Keeping People Safe From Storms

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Most states that see a large number of tornadoes each year have storm shelters of some kind. Many homeowners have them in their backyards. Green County, Oklahoma now has at least two large tornado shelters that could fit the entire town if needed. The shelters are designed like none other in the country. The shelters were purchased after fundraisers were held in the county and after a donation from Google.

The shelters are made from two large tanks. If there is severe weather in the county, residents can take cover in the shelters. They will hold about 150 people and are about seven feet wide. Since there are roughly 400 people in the town, these shelters could save the lives of everyone, especially those who don’t already have a shelter at home. The shelters have opened in time for the spring severe weather season, which is a time when the state often sees large tornadoes with winds that can sweep away homes and businesses.

In 2013, a tornado took away a majority of the area. The school building was damaged, and 30 homes were destroyed with several more damaged. The shelters are 20,000-pound cooling tanks that were donated by Google that the town then transformed into a safe haven for residents. As soon as alarms sound in the town to alert residents of a tornado, they can move to the shelters to stay safe. Each shelter is designed to meet FEMA standards and has walls that are made of steel that is a quarter of an inch thick. Lights are powered by batteries, and there are vents to let in fresh air. More money is being raised to make improvements to the shelters, such as electricity and even running water. Other counties in the state are looking at similar shelter designs.

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