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Old 06-15-2007, 09:17 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,878,714 times
Reputation: 5171

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MOST tornadoes in the Atlanta metro area are usually smaller ones (F0 to F1). From time to time you do hear of stronger ones such as the "Dunwoody Tornadoes" a few years ago. They were only F2s but did a decent amount of damage - depends on how well homes were built but that area had lots of trees that went down into the homes, etc. As someone else said, we don't get those mile wide F5 monster things you see out West that travel dozens of miles before fizzling.

I don't think it's crazy to worry about tornadoes so long as it's not a paranoia rather than a normal concern. I don't have a basement but the next time I move I do plan on having one, as personally I have had two tornaoes come pretty close to my home. Still, I have a weather alert radio and also use a service where I actually get a text alert on my cell phone when weather alerts are issued for my county. Having stuff like that can be a life saver.

Here's a map showing the total number of tornadoes that have hit each county in Georgia up until 2006: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ffc/images/tornado.gif (broken link)

Again, you can't be paranoid. Just be prepared. Have bottled water and batteries, flashlights, and a first aid kit handy, a weather radio, and a plan the family knows about what to do and where to go if a tornado warning is issued (including bringing in outdoor pets which some people amazingly seem to forget about).
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:05 AM
 
201 posts, read 1,027,261 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
MOST tornadoes in the Atlanta metro area are usually smaller ones (F0 to F1). From time to time you do hear of stronger ones such as the "Dunwoody Tornadoes" a few years ago. They were only F2s but did a decent amount of damage - depends on how well homes were built but that area had lots of trees that went down into the homes, etc. As someone else said, we don't get those mile wide F5 monster things you see out West that travel dozens of miles before fizzling.

I don't think it's crazy to worry about tornadoes so long as it's not a paranoia rather than a normal concern. I don't have a basement but the next time I move I do plan on having one, as personally I have had two tornaoes come pretty close to my home. Still, I have a weather alert radio and also use a service where I actually get a text alert on my cell phone when weather alerts are issued for my county. Having stuff like that can be a life saver.

Here's a map showing the total number of tornadoes that have hit each county in Georgia up until 2006: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ffc/images/tornado.gif (broken link)

Again, you can't be paranoid. Just be prepared. Have bottled water and batteries, flashlights, and a first aid kit handy, a weather radio, and a plan the family knows about what to do and where to go if a tornado warning is issued (including bringing in outdoor pets which some people amazingly seem to forget about).
Very informative! This was great information! I am sure that others will profit from this. Thank you.
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Halfway between Number 4 Privet Drive and Forks, WA
1,516 posts, read 4,286,281 times
Reputation: 661
I would probably go under my crawlspace....
(is that not a safe thing to do???)
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Old 06-16-2007, 02:09 PM
 
201 posts, read 1,027,261 times
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Originally Posted by leavingbyron View Post
I would probably go under my crawlspace....
(is that not a safe thing to do???)
I hear too many stories about crawlspaces -- (rodents, spiders, electrical wires, etc.) That's why I want a basement.
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Old 06-16-2007, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Halfway between Number 4 Privet Drive and Forks, WA
1,516 posts, read 4,286,281 times
Reputation: 661
my crawlspace is covered with plastic sheeting, and our home is fairly new..I think the only thing I would be scared for would be spiders.

But still, what would be safest, going into an interior closet (under our stairs), actually going UNDER the stairs (we have an air return vent there), or going into the crawlspace (which is about 4 ft high)? I have always wondered.
We unfortunately in middle GA have had our share of tornados the past couple of years, the closest one to us touching down 4 miles from our home.
Our home is not brick, either, but it is a two story, so I wonder what would be the safest area???
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Old 06-16-2007, 06:38 PM
 
201 posts, read 1,027,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingbyron View Post
my crawlspace is covered with plastic sheeting, and our home is fairly new..I think the only thing I would be scared for would be spiders.

