Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/s

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Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/s

Post by drewder » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:51 pm

Last night, my meteorologist friend posted to possibilities of wicked bad storms hitting the St. Louis, MO area. He always does this with any storm system. When I woke up, I checked his Facebook Status to see how things were looking..... They weren't good.

It started with this Tornado spotted in Rolla, MO (NSFW due to language)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh9c0BEB ... r_embedded" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The military base at Ft. Leonardwood took a minor hit.

It was on the news and sirens started blaring. I turned on the news and they said massive storms were on their way. Within a few minutes, they were reporting a tornado had touched down about 5 miles from where I was. They also reported another had touched down 2 miles (to the Northwest) of where I live. I was in the safest spot I could be in and I was waiting for the worst. Luckily, I got a little wind and a bit of rain. Sirens were blowing and I kept thinking something was going to hit. After about 30 minutes, I came out and kinda scratched my head. My electricity didn't even go out. Then I started hearing the sirens from fire trucks, police cars and ambulances. The TV was reporting that the Sunset Hills area was hit ( http://www.fox2now.com/ktvi-skyfox-new- ... otogallery" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) as well as the Fenton, MO ( http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=5 ... 4639950602" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) area as well. They said that a bar that a few friends work at was hit HARD in Sunset Hills. I grabbed my CERT gear and hit the area.

Key note... I didn't see any other CERT members, but I did see someone in a ZS TRUCK with "BUBBA TRUCK" painted next to the ZS logo. I assisted local fire crews with crowd control (Caution Taping a few areas) and flipping debris with nails over. After a while, they sent me on my way. When I got home, I started watching the news for all the damages. I started wondering, if a tornado would have hit my apartment, my Bug Out Bag could be detroyed. Also, if my apartment gets hit with a tornado, chances are, my car parked out front would be hit as well.... taking out the Bug Out Bag there. The only other supplies I have in the area is my dad's place about 10 miles away.

So, what would you do/have you done to prepare for this?

Side Note: I hope the Arkansas Chapter is safe and well.
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by CB4 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:22 pm

Have a weather radio (battery operated).
Make a storm shelter in your basement that is shielded from windows.
When there is bad weather in the area, keep a look out and if it looks like it might get real bad, head to the basement.
Keep important papers and copies of family photos in a safe in the basement or off-site location.
Make sure your insurance coverage is up to-date and you have applicable coverage.
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by raptor » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:38 pm

A tornado is a very dangerous and difficult thing to adequate prepare for unless you live in a concrete reinforced building.

The key prep for property is adequate insurance to cover your home. Sadly there are few homes that can survive a direct hit by even an F3 tornado. The winds will far exceed hurricane force winds. Insurance is your best bet for property damage.

Personal survival is a different story. If you live in tornado alley an in ground tornado shelter or an inside safe room is available for less than $5,000 and is a good investment. If you live in a high rise build or can get to a high rise building the stair wells are normally the safest place to be. A multi story parking garage with enclosed stairwells is a good choice for an emergency shelter.

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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by wulfen » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:56 pm

Basically everything they said. Have all your preps ready, food, water, everything needs to be in order. If you have no basement or safe room there are a few things you can do and hope for. Get to the center most room in the house, without windows and get on the floor head between your knees and arms over your head and neck. You can also try hopping into your bath tub and pulling a mattress over yourself and hanging on.

They sound silly but unless you live in a very nice and shiny no wind and impact resistant reinforced concrete you don't have many other options. I live in tornado alley and have my entire life and seen many storms capable of dropping tornadoes and I've been in 4 that have dropped funnels. A couple not so close and a couple there were almost on top of me. One time it happened while we were at scout camp but the storm was so bad we couldn't risk evacuating, as near the entrance to the camp and the only road in or out of the area ran through a ravine that flooded constantly, so we had to take shelter anywhere we could. In my case I ended up in the only concrete building in camp, which was a shower house and bathroom facility and ended up stuck there for the next 4 hours of the storm. Luckily the tornado only hit the edge of the camp where every one had already been evacuated from. It was a truly an awe inspiring experience and only more impacting than that was doing a second time a couple years later.

