Our state is far from what is considered to be “tornado alley,” which is usually comprised of states including Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, Ohio, Illinois, and Florida, but we obviously experience a significant amount of tornado activity each year.
In fact, last year marked the highest number of tornadoes and the highest amount of property damage experienced in Michigan in the last decade when 18 twisters struck our state causing more than $17 million in damages, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Also, within the past nine years, Washtenaw County ranked among the top 10 Michigan counties to see the most tornado activity.
Before severe weather strikes it’s important to have a safety plan in place to protect you and your family. Building a safe room may be one of your options. A safe room is a room inside of your home, or a separate structure, that’s built to withstand wind pressures and impacts from debris that has become airborne due to strong winds. Here are a few important things to know if you’re considering building a safe room.
Wind Speed Requirements
Your safe room should be built to withstand 250 mph winds, according to guidelines from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you receive funds from FEMA to build your safe room, this is a requirement.
Community Safe Rooms and Best Available Refuge Areas
If you cannot build a safe room inside of your home or on your property due to flood siting restrictions, the type of foundation of your residence, or for another reason, FEMA advises that you seek shelter inside of a community safe room. If there aren’t any community safe rooms available it’s recommended that you shelter in what FEMA calls Best Available Refuge Areas.
Evacuation Orders Supersede a Safe Room
Although you may build a safe room inside of your home or on your property, FEMA advises that you follow the directions and evacuation orders of your local jurisdiction during an emergency weather event—because while you may have the wind protection afforded by a safe room, your protection is nullified if you become inundated by floodwaters.
Do You Need a Disaster Remediation Expert in Washtenaw County or Jackson County?
If your home has already been damaged, we can help. Check out our services and call 734-352-9183 for your free disaster remediation quote today. We offer: