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dum dum
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1,249 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
OK, after exhausting "Tornado" results with the search feature, I get this:
"Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms." ...so if this has been discussed please just point me to the right thread...thanks!

Here's my dilemma:
I live upstairs, in an apartment, over garages on a NW facing corner. If one of those tornadoes that set down (on a mile from my place) on my place, there is NOWHERE safe in here. Even if I went into my garage, I'd be toast. Maybe under the steel and concrete external stairs, but NUH UH.
So, I've decided that when my S.A.M.E weather alert goes off, and my iPad streaming weather radar says GO...I'm jumping in the 4Runner with my pooch and hauling tail. I was in my ambulance surrounded by the tornadoes Tuesday, and being in a vehicle with weather sirens sounding in every direction really is creepy, but looking at the devastation of WELL BUILT homes destroyed instantly tells me it's time get out.
Now, my question...if anyone else plans this way, or if you can think of any ideas, WHAT would you grab n go? What would you have in your BOB?
So far, here's what I have listed:
Documents box (birth cert, checkbook, SS Card, etc...)
Binder (with all my certifications...fire, medic, etc...)
Coin box (old coins and silver)
Long guns (in two drag bags, ammo)
Pistols (and ammo)
Electronics (Laptop,iPad, iPhone, Chargers/earbuds CB/Weather Radio)
My Bunker gear (including helmet/boots/gloves/mask...I'd bunk out for extra protection if I had time! LOL)
Standard BOB junk (food, water, clothes, FAK, etc...)

Now, currently, I have two sniper drag bags for easy carry, two storm duffles, a 5.11 Rush 72 backpack, and my bunker gear bag.
I'm not planning on bunkering down somewhere, I'm really just saying "I don't want to lose these things, and those things are in case I come back to a blown up apartment."
Thoughts?
 

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I'm going to run and jump into the apartment's pool or down some stairs by a pump house. Tornadoes have a hard time sucking up things that are in depressions in the ground.
 

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Insert Name Here
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1,800 Posts
December 18, 2005 my family experienced a house fire. The fire only burnt about 1/4th of the home but with heat and smoke damage 90 percent of our belongings were ruined.
My family was in total shock at what had happened.
I was very worried about 3 things 1) firearms 2) the house cat (died) and 3) the family photos.
The photos were by far the most important. Thankfully they were in a plastic container at the opposite end of the house from where the fire started. So in giving my opinion the sentimental items will be most important to you if lost.
 

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If your only two options were in a sheltered stairwell or in an open swimming pool, I would pick the stairwell.

When a tornado hit my home in Florida in 2004, it touched down on my filled inground swimming pool and instantly emptied its 15,000 gallons of water.

I'm going to run and jump into the apartment's pool or down some stairs by a pump house. Tornadoes have a hard time sucking up things that are in depressions in the ground.
 

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Eaglescout for Life
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2,109 Posts
Running is the wrong call IMHO, been through tornados and best thing to do is take cover. Even lying down in a small ditch is better than being in a car. Because your body is in total contact with the ground and has very little space for air between you and the ground the tornado will have a hard time picking you up even if it goes right over you. Now suppose that same tornado hits you while you are in a car, lots of space between car and ground. See you in the next county. The stairwell sounds like a good bet to me, make yourself and your pooch harnesses you can tether to the railing or other hard point set in the cement.
 

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Are you renting the apt/garage? Either way, why not ask the landlord if he would object to your installing a saferoom either in the garage, or buffering up one of your closets as a small safe space?

It's really not as expensive as you think it it. Steel 2x4's, rebar and concrete can be had very cheaply and it's enough to shelter you from anything less than catastrophic F5 that would obliterate anything not underground.

which brings me to my next point... you REALLY need to be underground. is there nowhere you could dig a small stormhouse (concrete blocks could be used for the walls, old pallets for the floor, it aint gotta be much) but underground!!! is the safest place to be, I've also seen shelters placed beneath the garage floor, that way you dont lose the floor space, just life up a door, descend down, then shut the door again... just don't let anybody park a car on ya when you go down lol...maybe a big sign WE"RE IN HERE >>>>>
 

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dum dum
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1,249 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
because everyone likes pics!









I almost forgot: An (15"x22") Underwater Kinetics Tundra Hard Case for things I really want to protect, like electronics and papers...


and a mil-spec night vision hard case:
 

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dum dum
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Discussion Starter #8
I out drove one in 2008 that leveled a town. Was on the interstate and had to make an on the spot decision. Given the fact it was coming at a perpendicular angle we decided to go for it. Not usually the best idea, but it worked out.

If I were you I'd find somewhere as close as possible you can run to and shelter under with your drag bags. Culvert, bridge, overpass, etc... First priority ,however, is you. Stuff, no matter how much it means to you, aint worth your life. If it slows you down too much let it go.
I know EXACTLY where to go...there is a tunnel 1/2 mile from where I live...it goes under the airport, and is 3 vehicle-wide....I'm sure everyone is thinking the same thing, but I'll have a jump on them! :thumb:
 

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Land of the free my....
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April 10, 2011 we had a glancing blow by a tornado. We live out in the country, and our advanced warning was the dog scratching to come in followed by the walls "pulsating" in and out. There was no time to run, and we hunkered down in the bathroom.