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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by drewder » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:29 am

CB4 wrote:Have a weather radio (battery operated).
Make a storm shelter in your basement that is shielded from windows.
When there is bad weather in the area, keep a look out and if it looks like it might get real bad, head to the basement.
Keep important papers and copies of family photos in a safe in the basement or off-site location.
Make sure your insurance coverage is up to-date and you have applicable coverage.
Got a NOAA weather radio, but didn't have time to grab it.
I live in an apartment (no basement; just first and second floor).
Got important papers and copies of photos, but the off-site location was almost hit as well.
Renters insurance is up to date.

My point is, even though you have preparations, do you know how to plan on how to survive if your sh!t gets destroyed?

Also, notice on pix 14 and 17; http://www.fox2now.com/ktvi-skyfox-new- ... otogallery" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; . . . the building was built with the use of concrete blocks and it was still destroyed. The little piggies would have sh!t themselves if this happened to their brick house. :shock:
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by jamoni » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:37 am

You need multiple BOBs, and you need to have one with you. I used to keep a small one in the shed, in the same dresser as my metal scrap pile. I figured if the house got blasted, I should still be able to dig out my BOB from the shed. If not, the one in the car could be accessible, etc etc.
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by johndoe » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:38 am

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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by Asolfr » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:57 am

ground safe...

we often forget that our stuff can get messed up no matter the great planning we make.

so find a neibor / friend with property.
rent 8"- 10" auger
dig hole 4-5 ft deep
use abs pip or sdr, cap bottom put put screw in clean out on top, fit with lock
place in hole secure concrete around or whatever
set locking cristy box over that.

put items inside in water tight containers. just basics no weapon

use your imagination go from there

an example, in a un-named city here in Ca. an aquaintence and his fellow workers (EMT and rescue) did this exact thing, at their own cost but with city council permission (i think);
They cut into sidewalks (illegal if you don't have permission/permit), drilled the holes inserted the pipes / ground safes; Locked with combo locks (awesome ones), they set hinged steel top cristy boxes marked "cleanout" over them and then concreted them into the sidewalks.
they did this on the blocks where one of them lived, but not right near their houses and not near any utilities or danger areas. (they had plans-city worker). and near the city buildings, PD and FD buildings.
well they put like 12 or 15 of them in and around the city, they built a kinda cage to put everything in so they can get it out without leaning into them, the supplies are simple; medical, rations, radios, each has a cb that are set on the same channel no weapons except for a knife or two. plus your basic supplies.
they are in skinny duffels they made to fit the cages. they are ment to be used in another massive emergency where everything goes to hell and there is no-one able to get help or supplies

now where this goes a little far perhaps, but the basic idea is sound, you can use one in a friends yard, in an abandoned lot or wherever you can get away with, as long as you can afford to lose the items that are in it, if someone comes along and finds it. just remember most people dont want to open a "sewer" or "cleanout" box on sheer principal.
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by Merovech » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:01 am

http://www.usstormshelters.com/products.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

$2500 or so, to save the life of your whole family in a probable situation for the area.

Sounds like a bargain to me.
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by Ataki » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:30 am

All of these tips on saving your gear are great, but do you no good if the tornado drives a 2x4 through your torso. Your best bet is to make yourself as safe as possible, and worry about your B.O.B. later. You said you live in an apartment, try to find a room on the interior of the building, with no windows, and little debris. tuck yourself in the corner, cover with blankets and other soft things you can find. If you absolutely feel that your apartments may not survive, get out. don't run to a car, or a shed, but find a shallow ravine or ditch, get in the bottom and lay as flat as you can. It will be rough, but it is survivable this way. Stay away from underpasses, bridges, drain pipes..The tornado can suck or blow you right out of those.
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by jamoni » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:52 am

Hey, Drew! If you want to come over to my house and install a giant underground safe room at your own expense, you can totally use it in a storm.
I'm here for you, bro.
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by raptor » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:47 pm

A DIY tornado shelter consisting of a trench (with proper drainage) in the ground and sheet metal covering most of the trench (secured to the ground either with screw piles or some similar device ) would be better than nothing and would cost very little in either time or funds.

I would prefer one of the US Storm Shelter in ground shelters as opposed to an in house shelter since I am concerned about having the house come down on me. If not for the high water table in my area (and risk of flooding) I would install one. They seem like great protection at a reasonable cost.

