Federal Alliance for Safe Homes: Southeast Nocturnal Tornadoes More Than Twice as Deadly as Daytime Tornadoes

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Evening storms increase risk to families; tornado ‘safe rooms’ are the best protection

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“The southeast trend for nocturnal tornadoes underscores the need for residential safe rooms,” said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO of FLASH.

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters, said that last night’s deadly storms and tornadoes in the southeast are indicative of a trend in that region for tornadoes occurring in the evening when people are most vulnerable.

“Recent studies indicate nocturnal tornadoes make up more than 41 percent of all tornado events in the region,” said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO of FLASH. “And they’re two-and-a-half times as deadly as tornadoes that occur during the daytime,” she added.

According to Chapman-Henderson, during the evening hours visibility is lower, the warning times alerting residents to the need to take shelter are reduced, and residents are more likely to be in vulnerable structures like private residences and mobile homes without a designated safe haven.

“The southeast trend for nocturnal tornadoes underscores the need for residential safe rooms,” Chapman-Henderson said. “Having access to a nearby safe haven can be the difference in life or death during these dangerous overnight weather events.”

FLASH urges families, builders and emergency responders to visit http://www.highwindsaferooms.org and to “Give an Ordinary Room an Extraordinary Purpose” by building or retrofitting bathrooms, closets, wine cellars or other rooms with a tornado safe room. The website also provides a cost calculator, animation and a rich array of links to important safety and structural details.

Tornado safe rooms, or shelters, built using the International Code Council/National Storm Shelter Association 500 standard or FEMA 320/361 guidance can provide the ultimate life safety protection from severe winds. For families in the planning stages of a new build or renovation project of an appropriate room such as an interior bathroom or walk-in closet, it is a perfect time to consider the installation of a tornado safe room.

To watch a video on the proper construction and installation of a safe room, click here and then click “Tornadoes.”

About FLASH

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster-resistant nation including: BASF, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot®, International Code Council, Kohler Power Systems, National Weather Service, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie®, State Farm®, USAA® and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. In 2008, FLASH opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and gain access to its free consumer resources by visiting http://www.flash.org or calling (877) 221-SAFE (7233). Also, get timely safety tips to ensure that you and your family are always well protected from natural and manmade disasters by subscribing to the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.

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Susan Schneider
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