. Many folks will use the area under the stairwell or in a corner. Beef if up, mount the walls and ceiling into the concrete structure of the basement. Follow the FEMA guidelines at for creating a “safe-room” in your home. It may cost up to $2000 to create the safe-room but the cost is minor compared to loss of life.  Think of a tornado as a vacuum cleaner.  How could you survive if a huge vacuum cleaner was placed above your home?

3. Keep in mind that the average length of time spent in a storm shelter is ½ hour to 2 hours. Have something for the kids to do to take their minds off the situation. Make sure you have a battery powered radio, flashlight, blankets, water and snacks and a whistle, air-horn or other means of alerting for help.

4. Don’t be one of the people that think “it will never happen to me.” Many people in Missouri and Alabama may have had that same attitude. It happened to thousands who are without a place to live right now and over 500 so far this year have lost their lives just in tornado related deaths.

5. There may be some state or federal monies available to assist in the purchase and installation of a safe room or storm shelter.  Look to FEMA or your state Emergency Management Agency for more details.