If you live in the Oklahoma area, you’re well aware that it’s tornado season. There’s a good chance you’ve heard the sirens recently and needed to take cover. In this piece, we’re going to look at the recommended method for doing so as well as what design and construction elements make for a safer residential or commercial structure.

The Ideal Tornado Shelter

The preferred storm shelter to ensure optimal safety is a designated tornado shelter. Ironically, the most ideal shelter is not possible for many locations in Oklahoma. The best shelter is a basement or cellar that is underground. Ironically, Oklahoma’s naturally rocky terrain and low water tables make this kind of shelter unlikely. The next best-preferred place to take cover in the event of a tornado is a designated tornado shelter. These are usually metal box-like walk-in rooms that are typically bolted to the foundation. Before you engage in a commercial or residential construction project, it pays to consider if these preferred tornado shelter options are realistic.

Tornado Shelter Tip #1: Get Low

In the event of tornadic activity, it is recommended to get as low within a structure as possible. Because high winds and flying debris are possible, getting as low as possible help to lower the chances of injury due to storms. While a basement is ideal, being on the lowest level of a structure is recommended.

Tornado Shelter Tip #2: Get Centered

As the tornado sirens sound and weather updates recommend taking cover, you should be looking to put as many walls between yourself and the outside as possible. Find a room on the lowest level that is in the center-most point of the building. Make sure this is a room with no windows or potentially hazardous objects present where they to collapse or become airborne. These rooms are usually centrally located bathrooms, closets, or pantries.

Go Over a Tornado Shelter With Your Construction Company

In the design phase of your residential or commercial construction project, it’s worth discussing where the ideal location in the structure would be to take shelter from tornadoes. If this isn’t clearly evident, ask your Oklahoma construction professional where the best place would be. Have them point out this place on the designs of your build. Once a place is decided upon, if it is a commercial building, it’s not a bad idea to clearly mark this location with a sign on the door if possible.

Plan, Don’t Panic

With the right plan in effect, there’s no real reason to panic about severe weather. Educate your household or your work staff about where to go in the event of a tornado. With a little planning and education, everyone should make it through any storm safe and sound.