Basement or Tornado Shelter a Must in a Little House

Photo from the University of Minnesota


Sunday was one of those days that those of us familiar with the threat of tornadoes dread.

For days, the weather people had dire predictions that severe thunderstorms were likely, some of them bringing damaging hail and tornadoes that could stay on the ground for miles.

Ask any person who grew up in or lived in “Tornado Alley” and they will tell you days like this bring jittery nerves.

When I was growing up, we lived in a small bungalow until my teen years. The house was built without a basement, but even after my parents had one added, we always went up to my Godparent’s house when the sirens started wailing.

On one such run up the street when I was a baby, my dad, who could literally sleep through anything, slept right through the tornado, which twisted an oak tree in the front yard.

The tree survived, but the oddly twisted trunk in our front yard was always a reminder to take these storms seriously.

When we moved to Our Little House, we took little comfort in what’s little more than a crawl space.

We thought of putting in a storm shelter, but instead, when we built The Belle Writer’s Studio, we made sure it had a reinforced basement that could also serve as a storm shelter.

The downside is that the studio is about 25 yards from the house and we also cannot hear the sirens this far out of town.

Thanks to our weather radio, which is turned on anytime there is a possibility of severe weather, we do get some warning of an impending tornado.

And as that oak tree served as a reminder in the yard of my childhood home, the trees we lost in a twister the first year Our Little House was built serves as a reminder of how real the threat can be.

So, we keep the dogs halters on and leashes and shoes at the ready and take the predictions seriously.

Thank goodness we were OK on Sunday, but our thoughts remain with those in central Arkansas, as well as Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and everywhere else that wasn’t so lucky these past few days.

If you’re thinking of building a little house and you live in tornado country, will you build a basement or a shelter?



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2 Responses

  1. Brette says:

    So scary. I’m glad you were ok. I can’t imagine living with this kind of threat. It sounds like you are prepared though and ready to do what is necessary.

    • Kerri says:

      I think it is a matter of what you’re used to. Almost every area in the country has some type of threat, from earthquakes to hurricanes to floods. The key is doing what you can to prepare.