Alabama is no stranger to tornadoes. Since 1996, the state has been on the receiving end of 56 twisters annually. Being so close to warm gulf airmasses and intersecting cooler air that drops down from the Rockies puts the state in constant flux for the inflow of killer storms. Geography doesn’t do any favors for the state either as rolling hills topped with thick foliage conceal approaching storms. And because most bands of severe weather that cause twisters spool up in the Midwest during the warmest part of the day, Alabama finds itself on a collision course with these same storms just after nightfall as they trek easterly. Most tornadic deaths also occur late at night. Not only are twisters harder to spot in the dark by storm chasers, but victims find themselves in their most vulnerable state – their beds. Alabama’s latest bout with tornadoes claimed six lives Thursday. The Alabama tornado outbreak is part of a larger system that spawned more than two dozen tornadoes.

Does Storm Season Ever End?

Tornadoes don’t take an off-season. While most tornadic activity is limited to the Deep South and Midwest during the warmer months, fall and winter tornadoes have becoming a growing concern. What’s even more concerning is that meteorologists now believe Tornado Alley is shifting from the Midwest to the southeast. Residents in these regions have become particularly afflicted as most residents don’t have reliable storm protection, such as a panelized safe room. Socioeconomic status unfortunately becomes another factor to consider as many residents live in impoverished areas and have to rely on mobile homes for living arrangements. We don’t have to tell you what 250 mile per hour howling winds do to a mobile home during a storm. It’s unclear if the victims of this Alabama tornado outbreak resided in a trailer, but it’s suffice to say they didn’t have access to an appropriate shelter prior to the storm’s arrival.

Affordable Protection Should Never Be Reserved for the Super Rich

Alabama tornado

Did you know that someone in a mobile home is 15 to 20 times more likely to die during a tornado than someone in a home with a foundation? This statement is by no means to offend someone who lives in a mobile home, but you should be made aware of this fact when looking for an affordable tornado shelter. And just because your home’s infrastructure can’t support a panelized safe room doesn’t mean you’re options are limited. Many of our customers rely on a standalone shelter, such as the one pictured above, for year around storm protection. These shelters can be located and positioned anywhere on your property without detracting from your beautiful home. They have the same size and profile as a shed or small garage. Some residents have even chosen to paint their shelter or affix siding to the exterior so it blends more naturally with their home.

Alabama tornado

But what if you live in a large community where space comes at premium and you don’t have a yard big enough for a standalone tornado shelter? In recent years, we’ve seen a growing number of residents in community parks and retirement communities purchase our community tornado shelter that can accommodate dozens of people. This is also the most cost effective option as it relies on several different avenues of financial resources so not just one single entity is burdened with the cost of purchase.