How many of you MH dwellers have a storm shelter of sorts? I'm nervous!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Raindancer, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    If we find the perfect property, and it has the bonus of a MH on it to live in temporarily until we can build, I am terrified of living in one with all the bad storms/tornado threats in our area (looking to stay local, 20 or so miles north, closer to our grown children)! We currently live in a brick home in the suburbs, and I take tornado warnings very seriously! DH shrugs them off (stupidly!), saying "if your number's up, nothing will change it". I say, BS!..that's like standing on a railroad track with a train coming, and not moving out of the way! He just smiles and shakes his head when he sees me get into survival mode (there goes Dee, "pinging") and gather my cats, house bunny, bird and gerbils into their travel cages (can't help my fish), set them in bathroom/tub with the other emergency supplies needed, with me ready to lay across them from flying away (I know!) at the very first siren going off or TV warning.

    I LOVE exciting changes in weather and storm watching, but I'm not stupid when it comes to serious stuff. If we ever need to live in a MH on a new property, I wonder if I wouldn't drive myself insane if the weather became seriously threatening..esp. if I had the chickens and goats I'd want (for eggs and as pets) and to be worrying about them, too. How do you all deal with it?! Do you have home made shelters on your homestead for those times you might not be able to immediately evacuate? Even with some warning, tornadoes are so unpredictable. I get nervous enuff in a brick home, let alone the thoughts of a MH!! Maybe I'm not as tough as I thought I was in wanting a place in the country, no matter what it takes! I'd love to hear your thoughts and how you deal with threatening weather and/or shelter ideas.
    Thanks:)

    Dee
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    This is why, if you get a mobile, it HAS to be post-Andrew (the hurricane). Built after 1993 or 94, and specifically to the standard of HURRICANE. ! Because they still make them to non-hurricane standards.

    The best advice I ever got was, if a big tornados headed for you, everything's going to get it, house or not. However, this might make you feel better:

    From HERE!!

    I have a hurricane rating on my mobile. However, because even a stickbuilt home is vulnerable in a big tornado, I am planning to put in a shelter.
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I grew up hearing stories about 'Dear Aunt Doll and Uncle Jim who died in the tornado'! House or MH, if you live in tornado country, by all means have a cellar put in if you can afford it! You can always use it for extra storage. My granny Willie always kept her canned goods in her celler. I used to love to peek in and see all the jars of green beans. And we kids got a kick out of sliding down the roof. It was perfect for us because it was only a few feet high and went right down to the ground. :haha:
     
  4. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    So it would be in our best interest to check if it was built to hurricane standard, even if manufactured *after* 93-94. Good to know! The article you posted (and thanks posting that) was heartening, but, like you, would feel better with an alternative means of saftey! Guess I have too many visions ingrained in my brain of Dorothy kicking at the storm/root cellar and thinking "we will need one of those!", or a close facsimilie, just to be on the safe side! Wish I wasn't such a worry wart!

    Thanks, Countrygrrrl:)

    Dee
     
  5. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Raindancer: Where in Alabama are you? I'm just being nosey.

    Countrygrrrl: Build your shelter under your big, metal building. You, your chickens, and your hound should be safe under that.

    We always head to the nearest Wal-Mart when a tornado is coming. We have one of those weather radios that goes off with that terrible noise anytime a storm is coming. We've hunkered down in almost every Wal-Mart within driving distance of Birmingham.
     
  6. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    Cyngbaeld..I guess you always hear stories, tho I'm not too familiar with many, with being raised a Yankee girl, far from the usual threats of tornadoes up there (NY state)! Been here in the south 17 yr's. and still can't get a handle on my emotions when it comes to tornadoes!
    Yes, a cellar/shelter would be a wonderful alternative and great for food storage! It's just figuring how to do it! Funny, when you mentioned sliding down the cellar roof to your grandma's cellar I thought of a childs song we used to sing and clap each others hands to..not sure if I have it right, and maybe dating me, but..
    "Play mate, come out an play with me
    And bring your dollies three, climb up my cherry tree,
    Climb up my rain barrel, slide down my cellar door
    and we'll be jolly friends, forever more, 1, 2, 3, 4"
    Excuse..just had to let that out(!)..a good memory:)

    And DayBird, not being nosey...we're here in the ever expanding land of Montg.., with 10% city sales tax! We've been in a great location for the past 17 yr's., but the city is now swallowing us! Three of our 4 grown children have moved north to Elmore county, more breathing space, and where we hope to settle in the next year or so:)

    Dee
     
  7. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

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    Raindancer
    where about (in general) are you in Alabama: I've been in this mobile home for about 6 years, and have lived in two others since 1984. I assure you, when the weather goes bad, I watch the tv channels very closely. I have an Uncle and a daughter in sturdier, regular houses to go to if it looks like it's coming at me.

