Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tornado Shelter Installation.....

Many of you that have been following my blog know that my parents have purchased and renovated a home right around the corner from us. We are just waiting on my mom to retire and my parents will be moving to Oklahoma. You also know that on February 10,2008 a tornado ripped right through our town and killed 8 people. At that point, my parents decided they had to have a tornado shelter. It was installed while they were here last week. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge. This huge truck backed right to the installation spot (Look how close it was to the house!). A backhoe had already been used to dig a huge hole in the ground. The white concrete thing on the back of the truck is the tornado shelter.


The guy you see in the black tee used a hand held device that operated that boom/arm precisely.

Look at it lifting that huge thing. They even said they are able to lift something over a house.....can you even believe that?!?

He slowly turned it to face the way that my parents wanted it.

Then brought it down into the hole that was dug.
Here they are leveling it and starting to shovel all the dirt in and around it to pack it down into the ground. There is the guy in black that is doing all of the operating of that arm and placement of the shelter.
This is the back side of it. They pile the dirt up and it eventually settles down all around it. The turbine is to keep it dry inside. The fence you see behind it now will be pulled out to the end of the house and the shelter will be in their back yard about 10 - 15 feet off their back porch. Easy access for them when we have a tornado warning.
This is the front of the shelter. The door has a latch you turn and it opens. You also lock it when you get inside during a tornado. You can't be claustrophobic to be in one of these. We go to the one across the street from us and they have had 10 people in it at one time. It is approx. 6' x 9'. The fence will be moved across the back, basically where you see the start of the lawn in this picture.
This is the last picture taken from inside the shelter. It is hard to take a picture but those are the stairs you climb down. The inside is just a concrete box. Most people have some folding chairs and maybe a small table in them. You definitely bring a flashlight or lantern and a weather radio when you go into one of these. Hope these pictures were interesting to you. If any of you are in the Oklahoma area and are thinking about getting a storm shelter, we used Billy's Backhoe Service and highly recommend them. Just e-mail me for a phone number.
Have a great day!

40 comments:

Marilyn said...

My goodness! That installation is unbelievable. They have it down to an art. I know it will be really comforting to have that shelter at your parent's home. They sure have changed---improved them---since I was in one as a child. That truck drives has some backing skill!

I hope you enjoy our nice weather. AJ is gone and we are still working on getting Mike feeling better.

Have a great day.

Lindsay-ann said...

Hi Darlene
My husband, daughter and I have found this post so interesting. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures of it being installed and also inside. Nobody has those over here so thanks for educating us. I hope your parents never need to use it but I can fully understand them needing to have one for peace of mind.
Hope you are having a lovely Thursday.
Lindsay
x

Amelia said...

Used to be spring time was the primary time for the tornadoes- but now seems like it can be any time...we have a cellar just a few feet from the patio so we can go there if need be.

It is amazing how they can maneuver things with a crane...and just the push of a few buttoms.

Weeke end is coming - enjoy it.

Stacey said...

Yours is nice and big! Wouldn't people die if they saw how tiny some of them are? I don't think I could go in them. We don't have one and talk about it every spring.

April said...

I definitely think that when you're living in Tornado Alley...or close to it...a tornado shelter is a very smart investment. When we lived in Alabama, our neighbors had one and there were several times when we'd go over and get in it with them. Really gives you a peaceful, secure feeling knowing that you're safe.

mysteryhistorymom said...

Darlene- That is so interesting! i have never seen a tornado shelter, but would love to have one! When those sirens go off it sure is good to know that you have a safe place to go... Lori

Carol said...

We enjoy having a tornado shelter, it gives us peace of mind. We've only used it a few times, but it's sure nice to have when the tornado warnings are issued.

duchess said...

I'm glad they have a safe place to go in times of need.
My son looked at the pictures & thinks it would be cool to use during air soft wars with his friends.....boys. ugh.

The Bridwells said...

I know that will give you some peace of mind! I know you're in big tornado country but I didn't realize that was your town that was hit so hard! We get lots and lots of them here in East TX too, and I've said many a time I wish I had a shelter - no one here has them. We just get in the closet & pray! Love your flower pic too - they are beautiful (front page of your blog).
Holly

Songbirdtiff said...

Good for you for getting one. Many people have them here in Arkansas, too.

Lana said...

Wow! What a smart thing to have one of those! Very neat pictures!

Laura said...

I was thinking about Dorothy and Toto the entire time I was reading this! Every interesting to see one of these and how it goes in the ground. Thankfully we have a basement and that is where we head in tornado weather. We've had them in Louisville, and it is amazing to see how destructive a tornado can be.

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

We have thought about getting one, but never did more than think about it. What do they cost? Did you know that FEMA will reimburse you a certain percentage of a storm shelter...a friend told me that.

Carrie said...

If I lived there I would want one of those very nice!

Sue said...

I don't blame your parents one bit. I grew up going to "storm pits" as my mama used to call it. It was really just a hole in the ground. I definitely go to my basement now when there is bad weather. The pictures of the installation was interesting!

jennykate77 said...