Staying in place sucked, but we didn't have much of an option.
 

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dum dum
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Discussion Starter #10
Running is the wrong call IMHO, been through tornados and best thing to do is take cover. Even lying down in a small ditch is better than being in a car. Because your body is in total contact with the ground and has very little space for air between you and the ground the tornado will have a hard time picking you up even if it goes right over you. Now suppose that same tornado hits you while you are in a car, lots of space between car and ground. See you in the next county. The stairwell sounds like a good bet to me, make yourself and your pooch harnesses you can tether to the railing or other hard point set in the cement.
I've thought really hard about this...problem is, it's a TOTALLY exposed stairwell, facing the same NW direction...but if I have ZERO TIME to bail, that's where I'll be...with nylon webbing tying us down (keep thinking about the baby ripped from the mother's hands and the girlfriend ripped from her boyfriend's arm in other tornadoes...)
 

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Silver Wings
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11,356 Posts
Well ... you are certainly doing the right thing by thinking about it before it happens.

Based on your criteria, I think I would seek the nearest Storm, Fallout, City Tornado shelter and go there when your SAME ALERT and the hook patterns on the doppler say go. Timing would be critical. In the event your caught out in it, leave the vehicle and get in a low lying depression,

DO NOT GET UNDER AN OVERPASS ON THE ROAD!!!

This is a widely misunderstood falacy. The winds under an over pass intensify as a tornado passes. It acts like a funnel or venturi. BAD place to be...:)
 

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dum dum
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1,249 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Are you renting the apt/garage? Either way, why not ask the landlord if he would object to your installing a saferoom either in the garage, or buffering up one of your closets as a small safe space?...just don't let anybody park a car on ya when you go down lol...maybe a big sign WE"RE IN HERE >>>>>
I am renting. and I am here to say, the construction here isn't the best in the world. Our sister complex lost ~5 chimneys to straight line winds several years ago!!

I'm either heading to the tunnel or to a parking garage in the other direction.
I know a car is the worst place to be IN a tornado, but I've outrun one before, and really I am just planning on getting to shelter in it...oh, and I LOVE to drive over and through stuff in my 4Runner. LOL
 

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dum dum
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Discussion Starter #13
Also, I'm really just trying to think of my MUST HAVES...
like the photo albums mentioned earlier.
 

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You can outrun a tornado; but you better already be in the car and know where the tornado is.. the'll do 70mph easy; if you got to grab your crap and get in your car and get it on the road then you dont have enough time.

Central Location as low as possible indoors; screw being outside if possible.. hop in the bathtub and toss a mattress ontop if nothing else.

Ive ran from a tornado in a car; after I nearly drove into it durring heavy rain lightning struck and lit the sucker up dead infront of me less than 1/4 mile; I flipped around and hauled ass away with it in my rear view as power lines and lightning litup the sky... passed a cop on side of road doing 50+ over speed limit and he decided he should get the hell out of there and passed me with lights blazing a few moments later.

Ive also been directly hit by a tornado; with nearly a dozen family & neighbors hunkered in an old underground shelter.. came out to total destruction but everyone was fine minus a few pets..

After that if I had a basement nearby I was able to remain calm when tornados came near; but catch me out at the lake or something and that fear would get to me.
 

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dum dum
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Discussion Starter #15
That's crazy intense! My plan so for is making it to the tunnel (one direction) parking garage (the other) or within eyeshot from here is a building that you can park under, but some locals discovered this spot for hail storms, so I may be blocked out there...
 

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Say whaaaaaat!?!?!
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Deus exsisto laus
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but looking at the devastation of WELL BUILT homes destroyed instantly tells me it's time get out.
Most of these expensive "well built " homes in N. Texas, are not what I would call well built! Slab foundations, 2x4's, sheet rock, and brick facade. They are thrown up as cheaply as possible, and sold for as high a price as possible so a bunce of $30k a year , keep up with the Jones's can LOOK rich. In a tornado, they are probably just a vulnerable as your apartment...maybe more so. If it were me, at the first sign of trouble, I would head for a seriously well built building. A post office, fire station, government building or a school. If you are single
and have no family,it could be possible to head out of town a bit and dig a fox hole . I know that sounds ridiculous, but you aren't going to live in it, just wait out the storm. TP
 

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Drove right through/past one back about 9 years or so (ks) leveled a town a few miles from the road we were on (81hy) id rather not do it again. But then again didn't know what was was going on. Just knew the power was out at my house and I was hungry, about got locked in a McDonald's freezer. made it through ok... Would have rather been in a basement, got any pals with some subterranean structures? Thats where id want to be if wind came to blow.
Josh
 
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