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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by Stercutus » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:46 pm

A tornado is a very dangerous and difficult thing to adequate prepare for unless you live in a concrete reinforced building.
Don't get the impression this is a safe place to be in a tornado. The building might survive structurally but depending upon the strength of the tornado it might take everything inside the building for a ride as it blows out all the windows. Nothing like going for a few laps around the living room being chased by your coffee table and being beat against the wall at 120 mph.

You still need to be inside a shelter.
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by drewder » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:49 pm

Thanks for all the replies...

and I don't want to come off sounding like a DICK (even if it is my first name :mrgreen: ), but I KNOW what to do in case of a tornado (for f#cks sake, I may have gone to public school, but they still drill that sh!t into your head every month for 12 years). I was on the first floor interior room (apartment, no basement.... I don't own land...). I took all the precautions I could ( if it makes you feel any better, I was wearing my motorcycle helmet and riding jacket due to the fact they would protect just a little bit better than standard cotton clothes :wink: ). My question was more based on the point of.... if your place got hit by a tornado (or any other disaster) and your BugOut gear is destroyed, what would you do? What is your plan? For example; If I would have taken the direct hit of that EF3 tornado, my bugout gear from my house and my car would probably be destroyed. I have gear at my dad's house 10 miles away as a contingency plan. What would you have as a set up?

I liked the idea of an underground shelter, but again, I rent. Jamoni, I like the offer, but I think I would rather put one at my dad's place. After all, when he goes, I get the house AND the storm shelter. :mrgreen: Also, if your house is destroyed, chances are, the Nomad Shed would be killed along with a good chance of your car: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7FrBwQi ... r_embedded" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Again, I am trying not to sound like a DICK, but due to recent events and things I haven't really thought of until now, What do you do when your on hand gear gets compromised? Just something I think people should know. :D
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by jamoni » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:33 pm

You know, I'm thinking a shelter might not be too bad of an idea. Drew, if you do half the work I'll let you store a very small bag in it.
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by raptor » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:17 pm

Blacksmith wrote:
A tornado is a very dangerous and difficult thing to adequate prepare for unless you live in a concrete reinforced building.
Don't get the impression this is a safe place to be in a tornado. The building might survive structurally but depending upon the strength of the tornado it might take everything inside the building for a ride as it blows out all the windows. Nothing like going for a few laps around the living room being chased by your coffee table and being beat against the wall at 120 mph.

You still need to be inside a shelter.
QFT

To be clear I was not saying a concrete structure is the answer only that at least with such a structure you do have a better starting point than a stick built home.
drewder wrote: Again, I am trying not to sound like a DICK, but due to recent events and things I haven't really thought of until now, What do you do when your on hand gear gets compromised? Just something I think people should know. :D
Adequate property insurance will in the longer term deal with this situation adequately. Homeowners/renters insurance will cover lost goods and even some housing costs for tornado damage. In the short run though it makes a lot of sense to have redundant supplies (at least to some extent) in two separate locations.

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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by nyiangelo » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:33 pm

I'm putting a cinder block/ concrete room in my shop. I'm run a masonry business so it is just more practical and due to space restrictions it is above ground. A big reason the cmu wall fell in the pics is because it is 8" cmu block/not concrete filled and the height and width of the wall is just to big. Mine is a 7x7 room with 8 foot ceiling. The walls are 12" cmu with every cell filled with concrete and a 8" concrete roof. It won't keep a tornado from throwing a semi truck through it, but if thats what it takes then it must be my time to go. Ideally I would prefer to be underground but work with what you have.
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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by Stercutus » Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:19 am

Again, I am trying not to sound like a DICK, but due to recent events and things I haven't really thought of until now, What do you do when your on hand gear gets compromised? Just something I think people should know.
The year I lived in Tornado Alley we lived in a very old, very well constructed two story brick and concrete condo. There was a fall out shelter in the basement and everyone had a storage area 10X10 down there as well. Still this was not the most secure location as it was in the basement and vulnerable to the local hooligans. I kept a few tubs of back up supplies down there, but nothing valuable or dangerous. I was not too concerned about the building, it likely could have weathered a pretty big wind so I figured the stuff down below was safe.