I'm an Oklahoma girl, so I definitely know the importance of having a tornado shelter! Looks like they did a great job putting it in. Hopefully they'll never have to use it, but living in Oklahoma we know that probably isn't the case. My parents just purchased and re-modeled a farm house and they had a safe room put in. A wise choice!

Hope you're having a great week!

Lisa Ann said...

I don't think I could get in one of those. Of course I might change my mind if a storm was coming my way. I've never seen one before. Very interesting post.

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. That is very interesting! I hope they never have to use it!

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

Hi Darlene~
Wow, that is amazing how they set that tornado shelter up! I can believe they are able to lift it over the house, because our neighbors did that with their hot tub. I was basically watching it with my mouth wide open, truly expecting the hot tub to crash through their roof! I am glad your parents have a safe place to go if they need it, but I hope they don't! I also hope you're having a fantastic week! :)

Heather said...

wow, what a great thing to have! if we ever move to Texas I want one in our back yard. And I would totally decorate inside- you know some pillows, lawn chairs, radio, lantern, bottled water and some snacks! and maybe some towels or blankets. hey you never know how long you might have to be in there!

Judi said...

Darlene
I've never seen anything like that before. Its a bit creepy actually isn't it? I can't imagine having to go to a shelter but its so good to have them in some areas, as you do. Wow. I hope you don't have to worry about any of those tornadoes this year.
have a lovely day
Judi

nikkicrumpet said...

That was VERY interesting. I've never lived in Tornado country...so I didn't realize they even had these. I've just seen the root cellar version in the movies lol. I'm claustrophobic big time...I think I'd go nuts being in one for very long...but I guess thats better than the alternative. Thanks for posting the pictures. Very cool

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

This is so incredible! I would do it in a minute if I were them. So I take it that you and the fam can also use it in times of threat? That is SO great.
Now....you MUST sit down with your folks and all watch 'Blast From the Past' together, with Brenden Frazier, Alicia Silverstone and Christoper Walken. It is HILARIOUS!!! I'll just tell you that they built a bomb shelter in their backyard in the 60s. : )

Smilingsal said...

Very interesting. I wonder how long a person would need to stay there? Would you keep drinking water?

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Being a fraidy cat Texan, I wouldn't live in Oklahoma without a tornado shelter! Grab a can of paint and decorate the inside for your parents.

Deb said...

What a fascinating post Darlene! Sounds like a wise investment & peace of mind.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Darlene,
Hope your parents don't ever need the shelter, but it will give peace of mind knowing it is there!
:) Diane

Controlling My Chaos said...

How cool. This was such an interesting post. Thanks Darlene!

Kitty Scraps said...

Good Morning Miz Darlene,
I'm so thankful y'all have a safe place to go! Having grown up in Kansas I've been thru my share of tornadoes and even now when a siren goes off I'm looking around for the nearest shelter. But around here they sound sirens for all sorts of things, not just tornadoes! Craziness!
Thanks for the pictures, I've never seen one of those shelters before as I've only ever been in basements and storm cellers.

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

This is fascinating - I'm so glad you took so many pictures.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Darlene, I would definitely have one of those, too! My MIL got hit by a tornado (last year, as I recall), and it dropped a tree on her roof... she was about 15 feet away. The tree falling knocked paintings off of walls!

Tornados need shelters!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Ginger said...

I'm so glad we don't have tornados here. I wouldn't make it with my panic attacks, staying in that concrete box. Well, unless there was a bathroom, a little fridge for some food, and a bunch of great magazines. lol.
That truck sure backed up close to the house. Glad they didn't hit it lifting the concrete shelter out. It looks like a nice home your parents are renovating.

Jules from "The Roost" said...

I am so glad they did that & YES it is very interesting to us. I live in Arkansas and we don't get as many as you but the ones we get are scary!

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Hi Darlene,
Popping back in to say how happy I was to see that you were one of the firsts, over at my place. You're such a cutie with your enthusiasm. Thanks so much. : )

Daphine said...

Wow! What a smart investment! I really enjoyed looking at these pictures!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Darlene .. I'm amazed with it all .. but living in the areas where this is a regular terror to have to handle .. it is best that it is as efficient as possible and this certainly looks that it is !
I think I would need "something" to handle being in such a tiny area (a big rubber mallet,like the cartoons so some one could bonk me on the head to make me quiet? LOL)
Seriously .. it is such a worry and having a safe place to go is a must. Those were great pictures and it makes me appreciate not having those types of problems , yet ? .. South eastern Ontario have had a few rare ones .. but so far Kingston has been tornado free .. phew !!
Thanks for dropping by my blog kid ! : ) Joy

Christina said...

Wow! Interesting pictures to see as we don't have those around here. I know y'all have lots of storms there but I really do hope y'all never have to use it. Nice to know it is right down the street though.

Shelia said...

Wow! Darlene I've never even thought how one of these shelters was even installed. This is amazing! When I was a little girl growing up in the 50s, lots of people had what they called 'bomb' shelters! We used to go and play in them! I'll bet you're so excited about your mom and dad living so close to you!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Farm Chick Paula said...

This is really neat that you posted this today, Darlene- Hubby and I were just watching a show on the Weather Channel last night about tornadoes... Storm Stories, I think? Anyway, it showed people getting into their shelters and it was very interesting. And SCARY!

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