With the horrific aftermath of recent natural disasters, many people have begun thinking about the safest places to hide in their own home. Of course the best hiding place will differ based on your home. For instance, mobile homes are highly susceptible to high winds ranging from thunderstorms to tornadoes. If you live in a mobile home, your best bet is to get your family to a secure shelter because its structure cannot stand up to even the smallest of tornadoes or many severe thunderstorms. However, if you live in a home with a concrete foundation you may have multiple safe places that can be utilized. The best bet is to be prepared and have a plan that every member of the household is aware of.
When planning for a tornado or any other severe natural disaster, begin by inspecting your home for places that are not exterior walls, have no windows, and are highly structured. Common safe places include bathrooms, beneath stairs, hallways, and closets. If you, a neighbor, or family member has a safe room, basement, or storm cellar then consider it the primary plan. Safe rooms, basements, and storm cellars may be costly but can save lives.
Bathrooms are a good shelter provided that they are not along an exterior wall and are window free. Additionally, the plumbing in the surrounding walls and beneath the foundation adds some structural strength to a bathroom. The old suggestion of getting in the bath tub with a mattress atop you is still a good idea provided your family fits in the bathtub. If you have a two-story home, consider the space beneath a stairwell as it is structurally very sound, window free, and typically has no exterior walls. A hallway or closet free of windows and deep inside the home may provide sufficient shelter provided that all doors are closed, lowering the amount of flying debris that will come your way.
Remember, the goal is to find a place that will fit your family and keep them safe within your own home. If you cannot get completely underground, then get as low as possible and put as many barriers between you and the outside as possible. Put your action plan in place as soon as a watch is issued. If you wait for the warning, then you may be too late. The above suggestions are a good place to begin; however, there is no such thing as a natural disaster proof safe place.