We were not prepared. Were you?

We were not prepared. Were you?

I’ve got a confession to make: I’ve covered at least a dozen tornadoes in my career, and yet, as
my family and I huddled in the small hallway in the center of our home Saturday night fearfully watching the weather on my iPad, I realized how woefully unprepared we were for a disaster.

I mean, sure, we had the basics down. Shelter. I had my wallet with insurance information, ID, credit cards, etc. We had something to monitor the weather with (our phones and iPad). But sitting on the couch later, anxiously watching the news with my heart in my throat, I realized how many things we missed. The dog was not on a leash. The bike helmets were MIA. The medication I take daily was sitting on the counter in the bathroom. We weren’t even wearing shoes. True, part of that was due to the fact that I could tell only the outer edges of the cell were touching our neighborhood, but later I found that others who thought the same thing were now cleaning up their homes after a tornado hit (in Sunnyvale) just a couple hundred feet from their neighborhood.

What in the hell was I thinking?

So this morning, I decided to talk to an expert, do some research, and make sure my family – and yours – is prepared for the worst. (more…)

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My husband and I were in Frisco at the Rough Riders game last Thursday when all of a sudden we saw a dark wall cloud heading near us. There were no sirens, no warnings from the announcer, and then we saw a funnel-like cloud branch off just north of Dr Pepper Ballpark. Of course, when I heard that severe weather may sprout up, I immediately asked guest relations where we could seek shelter in the event of a storm. Later that evening I got to thinking: Where would our family seek shelter if a tornado was headed our way?

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Severe Weather

This is a residential real estate blog, and when it comes down to it, it’s a blog about people and homes. After the deadly tornado that tore through Oklahoma yesterday, thousands of people who once had a place to call home have absolutely nothing left.

I won’t get into the statistics regarding yesterday’s massive tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., causing 17 miles of destruction and leaving thousands homeless. What I do think is important is what Weather Channel officials just said during today’s on-the-ground coverage: Tornado shelters save lives.

We live in Tornado Alley, and there’s no mistaking that every spring we are at risk for a huge, widespread weather event that could level any structure. We need to take that risk more seriously, and there is no better way to do that than to have a safe place to wait out a tornado.

Candy posted about this before, but it bears repeating. It may cost a lot in initial investment, but consider that a tornado shelter will pay for itself when you sell your house. Not only that, but it dramatically increases your chances for survival should an F-4 or F-5 tornado hit.

Today, conditions are ideal for a tornado to develop throughout North Texas, and after last week’s deadly storm in Granbury, we know that even ample warning may not be enough to reach safety. It’s best to prepare for a storm while you can. Find out more about preparedness from FEMA.

That said, if you want to help with relief efforts after the Moore, Okla., tornado, find out more from the Red Cross.

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We built a storm room in our home, and of course it’s filled with junk that would survive a tornado while we blow away. Maybe it’s better to have one of these always available: New Day Tornado Shelters, $3200 fresh from Tulsa, OK where they certainly know a thing or two about twisters.

Our hearts go out to the folks in Cleburne and Granbury, who were really walloped with tornados Wednesday night. I think everyone needs a tornado room or shelter if you live in North Texas — agree? My cousin is a meteorologist at the University of Hawaii, and he tells me we are in for more wild weather patterns. So be prepared!

Which reminds me: would you pay extra for a home that had a tornado shelter?