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Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms AwesomeBlog!

Your Comprehensive Guide to Severe Weather Protection! Safe Rooms, Tornado Storm Shelters, FEMA Standards & Grant Programs, National Storm Shelter Association News, Site Selection, Installation Guides, Tips from the Pros....and more!

What is Tornado Alley? Tornado Alley interesting facts

Tornado Alley is an area of the United States that is prone to experience tornadoes. Tornado Alley is also the name we at Tornado Alley Armor get called by quote often. Because our name is so long a lot of the time people leave off the word "Armor" and simply call us "Tornado Alley." Just be sure you are talking to who you think you are talking to when you make that phone call. We get called "Tornado Alley" so often that we decided you shouldn't need to add the word "Armor" when you type in our website address. You can now get to our website by typing either www.tornadoalley.com or www.tornadoalleyarmor.com. There are several other storm shelter companies out there going by Tornado Alley ... and they aren't even members in the National Storm Shelter Association. Basically, that means they aren't truly FEMA Compliant because if they were they would be allowed to join the NSSA. Be careful and make sure you are dealing directly with us and not some guy making storm shelters in his back yard with no regard for your safety.  Call 855-552-7667 (855-55-ARMOR) to speak with us directly. Or start with our home page www.tornadoalleyarmor.com.        
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Does a green sky mean that a tornado is coming?

Growing up in Oklahoma, I have seen a green sky more than a few times and there is normally a strong storm following. I never really knew why, but I always knew that when the sky turned green, it was time to go inside and turn on the weather channel. For hundreds of years, there have been reports of green skies, primarily before severe weather, but still today, scientists can’t seem to agree on exactly why it happens. Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University says, “The most popular theory is that thunderstorms contain a lot of water – often in the form of hail – and this water or ice tends to scatter green light during the strong updrafts that occur in severe storms…” This helps us understand the science behind what is causing the green sky, but it is still uncertain why, under the right circumstances, it isn’t always green. Scott Bachmeier, a research meteorologist, states that “green is significant, but not proof that a tornado is on the way.” He continues saying, ‘Green does indicate that the cloud is extremely tall, and since thunderclouds are the tallest clouds, green is a warning sign that large hail or a tornado may be present.” We may never know the real reason behind green skies because research for green thunderstorms is limited due to lack of funding, but Bachmeier offers some alternative folk wisdom for the color change: that tornadoes sucked frogs and grasshoppers into the sky.  
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What if I am driving and I see a tornado coming, is a highway overpass really the safest place to take shelter?

  Q: What if I am driving and I see a tornado coming, is a highway overpass really the safest place to take shelter?   A: If you are driving and see a tornado coming, the best thing you can do is evacuate your car and seek shelter. Do NOT try to outrun the tornado. Tornadoes are much quicker than you and more sporadic, giving them the ability to lift and/or roll your car with you inside. If there are no buildings nearby or there is not enough time to reach it safely, find a ditch or gully and lie down as low as you can using your arms to cover your head and neck. (Be sure to be aware of any rising water so you don’t risk drowning.) There are a lot of myths about seeking overpasses to find shelter, but this is NOT a good idea. Research meteorologist Dr. Harold Brooks says that “overpasses act like wind tunnels that accelerate the flow of the storm.” He continues to say that it could be compared to “taking a garden hose and putting your thumb over it, the water gets a lot stronger going out through that small opening. And that’s essentially what the tornado does going through that little area of the overpass.” Remember to keep an eye on the sky and an ear on the radio, look and listen for signs of a tornado coming. If there is a warning in your area, STAY home and seek shelter in an NSSA certified storm shelter, like ours at Tornado Alley Armor.  
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I have a basement to hide in for protection if a tornado hits. Do I really need a tornado storm shelter since I have a basement?

We recently had someone pose this question: I have a basement. Won't it keep me safe and protect me from getting hurt by a tornado? Do I really need a tornado storm shelter? Don't count on it. There are all kinds of risks involved with being below ground with a whole house sitting on top of you. You aren't protected from the house caving in and all the floors above falling down on top of you. Worse yet, if a tornado is strong enough it will simply pull your belongings out of the basement and could leave it empty. That means you could go flying out with everything else. The jury is out on what the safest corner of the basement is, for those that do not have a safe room to protect themselves.  A common belief is that since most tornadoes in the U.S. travel from west-southwest to east-northeast, the southwest side of the basement is the safest place to hide out. John Park Finley, one of the first serious meteorological researchers, who studied hundreds of tornadoes in a career spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries, said you should never take refuge in the east side of a basement, and specifically warned against the northeast corner — he reasoned that debris from the house would be blown in that direction. He was incorrect. In 1966 Joe Eagleman of the University of Kansas studied the wreckage of the EF-5 Topeka tornado of that year. He concluded that if you had a full basement, the northeast corner was the safest place to be and the south side was the most dangerous. Why? External debris knocked down southern walls and blew debris in through south-facing basement windows. When the tornadic winds shifted the whole house to the northeast, the southwest corner...
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Are your tornado shelters pet friendly? What should I add to my emergency kit if I have pets?

