Disaster Planning/tornados


We have a safe room that was built when we added on to our home.  It was built with the 'safe room' specifications but one side of it is an exterior wall.  The only other place we have that is an interior room is a tiny storage closet.  There are 6 of us.  which one is safer?  We would like to be in the same place.  With all the tornados in our state and surrounding states it has me concerned.


Hi Stephanie,
I am so sorry about all the tornadoes in the midwest and south.  I am glad your family is concerned about tornado plans.  You are very lucky to have a safe room in your home.  I don't know exactly with what materials this was built, some safe rooms have concrete reinforced walls, others are built with larger wood framing and more reinforcements.  In either case, I imagine the exterior wall of the safe room was also built to the same specifications.  If it were my home, I would try to get the safe room specifications from the builder, if you can.  If the exterior wall of the safe room is also built stronger than the rest of the house, then I think you can rest assured that this is the safest room in your house for your family.  There are many factors that help determine your safety in a tornado, the direction the tornado is traveling, and the strength of the tornado, and of course the strength of the structure you are in.  
Without knowing all the details regarding the construction of your home, I would venture to say that a room built to "safe room" specifications should certainly be much safer in a tornado than an interior closet.  However, I would still try to determine what those specifications are, if for nothing more than peace of mind.
Be safe and let's hope for an end to these terrible storms.

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Heather Taracka


I am an Emergency & Disaster Preparedness Instructor and I created and operate the website www.getemergencyprepared.com. My primary area of expertise is in individual and family emergency and disaster preparedness. I also have knowledge in neighborhood and organizational emergency preparedness. Ask me questions about necessary steps to take to prepare your home,family, organization or neighborhood for a multitude of natural or man-made disasters, as each possible disaster has different preparatory steps.


I have years of experience in disaster relief and search and rescue and belong to a couple of related organizations. I have taken numerous courses on the subject (some FEMA) and spent countless hours researching information on individual and family preparedness.


I have a large amount of real-life diaster preparedness experience. I teach a course on Personal Emergency Preparedness (which I created after hundreds of hours studying the subject). I have myself been directly affected numerous disasters including; hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornados, winter storms, and house fires.

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