Our Tornado Closet

Tornado season is here, and if you live in Tornado Alley like I do, that means it’s time to make sure your storm preps are ready.

We haven’t had any majorly severe storms in our area yet this year, thank goodness, but I haven’t let that keep me from getting our storm closet ready. Unfortunately, our house lacks a basement or cellar, and as much as I’d love to, we can’t afford to install a tornado shelter or safe room, so we have to make do with our bedroom closet and a lot of prayer.

A walk-in, this closet is the only one large enough for us to fit into that doesn’t have any external walls. I try to keep it clean enough year-round for us to be able to duck in there if we need to, but I admit that over the winter I got lax on the upkeep and let it get pretty messy. So the first step was to clean it and make sure we had plenty of clear floor space for hunkering down.  I also removed heavy objects from the top shelves and made room for old pillows and blankets to use for covering our heads.

Along with those, I also made room for the bug-out bag, which has a couple of changes of clothes, shoes, food, water, First Aid and medications, etc. (I need to do a post detailing what’s in our BOBs one of these days), and an additional bag with provisions for our pets, including the harnesses I crocheted for each of our cats. We also keep a shelf in there for some additional jugs of water, flashlights and batteries, a deck of cards and some travel games, and, of course, the weather radio.

We’ve been living in this house for three and a half years now, and so far we’ve never actually needed to use the closet as a storm shelter, although there have been a couple of times when I went ahead and stuck all of the pets in there while we kept an eye on the weather reports. I know the closet isn’t going to be much protection if we’re ever hit with a major tornado the likes of which almost destroyed Joplin, Missouri last year, which is where the prayer comes in. But it’s better than nothing, and I can sleep a little easier at night knowing that it’s there and ready if we need to use it.