    While there is no telling what an animal will do when he/she is stressed from a storm, we feel there is a pretty good chance you can get your furry loved one into our storm shelters with you. The biggest issue people seem to have with getting their pets into their shelters with them is finding them and then coaxing them down the stairs to their below ground storm shelters, but with our above ground design, part of the problem is eliminated. If your pet won’t follow you into the storm shelter and you can’t safely carry them into the shelter with you, the humane society has some advice to help lure them into the safe room with you. The first thing they suggest is to crate smaller animals and carry them into the shelter with you. If this isn't feasible or your animal is too large to be crated, the humane society urges you to “Do your best to train your dog to go to the area on command or to come to you on command even when there are distractions.” To avoid confusion, try using a specific command and/or treat while getting into the storm shelter. This will take practice and training, but it will be worth it. You will also want to be aware of your pets’ favorite hiding places and learn how to safely remove them from those places as quickly as possible so that you can get them into your tornado shelter with you. As far as emergency kits go, aside from all the things we recommend you keep in them for you, such as a radio, water, flashlights, etc. you should also keep a collar, a leash, copies of vaccinations, pet food, water, treats, something to comfort them (like a favorite toy or blanket,) and...
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Are you protected from tornadoes because of where you live? Are you in a valley or next to water?

Recently we were told by a passerby that she has no need for a tornado shelter because she lives in a “protected” town and will never see a tornado strike her home. Her stubborn confidence intrigued us so we decided to do a little digging on the possible credibility of this statement. We didn’t really expect to find such a large number of people that feel the same way and were surprised to find that numerous people believe they will never encounter a tornado because of “protection.” The credit for this incredible “protection” is given to natural barriers, such as hillsides, valleys and large bodies of water. Although we wish there was something that could actually protect an entire town from the devastating destruction of a tornado, there is no scientific evidence to back up this myth. And a myth is exactly what it is. There are places that are more favorable than others for tornadoes, but there is nothing that can protect an entire town from being stuck by a tornado. Tornadoes can go up and down hillsides, across mountains, across water and even form on water (known as waterspouts.) Strong tornadoes have even crossed the Mississippi River. Just because your town may have not seen a tornado yet, it is not “protected.”   However, shielding your family in an NSSA certified storm shelter from Tornado Alley Armor is a guaranteed way to keep your family protected.
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I can never remember the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch. Which one is worse and when should I seek shelter?

I can never remember the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch. Which one is worse and when should I seek shelter? This is an excellent question! A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms that are capable of producing tornadoes. This does not mean any tornadoes have been sighted yet and can cover large areas, even multiple states at a time. You can go about life as you normally do, just being more aware of the weather. This would be an excellent time to get your emergency supplies, such as candles, flashlights, radios, etc. nearby so that you have them in case it turns from a watch to a warning. A tornado warning means that a tornado is occurring or imminent and you should seek shelter as soon as possible. Warnings usually cover only one or two counties at a time. There is a third option that is rarely used called a tornado emergency. A tornado emergency is like an upgraded tornado warning. When you hear tornado emergency, you should expect a violent tornado that will cause severe destruction.  An easy way to remember is that during a tornado watch, they are just watching for the possibility of a tornado, but during a tornado warning, they are warning you that one may be headed towards you and to seek shelter immediately, preferably in your Tornado Alley Armor Storm Shelter. =)
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Team Colors and Graphics- OU Sooners- for your tornado shelter are available with Tornado Alley Armor safe rooms

Another OU Sooner fan is Armored UP! Who says safe rooms can only be plain white? At www.tornadoalleyarmor.com we can do just about any color/graphics you can imagine. Even though you'll have wrenches hanging inside to let yourself out if the door won't open afterwards, making your Tornado Alley Armor safe room entrapment proof, some people like the idea of a brightly colored above ground tornado shelter to give emergency workers a better chance at finding them in all the rubble after a major EF-5 tornado. With our custom color option (as well as standard white) you aren't getting just plain spray paint, you're getting baked on powder coating that won't wear off or rust. Check out our photo albums from the home page for more examples of custom colors/graphics we have done in the past. OSU Pistol Pete and Alabama Auburn Tigers are just a few we've done in the past. This link will take you to our photo albums: http://www.tornadoalleyarmor.com/tornado-alley-armor-pics Not wanting to support you're favorite football team but would like something more than plain white? We can blend your safe room to match the brick on your home or even the trim. Give us a call to find out more! 855-55-ARMOR
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Do I need to be Concerned about Lighting during Storms with Above Ground Steel Tornado Shelters?

