Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tornado Drill

Yesterday we were to have a tornado drill: at 10:00 am. But the city does its monthly tornado horn test at 1:00 pm. It rained. By 1:20 pm it was evident there would be no tornado drill. The horns are not tested when people may think the test is for real.

The handout at breakfast only stated, "residents are to go to their bathrooms". We need simple, specific, effective directions to be in a safe spot that is conveniently designed into the building.

Provision Living at Columbia was marketed with concrete walled tornado proof stairwells. True. But the architect(s) put nice windows in the upper floor stairwells. Flying debris can take out any window in the building (the only tornado risk I can find in the building).
The Safest Spot

The two and three story building is in reality a collection of small brick-faced homes built on heavy concrete slabs resting on solid porous Missouri limestone. It is not going anywhere with a concrete wall between every two apartments. There has never been an F5 tornado in Boone County, Missouri, that could move it. There may never be one.

The brick facing offers (but does not guarantee) total protection from F1 to F3 tornadoes. There has never been an F4 tornado in Boone County.

The safest place in each apartment then, is sitting on the stool in the bathroom. Any projectile entering the room must pass through two closet walls (and all your clothes) and any furniture you may have placed against the closet wall.

The structure itself should protect everyone with the exception of breaking glass and flying debris.

Safe in Shower
Safe on Stool
                  Not Safe in View of Window


We need at least one internal wall to provide residents protection from an F3 tornado (only one F3 tornado has occurred in Boone County in the past 50 years).

(A closed bathroom door provides protection from flying glass and debris, if the resident is not sitting on the stool, in the area beside it, or in the shower.)

My proposed revision of the handout for the next tornado drill:

At 1:00 pm, dd/mm/yyyy, Provision Living will be participating in the city-wide tornado warning test.
There will not be an internal (fire - flood - evacuation) alarm, and no need to listen for the alarms outside.
Be sure all staff know and inform all residents so they know what to do when the test happens.
Once the warning begins, residents are to go to their bathrooms (or directed to a designated area).
Sit on the stool or the shower bench (out of sight of the window or close the bathroom door).

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