Comfy at home tonight

TV weather map

We’re gathered together watching the weather news, being “weather aware,” as we say in Oklahoma. Since the girls were young we’ve enjoyed Gary England and News9. The storm tracking radars in central Oklahoma have amazing precision, and the human storm chasers are always ahead of the storm to keep us advised. But tonight, instead of wondering whether we should have sought shelter at the University, we are enjoying comfy seats in our own family room, playing Oklahoma Severe Weather Bingo (made in Guthrie by Rachel O’Donnell, sold on Etsy at a bargain for only $13).

Tornado Bingo in our comfy home
Comfy in our own home

Hannah's winning Bingo
Hannah won!

Hannah's winning card
Hannah’s winning card!
(see uncovered cards at Etsy)

The reason we’re relaxed and comfy in our own home, instead of seeking shelter elsewhere, is because we installed a storm shelter in the floor of our garage earlier this year.

IMG 5214

We chose an indoor shelter so that we wouldn’t have to enter it until the last moment, believing that we’ll be more likely to actually use it if it were accessible even during rain and hail.

Tornado shelter 1

It’s really easy to enter. We chose the smooth composite fiberglass rather than galvanized steel, so it feels like descending into a bathtub. The light surface seems less oppressive, so it’s not as claustrophobic.

IMG 5218
Supposedly it could hold a dozen people in a crunch (literally), but it’s big enough even for company because with an indoor shelter, we won’t have to sit inside for long periods.

Candace prepared a supplies bucket to keep inside the shelter at all times. It contains a radio, emergency chocolate, TP, whistle, hand-held battery-powered fans, a wrench to ratchet open the lid, a deck of cards, eye drops and medicines, and there’s also bottled water and blankets, and magnetic lights on the ceiling.

After quite a bit of research (with help from Robin and Karen!), we chose because their in-ground shelters are made of galvanized steel rather than regular steel. But once we visited their store, we ended up choosing the composite and we’re very happy with it. During delivery and installation it developed a couple of cracks, which they completely fixed without hassle. There were no surprises during installation, and no unexpected expenses, so we would feel comfortable purchasing from them again. Below are some photos of the installation.






OK, News9 is saying there’s a tornado on the ground near Goldsby, heading toward Hwy 9 and Noble and OU, so we’re heading to the shelter now…


UPDATE: We’re still here! 🙂

So tonight was our first “real” use of the shelter, and it worked great. We were in it safe and sound before the sirens sounded the alarm.

Susanna in the shelter
Susanna found a way to be comfy in the shelter

In the shelter 2
Even Toby accepted being in the shelter on Mercy’s lap

In the shelter 4
Streaming News9 on our iPad in the shelter

In the shelter 5
Every bathtub needs a rubber duckie

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3 Responses to Comfy at home tonight

  1. Laura says:

    Glad you HAVE the shelter and also glad that you didn’t have damage tonight! Hope that continues. 🙂

  2. Michael says:

    Hmmmm. . .after my frightening experience at 15 being abandoned in a lead mine in Iowa without a lantern, tight spaces are discombobulating. I couldn’t help but think how ironic your gravesite dig turns out to be a life-preserving hole in the ground. : )

  3. Hey thanks so much for playing my game! I love it!

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