Tornado Safe Rooms – Built-In Protection

Tornado Safe Rooms are becoming more popular in Mississippi

 

RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Severe weather is just a fact of life in Mississippi. Every spring tornadoes will come, but Mississippians are changing how they prepare for them. Tornado shelters are still more commonplace in the Plains, but they are growing in popularity  here at home. Many people are deciding it’s best to have a safe, convenient spot to go to when severe weather threatens.

November 24, 2001…An EF4 tornado destroys homes and lives in the Fairfield subdivision in Madison County.

Uriel Pineda
Professional Residential Designer
“All the people who were affected in Fairfield that moved to another subdivision or built somewhere else, they built tornado shelters.”

Uriel Pineda is an architect and home designer and since that day in Fairfield, he’s incorporated tornado safe rooms into many of his projects.

Tornado shelters can be put underground either outside or inside like this one set inside the floor of a garage. This isn’t the best option for everyone, though.  Older people, for example, may have a hard time getting in and out of an underground shelter. That’s why tornado safe rooms are gaining in popularity.

Paul Graham
Home Builder
“If properly built then they can withstand a category 5 tornado.”

That’s a wind speed of 200mph and the flying debris that can result.

Del Harrington
Executive Director – The Mustard Seed
“We tell them all the time if everything else is gone after the storm, the safe room is going to be standing because it’s constructed extremely well.”

Del Harrington is the Executive Director of The Mustard Seed, a home for developmentally disable adults.  The Mustard Seed has 3 safe rooms, that double an office, a laundry room and a library.

Del Harrington
Executive Director – The Mustard Seed
“We wanted a space that is comfortable for them. It’s got TV. It’s got WIFI. So as long as we’ve got power we can watch the weather, we can watch cartoons, whatever the need is, while we’re taking shelter.”

Heath Ferguson
Home Owner
“It gives me a peace of mind as a father and a husband to be able to watch you guys on the weather and to know that we can easily get right in here quickly.”

Heath Ferguson and his wife Emily recently built a home for their family in Madison County. They knew they wanted a safe room to be a part of the design.

Heath Ferguson
Home Owner
“Having a storm shelter adds that safety and we know how bad the weather can get here in Mississippi and it only takes one devastating storm to affect so many lives.” “Every time we get in it we pray for people who might be in danger and I want more of my friends and family to get a storm shelter.”

Uriel Pineda
Professional Residential Designer
“You want to feel like the house can be gone but we will stay alive.”

 

 

 

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