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Old 04-21-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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Okay, strange question alert:

Isn't Indiana pretty notorious for tornadoes? Most of the houses we are looking at do not have basements. Is this a bad thing for this area?
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Houston-ish, TX
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It's not really that bad. There are storms, but if there is any chance of a tornado the weatherman lets you know way far in advance. There are sirens that go off to let you know, there are weather radios, etc. If you do not have a basement in your home, a main level bathroom in the middle of the house will do just fine.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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Really? A bath will work just as good? Okay, that makes me feel a little better.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Houston-ish, TX
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I don't know about just as good, but it will help. You should really check weather sites to check out tornado damage in the area you are looking at.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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If a tornado forms by your house, no one can tell you in time. Especially if you re asleep. And a basement wouldn't help, either. Sleep tight.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Indy
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Damn citybilly, that's just cold.

True though.

But for the original poster...

Off and on for the last 36 years I have lived in Indiana. Yes we are known for tornados. However, only four times have I had to worry about it. 2 when I was under 10, and the other 2 just a few years ago.

Every area has it's weather issues and to me a tornado is something to know and understand, but not worry about.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Yes we get tornadoes, but not as bad as Oklahoma, Texas or Kansas.

I wouldn't be worried if your house doesn't have a basement. As long as you get in the most central part of the house away from windows and such you're usually ok.

If it makes it any easier some houses now are being built with a reinforced cement room in the center of the house. I believe they're called "safe rooms".

Some good reading:

Storm Shelters, Tornado Shelters, Hurricane Shelters & Safe Rooms

FEMA: Preparing a Safe Room (http://www.fema.gov/hazard/tornado/to_saferoom.shtm - broken link)
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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We lived in Indiana for 8 years. Transplants from California. We had quite a few tornado warnings over the years. Personally, I would NOT buy a house with out a basement. Your family needs a safe place to go during a tornado warning (yes, they will happen) and you'll be hard pressed to re sell your house if it doesn't have one.

No question, IMO, buy a house with a basement!
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:17 PM
 
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Tornado warnings are something I've seen a few times on TV, but I have yet to hear of one touching down in this vicinity (Ft. Wayne). My house doesn't have a basement but it does have a centrally located bathroom. I'm alert when the weather gets bad, and I am prepared with some emergency supplies and a plan of action, but I certainly don't live in fear.

I once lived in Oklahoma right in a tornado hotspot. My home didn't have a basement there, and it didn't even have a central room on the first floor. Nearly every rain storm was with hail and one where the threat of tornados was real. It was stressful, but our family emergency plan involved gathering in the bathroom, climbing into the tub and covering our heads with pillows and a mattress.

After sitting through a tornado preparedness video (shortly after moving to Oklahoma), I learned something important. If you are in a location hit by a tornado, it doesn't matter where you are in your house. If you aren't surrounded by cement, your home is toast and it will be only with luck that you'll survive. Sure it's great to be in a room without windows, but siding, sheetrock, and some pieces of lumber are not going to protect you if a tornado impacts your house. Will a basement help? Probably not a bad thing to have, but if you don't have a safe-room set up within it I doubt it will offer much protection if your house collapses from a tornado collision.

All that said, I'm thankful my family doesn't have a basement. A few years ago the power went out for a couple days after a bad storm... everyone with a basement experienced massive flooding. I have family that had a similar experience elsewhere in the US. I like not having to worry about that. No, I don't think a basement is needed for this vicinity. A finished basement is just a nice place to have if you have children and want to give them their own play-space :-)
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:21 PM
 
92 posts, read 445,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikiJayne View Post
It's not really that bad. There are storms, but if there is any chance of a tornado the weatherman lets you know way far in advance. There are sirens that go off to let you know, there are weather radios, etc. If you do not have a basement in your home, a main level bathroom in the middle of the house will do just fine.
You are kidding yourself if you think the weatherman is going to give you enough advance warning about a tornado. Sometimes, it is over before the local yokels even get on the air to announce the tornado warning! The sirens that a lot of communities have are basically meant to be heard by people outside, and if you live in a rural area there is no such thing as a siren.

If you think I am joking, just ask the survivors of the Evansville Tornado of Nov 2005. That sucker hit in the middle of the night, in a season that most people wouldn't expect tornadoes. Hardly any advance warning that a F3 tornado was about to strike a mid size city. Over 20 people killed before it disspated.

Here are some links about the Evansville tornado.

Evansville Tornado on Nov. 6, 2005

Evansville Tornado of November 2005 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I would never trust my life to the weatherman. And I would never live in Indiana (or anywhere in the Mid-West or Plains) without a basement. If your home doesn't have a basement, your next best bet is the bathroom or a centrally located closet.

For the poster who lives in the Fort Wayne area who said they had never heard of a tornado touching down in that vicinity, here is some information about tornadoes and Fort Wayne.

May 26th 2001 Fort Wayne Tornado

NWS Northern Indiana

According to Indiana Tornadoes, here are some stats about Indiana and tornadoes.

Compared with other States, Indiana ranks number 15 for frequency of Tornadoes, 6 for number of deaths, 7 for injuries and 2 for cost of damages. When we compare these statistics to other States by the frequency per square mile, Indiana ranks, number 7 for the frequency of tornadoes, number 3 for fatalities, number 4 for injuries per area and number 3 for costs per area. Based on data from 1950 - 1995.

My husband lived through both the Palm Sunday tornado of June 1965 and the Super Outbreak in 74. Two of the worst days ever for tornadoes in Indiana.

Indiana's tornadoes aren't usually as large as what is seen in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas but they can be just as deadly as the above information points out.

If I were you, I would definitely rethink about not having a basement.
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