Safer in a Storm Shelter, Even During a Pandemic
April 30, 2020
The threats associated with the Coronavirus known as COVID-19 are dominating the news cycle. But it’s important to remember that, even during the pandemic, other deadly hazards haven't gone away. It’s spring, and tornadoes and other severe weather events are still ravaging the United States.
Yes, COVID-19 is real. But its ongoing presence does not mean that you don’t have to worry about other life-threatening dangers.
You Should Always Seek Shelter
When severe weather is coming your way, you can and should take every action to protect yourself. Always treat Tornado Warnings as immediate threats and respond accordingly.
If you own a residential storm shelter—either an above-ground shelter or an underground shelter—make sure that you and your family use it.
Individuals who do not have their residential storm shelters may be able to access a community storm shelter in their neighborhoods. Be certain that you know where your nearest available community storm shelter is long before severe weather bears down on your area.
The Prevalence and Destructive Power of Tornadoes
Although tornadoes can strike on any day of the year (as we have noted before) there are, of course, times when they are more prevalent. And the springtime months of April, May, and June normally bring with them the severe weather that is most likely to cause tornadoes.
Sadly, we have already witnessed ample evidence of the destructive power of tornadoes on more than one occasion this year. First, in and around Nashville in March. Next, in 10 different states (mostly in the Southeast) on Easter Sunday and the following Monday. These are just a couple of deadly examples. The 2020 Easter tornadoes caused 32 fatalities, making them the deadliest rash of tornadoes since 2014.
Tornado Safety Takes Priority, Even in This Time of Social Distancing
As you and your family try to stay mindful of social distancing measures, remember that the acute and imminent threat of a tornado strike takes priority over the ever-present dangers posed by the Coronavirus.
If the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning for your area, and you have access to a storm shelter—even a community storm shelter that may fill up with many of your neighbors—you should take refuge in the shelter.
To repeat: It is essential to take all action to protect yourself from tornadoes at all costs, even during a pandemic.
The Alabama Department of Public Health Says to Take Shelter
On its official website, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) makes the following statement regarding tornado shelters and COVID-19:
At this time, ADPH is recommending that citizens' first priority should be to protect themselves from a potential tornado. If a warning is issued in your area, you are more likely to be affected by the tornado than the virus. Thus, people should heed tornado warnings and take appropriate shelter.
The ADPH goes on to say that individuals who need to take refuge in a storm shelter can still be mindful of social distancing and respiratory hygiene while there. You can still wear your mask inside the storm shelter and avoid touching others who are also using the shelter for protection.
In other words, you can and should take steps to ward off these two dangers—tornadoes and COVID-19—at the same time.
The American Meteorological Society Recommends Taking Shelter
Via an official statement adopted by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Council on April 9, 2020, the AMS makes its pandemic-era position clear:
Do not let the virus prevent you from seeking refuge from a tornado.
The AMS advises all members of the public to make plans to protect themselves from the threat of severe weather, including locating the nearest community storm shelter if that is their best option for a safe haven.
(Remember that mobile homes are not a safe place to be during a tornado. If you reside in a mobile home, decide where you will take refuge before severe weather comes your way.)
Persons who rely on community storm shelters should also take the extra step to confirm, in advance, that their shelter will be open during the pandemic. Members of the public can do this by contacting their local emergency management agency or by checking official websites and their affiliated social media accounts.
The AMS goes on to say that all persons who may need to take refuge in a community storm shelter during a tornado should also familiarize themselves with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help thwart the transmission of COVID-19.
Community Storm Shelters Save Lives
Many people have their own residential storm shelters where they can take refuge during severe weather. Others at least have basements or interior rooms without windows where they can go to shield themselves from flying debris and the other destructive effects of the high winds that tornadoes bring.
For those who do not have the option of their own safe room, a community storm shelter is still the best place to be during a severe weather event. This is just as true during a pandemic as it is under otherwise normal circumstances.
Survive-a-Storm is a World Leader in Community Storm Shelters
There are many reasons why Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies as well as the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force turn to Survive-a-Storm when they need to protect their employees and service members. Those reasons are quality, dependability, strength, a proven track record, and Survive-a-Storm’s ability to provide the perfect shelter solution to meet the needs of every organization.
All of Survive-a-Storm’s shelters are built to meet or exceed FEMA’s strict guidelines. If you need a storm shelter that will protect your family, your employees, or the members of your community from the 250 mph winds that tornadoes can bring, trust Survive-a-Storm.
Survive-a-Storm has a number of different underground community storm shelter models. If you’re a small business striving to safeguard just 16 people from violent storms, we’ll keep you safe. Even if you have to protect more than 1,500 people, Survive-a-Storm has the expertise to protect you from tornadoes and other severe weather. We also have above ground community storm shelters and relocatable transitional community shelters to protect employees who work outdoors in remote areas.
Reach Out to Survive-a-Storm
What do the DoD, private businesses, utility companies, schools, mobile home parks, and other communities all have in common? They all trust Survive-a-Storm to provide them with a customized community storm shelter to keep their people safe!
Contact Survive-a-Storm today and learn what we can do to protect you.