Recent devastating tornadoes might prompt many Missourians to take a closer look at their safety in future storms.
"All of Missouri is in a zone where wind gusts from severe storms can exceed 200 mph," says Bob Schultheis, University of Missouri Extension natural resource engineering specialist.
The high-risk level warrants having a shelter in or near the house. "This can help protect families from injury or death caused by extreme wind forces," he says.
A shelter or safe room should be well anchored to resist overturning and uplift, and strong enough to resist penetration by wind-borne objects.
"Common house construction techniques based on minimum building codes generally do not provide adequate protection," Schultheis notes. "Most Missouri counties do not have even these minimum codes."
MU Extension's "Storm Shelter Packet" is available online at http://bit.ly/MUExtShelterPacket. The downloadable four-page guide includes advice on building a shelter or safe room for your home or small business. It also includes links to online resources, a list of storm shelter manufacturers serving Missouri and a sample blueprint of an underground storm cellar.
"Whether you build a shelter or not, two important steps you can take to protect your family are to prepare an emergency plan for dealing with disaster situations and put together an emergency supply kit for home, business and each vehicle," Schultheis adds.
MU Extension Storm Shelter Packet: http://bit.ly/MUExtShelterPacket
Disaster resources from MU Extension: http://bit.ly/MUExtDisasterResources
Source: MU Cooperative Media Group