    I'm north of Huntsville and south of the TN line. There's been a few that's come close, and one really close where I went to a school thats .3 mile away and got inside.

    Take care. Oh yeah, my mobile is 1996 year end Fleetwood, and is tied down with the stakes in the ground and straps lashed to the. Also I'm almost totally under and betwen 60 -70 ft trees. There is a home in front and one in back of me knocking the winds off. This one has not even shuttered in the wind. And I think how the home is positioned into the predominant wind patterns do matter.

    AngieM2

    PS: Daybird - why Walmart? where in one of them is safe?
     
  8. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

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    A flood occurred in Shockoe Bottom up towards Richmond because of all of the rains from one of the recent hurricanes. Then, there was a tornado the other day. It picked up a stick built house off of it's foundation moved it two feet, set it back down and then picked the roof off and tossed it into the back yard!

    Last year, we went through the hurricane winds with I think upwards of 70 mph winds and gusts. That was in VA.

    In FL, about 5 yrs ago, they had a hurricane that was bad enough where they evacuated Orlando FL if you lived in a mobile. We stayed during 70 mph wind gusts.

    And yes, the house shook both times. Yes, I thought we were gonna be gonners. It isn't the hurricanes that really get you. It is the tornadoes and floods. Unless you are right on the beach, or, like in FL where you are surrounded by water and storm surge, then mobile homes are relatively safe.

    Heck, maybe it isn't the mobile home! Maybe it's because I pray my butt off! But for whatever reason, God gave us a mobile home and that's what we could afford and I have to trust in Him.

    Well, I guess I had better answer the question. No, we don't have a storm cellar but I've been wondering how to get a root cellar!
     
  9. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

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    That's not safe! They had a Walmart's roof cave in during one of these major storms!
     
  10. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing, breezynosacek..part of me agrees with what you said..
    "Heck, maybe it isn't the mobile home! Maybe it's because I pray my butt off! But for whatever reason, God gave us a mobile home and that's what we could afford and I have to trust in Him."
    :)
    Dee
     
  11. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    AngieM2..Sounds like you're a bit of a veteran and have withstood some of our (Alabama) nasty weather when it gets to huffng and puffing! I think a weather radio would prob. be a good investment..will have to get one! And maybe I'd feel better having a weather radio to wake me in case of severe weather in the middle of the night. But it helps to have a newer model (and more secure) MH, and just guess I worry if we have to deal with something older and less secure just to make the "dream" come true..a bit scarey!

    Dee
     
  12. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    An after thought after the last post about Alabama's "nasty" weather...Didn't mean to make the area sound horrible! For the most part we have great, enjoyable weather, but you do have to, obviously, be on the alert when the weather turns bad, like any where;)

    Dee
     
  13. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

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    I got told something once, and it isn't a put down or anything but I got reminded of it the other night...

    "Despise not the day of small beginnings..."

    I've been longing for a stick built home for such a long time. I look at our 'fixer upper' and I wonder how long it will last and if it will last longer than my husband's heart.

    He had asked me if I would be willing to stay here if he died. A couple of years ago, I said, I'm not sure. The other day I answered, Yes, even if you die, I will hang onto this place with God's help.

    So, in the midst of my longing for a house that wouldn't fall apart from old age, and dreaming of a stick built home, they flashed on the news about the poor white clapboard house that got picked up off of it's foundation and I thought oh my goodness those poor people!

    My home is still here. I suppose even though it might be nice to have a clapboard house, this is where I am now and wishing and dreaming for what I don't have right now could cause me to miss out on some of the blessings that I could be experiencing.

    Five years ago, I was agonizing over the fact that if left up to my husband, I would never have a home of my own! If left up to my husband, we would have a place where he would poor a concrete slab over the grass and call it progress! But God knew the desires of my heart. He knew I longed for a quieter, simpler lifestyle. He knew I needed the balm that this place would offer.

    So, God had to remind me the other day, "Despise not the day of small beginnings."
     