At Tornado Alley Armor we have never had a customer have to deal with lighting and hanging power lines on their safe room after a tornado. This really isn't something to be highly concerned about. The chance that you could have live wires lying across your storm shelter after a tornado is almost non-existent. It just doesn't happen. But, for those of you that may worry here are a few things to help reassure you:The following is an excerpt from the National Storm Shelter Association Standard for the Design, Construction, and Performance of Storm Shelters: Concerns over safety in lightning storms for occupants of storm shelters have led to searches for applicable science or expert opinion. Little published information has been found that addresses directly the shelter safety issue. The advice of engineers and scientists with extensive research experience in lightning safety is reflected in this Standard. Some evidence has been provided by experts on the subject of metal structures indicating that metal enclosures shield the interior from the effects of outside sources of electricity. The public intuitively acknowledges this principle when driving automobiles during thunderstorms. The “metal box” represented by a conventional car or van yields a skin effect that becomes the conductor and protects the occupants. BG Claude B. Donovan, project officer for development of the Army’s Bradley fighting vehicle, points out that “… tanks and armored vehicles get hit by lightening all the time, and in many cases they are uploaded with their basic loads of ammunition, pyrotechnics, and fuel. There isn't even a conscious effort to make the ammo or packing materials conductors or insulators, so grounding must not be a big factor.” Additional safety measures you can take if you are still concerned are grounding and adding high density rubber floor mats to stand on. You...
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Guest — Jerry Maloney
Your safe rooms have apparently passed the impact tests. However, I'm concerned more about them being anchored to the floor so th
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 8:08 PM
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Suggestions for Tornado Emergency Kit Supplies for your Above Ground Storm Shelter

Here are some great ideas for stocking your Tornado Alley Armor safe room with all the essentials you would want when preparing a disaster supply kit for tornadoes. You'll want to have water, food, lights, a first aid kit, spare clothes (don't forget shoes!) and other items on hand to be prepared for Mother Nature. See the pictures for examples. These are from an actual customer of ours. Remember to keep your emergency kits in working order by changing the food and water every six months and replacing batteries as necessary. Keep items in airtight plastic bags. This will help protect them from damage or spoiling. Rethink your family needs once a year for example, diapers or formula, copies of prescriptions, hearing aid batteries, spare eyeglasses, or other physical needs. Here are some other items to keep on hand inside your safe room: 3 day supply of water, Portable Toilet and rolls of toilet paper, Moist Towelettes, Toilet Liners, Sturdy shoes and work gloves, Toilet Disinfectant, AM Radio w/Batteries, Alert horn, Roll of duct tape, Large Mylar Blanket, Glow sticks, Matches in a waterproof container. With a Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room you won’t have to worry about getting out of your safe room after the storm, even if debris blocks your door, because you’ll have emergency wrenches hanging inside. If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call at 855-55-ARMOR or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  
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The Worst Week of the Year for Tornadoes

Historically speaking, this is one of the worst weeks of the year for severe weather. Experts say we shouldn't let these blue skies fool us; this is the time of year when moisture from the gulf starts meeting up with hot, dry air from the southwest. That’s when we become “Tornado Alley.” Now is the time to get prepared for tornado season by having an emergency kit that contains a battery-powered radio or TV, a flashlight, plenty of batteries and first-aid supplies. Who better to buy your storm shelter and emergency supplies from than Tornado Alley Safe Rooms? We KNOW tornadoes. The top 10 cities in order of ranking are: Huntsville, AL Jackson, MS Birmingham, AL Tuscaloosa, AL Little Rock, AR Tulsa, OK Oklahoma City, OK Atlanta, GA Wichita, KS Nashville, TN   Visit our website at www.tornadoalleyarmor.com for more information.    
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Looking for a Claustrophobia Free Above Ground Storm Shelter that is Entrapment Proof

I'm terrified of tornadoes and also claustrophobic. I need a tornado shelter that I can't get trapped in. I need more than one way out in case the door gets blocked! Tornado Alley Armor NSSA verified EF5 safe rooms bolt together and can be totally disassembled from the inside, rendering them entrapment-proof regardless of door swing. Our door swings outward so it's stronger than an inward swinging door. And no claustrophobia worries here since you can't get trapped inside our tornado shelter! We include two new wrenches (American made) with every storm shelter, zip tied inside for emergency egress. Plus Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms are totally re-locatable and fit entirely in a van or pickup bed. You’ll never have to buy another safe room… it’s truly Your Lifetime Tornado Defense. Call us at 855-55-ARMOR!  
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Preparing a Tornado Emergency Supply Kit

  Tornado season is right around the corner. Be prepared by gathering items for a disaster supply kit. If you have a storm shelter keep these items in a tote or other container inside so that you are always prepared. With a Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room you won’t have to worry about getting out of your safe room after the storm, even if debris blocks your door, because you’ll have emergency wrenches hanging inside. Here are some other items to keep on hand: 3 day supply of water Portable Toilet and rolls of toilet paper Moist Towelettes Toilet Liners Sturdy shoes and work gloves Toilet Disinfectant AM Radio w/Batteries Alert horn Roll of duct tape Large Mylar Blanket Glow sticks Matches in a waterproof container   Remember to keep your kits in working order by changing the food and water every six months and replacing batteries as necessary. Keep items in airtight plastic bags. This will help protect them from damage or spoiling. Rethink your family needs once a year for example, diapers or formula, copies of prescriptions, hearing aid batteries, spare eyeglasses, or other physical needs. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to give us a call at 855-55-ARMOR or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..      
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