We also keep kits in our cars and that kind of stuff. If you put all your eggs in one basket, the basket will get dropped.
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Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/s

Post by ScottAW » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:57 am

The simplest thing you can do is make sure you have a good pocket edc. If all my stuff gets blown to hell, I still have a nice light, solid knife, multi, lighter, and my wallet on me. It's gonna suck, but if I have pants, I have some basics.

And I like your idea of the motorcycle gear, sturdy clothes after an event at least. But i would have grabbed a bag when I changed.

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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by Tater Raider » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:22 pm

drewder wrote: My question was more based on the point of.... if your place got hit by a tornado (or any other disaster) and your BugOut gear is destroyed, what would you do? What is your plan? For example; If I would have taken the direct hit of that EF3 tornado, my bugout gear from my house and my car would probably be destroyed. I have gear at my dad's house 10 miles away as a contingency plan. What would you have as a set up?
I rent, but I rent a house with a basement. That's the shelter taken care of. The BOB stays in the dining room on the main floor by the stairs in the middle of the house. Easy to grab and drag to the basement with me, that's the BOB taken care of. If the BOB is destroyed I have no issues because I'm destroyed with it. I'll make sure tatertot lets ya'll know I kicked off. :?

This is a case of bug in and then bug out. You have to shelter in place, wherever that place is, and then go from there. You've got back-up kit 10 miles down the road from your place and that's great (mine is only half a mile away and is important documents only) and insurance so I don't see what else there is to do.

At some point prep turns into something less healthy. Sounds to me like you have your bases covered so time to relax or move on to the next disaster that you could prep for. With your AO being St. Louis I'd suggest being prepped for the New Madrid Fault to let go, but then again earthquakes terrify me.


EtA: One thought I just had, join the local ZS Chapter (even though you prolly already have). This gives you a network of people in your AO that can lend a hand and you can lend a hand to if disaster hits.

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Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by drewder » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:24 am

ScottAW wrote:The simplest thing you can do is make sure you have a good pocket edc. If all my stuff gets blown to hell, I still have a nice light, solid knife, multi, lighter, and my wallet on me. It's gonna suck, but if I have pants, I have some basics.

And I like your idea of the motorcycle gear, sturdy clothes after an event at least. But i would have grabbed a bag when I changed.
Motorcycle Jacket and Helmet were at the front door. My BOB is in my bedroom upstairs. I honestly thought the placement of my BoB was spot on because I spend a lot of time in my room. I now realize it should be at the front door or a centrally located spot on the first floor that is easy to get to. I'm glad I didn't have to find this out the hard way. I also have a Glock.21 in my bathroom (remember what they say; never get caught with your pants down.... 8) ). I will also note, since it would be the place I would have to go in case of a tornado, I might want to store a hammer and a crowbar in there. Someone mentioned the thought of IF YOU HAVE TO GET YOURSELF OUT situation.
At some point prep turns into something less healthy. Sounds to me like you have your bases covered so time to relax or move on to the next disaster that you could prep for. With your AO being St. Louis I'd suggest being prepped for the New Madrid Fault to let go, but then again earthquakes terrify me.


EtA: One thought I just had, join the local ZS Chapter (even though you prolly already have). This gives you a network of people in your AO that can lend a hand and you can lend a hand to if disaster hits.
If/when the New Madrid Fault goes.... welcome to Planet F#ck. A very influential ZS'er that I look up to mentioned something about, "Try to make your way out of St. Louis without using a route that has a Bridge or an Overpass." This little exercise has been one hell of a maze of insanity.

And yes, I know my local ZSC:001 quite well. I still consider myself very fortunate for knowing a lot of the people and always glad to call some of them friends. I hope a lot of the others on this board can say the same about ZS and their local ZS chapter as well.
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CB4
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:49 am
Location: STL

Re: Due to recent STL events; how do you plan for a Tornado/

Post by CB4 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:44 am

drewder wrote:IF YOU HAVE TO GET YOURSELF OUT
Good idea.

If you plan on going to your basement during a storm, it would be a very good idea to have something you can try to get out with if you are covered in rubble.

We have a crow bar, roofing hammer, gloves, dust masks, and safety glasses in the basement. We also have a crank weather radio that has a flashing LED and emits a siren so we can be located if trapped.
‎"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." - Buddha
Si vis pacem, para bellum

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