  14. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    Your post touched me to tears:) Thank you for those sentiments!
    I am a simple person at heart, with the romantic notion that just any roof over our head, as long we were together, would do. Yet the older I get, and I suppose the more insecure I've become in some respects with possible changes in our future, has also made me a bit more cautious...weighing and measuring everything to the nth degree sometimes until the very essance of the joy of youth, that feeling that nothing is impossible or insurmountable, becomes a worry! You reminded me of how precious is the moment. Thanks for the reality check..beautifully stated:)

    Dee
     
  15. ginnie5

    ginnie5 wife,mom,taxi driver,cook Supporter

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    about hunkering down in Wal Mart. Years ago I worked in a Roses stor with a lady who had been through a tornado in another store. it hit during the middle of the day. Store was full of employees and customers. It was not a pretyy sight. She had injuries that gave her problems for years. Several died but I can't remember the number. they never did rebuild that store.
     
  16. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate Supporter

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    I've worked at a wal-mart part time a few years ago (after regular job hours), and the emergency weather plan was to go to the center of the building. I thought that was the height of stupidity. I'd be figuring the smallest interior room or a desk or something to get under.

    And I don't have a weather radio that alarms. I just watch the weather ALOT and listen to the weather man, but really watch the tracking of the NAXRAD radar and draw my own conclusions.

    When I bought the mobile home 6 years ago, my then boss, told me he didn't know why I bought a death trap. But you buy what you can, and then pay attention and praying a lot some nights helps also.

    Good luck and go for your dream, there are dangers everywhere.

    AngieM2
     
  17. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most all "rural" places that have storm shelters do not put the farm animals in the shelters! The animals take their chances just like the wild life. Turn them loose and hope for the best.
     
  18. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Never go to the center of a WalMart, or KMart or HomeDepot, that's just silly. Find a small, enclosed area, constructed of concrete, on the ground floor or lower and hunker down and pray for the best. The layaway area, leading into their store room. You've got to get there before the storm does. It's just what we've always done. There are no neighborhood storm shelters in rural Alabama but there's almost always a WalMart within driving distance. When you're driving North on Hwy 31 and you look left towards Graysville and see the tornado coming towards you, what do you do? You drive faster and duck into the Day's Inn in Fultondale. HomeDepot put me in the managers' office. WinnDixie pushed me into the meat cooler. I felt very safe in there with all the hanging pork. THey said, "Don't touch it, we still have to sell it." Anywhere is safer than a mobile home or an automobile. They're about the same in the eye of a tornado. There are alot more stories of people being injured tuffing it out in their trailer than hiding from the storm in walmart. We usually know at least an hour in advance thanks to our weather radio and James Span on ABC. I grab both of the boys and the wife and drive as fast as the Taurus will go, towards the closest walmart. Where else would you go if you lived in the middle of nowhere and it was two in the morning? Nowhere is totally safe from a tornado. Anyone remember Goshen United Methodist Church?
     
  19. ASimpleLifefor7

    ASimpleLifefor7 New Member

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    Raindancer ~ Another Alabamian here. My husband and I are exactly like you and your dh - except he is the one who goes crazy when bad weather approches. We just moved to a rural area in Fayette county almost a year ago. We left a 2 story brick home with basement to move to a mobile home. :jawdrop: First storm that came up he had us in the car, RUNNING from a storm!!!!!!!! Not going somewhere for shelter, just driving around! Now, I may not be smart, but I would bet I am safer at home than in a car!!!!! We are having trouble digging a storm shelter due to all of the underground springs, but hope to have one soon. Knowing I couldn't live with the "craziness" when the storms come around, I made a simple call to the city hall. I asked where do most people in mobile homes go during a storm. Here, we have a shelter under the city hall opened for bad weather. At the first sign of bad weather, they unlock the doors and people can come and go as they please. I felt much better knowing that we would have a definite place to go if weather gets bad, which it does quite often (our insurance lady calls our area "Tornado alley") LOL! Check with your city and see if they have a "community shelter" for bad weather and such. It may give you the peace of mind you need while waiting to build.

    Good luck!

    PS I agree with the earlier post. I fend for myself and family. Pets and livestock, as much as I love them are on thier own!!!!!!!!!
     
  20. designer

    designer Well-Known Member

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    I have a hubby like yours, He likes to go out and look at the storm. :eek: We have very different ideas of what is safe. I say get in the tub and cover with blankets, he says get in the ditch next to the road because the house wouldn't be safe, I say put the horse in the barn to protect her from flying debre, he says leave her out in the pasture so the roof won't cave in on her. I wish we had a storm cellar, shelters don't take animals and I couldn't leave my greyhounds behind.

    How hard would it be to dig a storm cellar? Anyone made their own? Could you make one that wasn't under a house? We have a MH so can't dig under it.