Tuesday, November 28, 2006
This is a tornado shelter. This may be the only way you could survive an F5 tornado.
Back in May of '99, an F5 tornado came through the Oklahoma City area destroying everything in its path and killing many people. We're talking winds of 318 mph, the fastest wind speeds ever recorded on earth. I even read that had it measured 1 mph stronger it would have been an F6 and there has never been an F6. We were in Oklahoma City a couple months after the devestation and we could not believe what we saw. You could visibly see the mile wide path of destruction that went on for miles and miles and all that remained was dirt and concrete slabs where homes once stood.
Since then we have been seeing more of these concrete tornado shelters each time we visit ... usually built in the front yard so that many can seek shelter in an emergency. They can hold upwards of 15 people and pets, depending on the size built. Here's the thing, very few homes have basements in Oklahoma. How crazy is that! When I think back on those scary nights when our family had to wait out a tornado in our basement (in Wisconsin), I felt so safe and secure... and to think there are those whose only option is to crawl into a bathtub or a closet and cover themselves with a mattress.
I am very thankful my sister has a neighbor that has invested in one of these state-of-the-art shelters and have made it available to her and others on their street. Of course I'm praying they never have to use it.