Although 11 people died this year in March tornadoes, April is typically the deadliest month for killer tornadoes in the U.S. On average 27 people are killed by April tornadoes each year, with most dying in their destroyed homes. This number would likely drop if more people had “safe rooms.”
FLASH is a big promoter of safe rooms. These structures are designed to protect people from extreme winds and the extreme damage from flying debis that comes with a tornado. Often safe rooms consist of a small room in the house, such as a closet or bathroom, that has been reinforced to provide protection. Safe rooms can also be built in a garage or any outside area away from the home.
The value of safe rooms has been proven. After a May 1999 tornado outbreak in Oklahoma killed 40 people and injured hundreds, a FEMA rebate program resulted in the construction of more than 6,000 safe rooms. When a tornado hit Oklahoma City three years later, residents took shelter in these safe rooms and no lives were lost.
To learn more about protecting your family with a safe room, visit the links below.
Credit: FEMA Safe Room Designs