But still, what would be safest, going into an interior closet (under our stairs), actually going UNDER the stairs (we have an air return vent there), or going into the crawlspace (which is about 4 ft high)? I have always wondered.
We unfortunately in middle GA have had our share of tornados the past couple of years, the closest one to us touching down 4 miles from our home.
Our home is not brick, either, but it is a two story, so I wonder what would be the safest area???
Hmmmmmmmmm! That is very interesting. I am glad you informed me about your crawlspace. You are the first to describe what it is like. Four feet high -- what is under there that keeps the home functioning (water pipes, electric wires, etc.)? When I see on the computer "type of basement: crawl", I often wonder. 4 miles from your home was a close call for your family/wife! I know you are greatful it didn't touch down any closer. Do you stay in the middle of GA, or do you consider moving because of the tornados? Does being in the middle of GA attribute to the tornados? How long have you lived there and when did you find out about the tornados? Were you warned by your neighbors when you purchased the home?
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Old 06-16-2007, 07:47 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,878,714 times
Reputation: 5171
The crawl space under my house is 3 1/2 feet tall, and the pipes and wires are under there, and stupidly the builder actually put the FURNACE under there, too. Apparently this was common practice when these homes were built in the mid-60s. Hmmmm, let's see... put a flaming gas heater UNDER a home, and make the home owners crawl under the house just to change the filters. No wonder they lost the war.

Anyway, no, a crawl space is not a good place to go in the event of a tornado. Homes can be knocked off of their foundations, walls crumble or collapse, etc. Do you really want to be UNDER a home if it collapses? Not good.

The best place if you have no basement is an interior lower-level hallway (with no windows), or a lower-level bathroom, etc. Away from windows and doors. If there is a closet under your stairs on the lower level, maybe keep that less cluttered so there's room for you to hide in there in the event of one.
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Old 06-16-2007, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Halfway between Number 4 Privet Drive and Forks, WA
1,516 posts, read 4,286,281 times
Reputation: 661
Well our water heater, heating& air ducts are under there. Some water pipes, too...Electrical is fished through the walls. Everything that is under the house is pretty much "out of the way" and overhead....
We currently live in Byron, but are trying to sell our home to move closer to where my husband is working (he got transferred to Atlanta) so as you can imagine it is a bit of a commute for him everyday.
Tornados really aren't that frequent here, and I don't worry about them. We've lived in middle GA our entire lives, and the first one we've ever known of touching down was the one I described in my earlier post. It was brought on by the storms of Hurricane Katrina after it made landfall...
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Old 06-17-2007, 01:09 AM
 
201 posts, read 1,027,261 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingbyron View Post
Well our water heater, heating& air ducts are under there. Some water pipes, too...Electrical is fished through the walls. Everything that is under the house is pretty much "out of the way" and overhead....
We currently live in Byron, but are trying to sell our home to move closer to where my husband is working (he got transferred to Atlanta) so as you can imagine it is a bit of a commute for him everyday.
Tornados really aren't that frequent here, and I don't worry about them. We've lived in middle GA our entire lives, and the first one we've ever known of touching down was the one I described in my earlier post. It was brought on by the storms of Hurricane Katrina after it made landfall...
Katrina had some "long arms" and made quite a reach. Not being critical of your situation, I always new I didn't want a crawl space, especially since we want the daylight entrance basement anyway. When you move, will you purchase another home with a crawl space or a basement or does it matter to you? How far is Byron from Atlanta?
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Old 06-17-2007, 01:17 AM
 
201 posts, read 1,027,261 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
The crawl space under my house is 3 1/2 feet tall, and the pipes and wires are under there, and stupidly the builder actually put the FURNACE under there, too. Apparently this was common practice when these homes were built in the mid-60s. Hmmmm, let's see... put a flaming gas heater UNDER a home, and make the home owners crawl under the house just to change the filters. No wonder they lost the war.

Anyway, no, a crawl space is not a good place to go in the event of a tornado. Homes can be knocked off of their foundations, walls crumble or collapse, etc. Do you really want to be UNDER a home if it collapses? Not good.

The best place if you have no basement is an interior lower-level hallway (with no windows), or a lower-level bathroom, etc. Away from windows and doors. If there is a closet under your stairs on the lower level, maybe keep that less cluttered so there's room for you to hide in there in the event of one.
A furnace under the home in a crawl space has to be an inconvenience. I didn't think one would want to go into a crawl space for safety. Just the term "crawl" alone seems narrow and as you said to be under a home is not good. This is another reason to further our search for a daylight entrance basement. You have been helpful and gave me another "bird's eye view" of the "crawl". Thanks -- won't be "crawling" when I purchase a home in Georgia.
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