Take Shelter From The “Next Round”
of USA High Hazard Wind Zones
|The United States averaged 1,274 tornadoes per year in the last decade, with about 1000 tornadoes so far in 2011. April 2011 saw the most tornadoes ever recorded for any month in the US National Weather Service’s history, 875; the previous record was only 542 in one month. The USA has more tornadoes yearly than any other country and reports more violent tornadoes (F4 and F5) than anywhere else.
“Dixie Alley” is a nickname sometimes given to areas of the southern United States that are particularly vulnerable to strong or violent tornadoes. This is distinct from the better known “Tornado Alley” nickname. Dixie Alley includes the areas of northern and central Alabama, the upper Tennessee valley, northern Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisinia. Although tornadoes are less frequent in these states than they are in the southern Plains, the southeastern states have had more tornado-related deaths than any of the Plains states (excluding Texas). This is in part due to the relatively high number of strong/violent long tracked, tornadoes and higher population density of this region. According to the National Climatic Data Center, for the period January 1, 1950 – October 31, 2006, Alabama and Kansas received the largest amount of F5 tornadoes.
Your home or place of business is probably built in accordance with local building codes that consider the effects of minimum, “code-approved” design winds for the area.
Building codes require that buildings be able to withstand a “design” wind event. However, in our tornado-prone region, the building code design will not typically handle a storm event with >90 mph winds.
As can be seen from the figures to the left, a tornado can cause winds much greater than those on which your local code requirements are based. So having a home built to “code” does not mean that your home can withstand any tornado event.
However, the underground shelters and safe rooms installed by Supercell Shelters can provide you, your family, or your co-workers a safe place to seek shelter during an extreme-wind event,that according to FEMA are a “high risk” in the Southeast region (see figure 3) given the number of tornadoes (figure 1) and their severity (figure 2).
Let us help you and your family be prepared for the “next round”!