Letter Re: A Severe Storm Provides a Valuable Lesson

Hi Jim,
I’m a long time reader. I wanted to relate to you a recent experience I had, which may be of value to SurvivalBlog readers. I live in a state that is prone to tornados and severe weather. We recently had
a storm tear through our area, causing several million dollars in damage across much of the state, my neighborhood notwithstanding. My wife and I went to bed Wednesday evening, expecting only scattered thunderstorms. What we awoke to at 3:30am was much, much more than a thunderstorm. As I looked out our bedroom’s open window, I saw and heard wind and rain, the likes of which I’ve never witnessed in all my 45 years. I nudged my wife and simply said “closet”. Now, she knows her husband as the guy who, instead of going for shelter, he usually goes outside to observe and satisfy his unbridled curiosty. When she heard me say “closet”, she knew it was serious.

Within four minutes, we were hunkered down in the closet, with everything we needed, including our surplus Kevlar helmets (the wife no longer thinks I’m nuts for making that purchase). I thought we were going to lose the house.

We lost only trees and fences, but we learned a very valuable lesson. We were very ill prepared for that experience. Now, I pride myself on being one of the better prepared families in my neighborhood, if not the best prepared, but four minutes is unacceptable. We now have in place a setup that puts us in the closet with everything we need in under thirty seconds (assuming the cat can be efficiently herded).

This got me to thinking; What if we had to actually bug out and leave our home? Are we prepared? I know that I’m still extremely unprepared for such an event, so that plan is now underway.

My point is this. Never, ever, under any circumstances, should we underestimate the need to be prepared for an emergency. My experience that night could have been much worse (60 hours later we got our electric power back, but we were very well prepared to go very long lengths of time without power), so I was lucky this time. You’ve devoted your life to hammering this home for your readers, so I thank you, once again, for the wisdom you provide. Now, it has become very real for me to actually heed that wisdom and put it into practice. A year’s supply of food means nothing to me, if its scattered over a square mile of my neighborhood. Thanks, Jim, and thank you once again for SurvivalBlog.com. God Bless, – HHH

JWR Replies: Thanks for relating that experience. Anyone living in Hurricane or Tornado country should invest in a reinforced shelter, if it is financially feasible. Ideally, it should be designed to also serve as a security vault (“gun vault”) and as a fallout shelter. One of our advertisers, Safecastle, has extensive experience in building such shelters. These are usually-equipped with gun-vault type doors, that open inward. If you live in an area with a high water table, they can be constructed aboveground. If you can afford to build an entire house that is highly storm resistant, then you might consider building a monolithic dome home. One monolithic dome home contractor in the Midwest that I recommend is Bill Fraley of Global Dome Builders. Phone: (715) 926-3668.