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Sound Off: Where are public tornado shelters located in Lawrence?

Douglas County Emergency Management Director Teri Smith said the city does not have any Federal Emergency Management Agency-approved safe rooms. “Individuals should seek shelter in the lowest level of a sturdy structure with the most walls between them and the outside with no windows,” she said.

Comments

YetiPrime 1 year, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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lawrence_townie 1 year, 12 months ago

I wasn't going to get into this debate, but after reading all the comments, I feel I must. I remember as a child in the 70's there were in fact public shelters located at popular intersections(such as 21st and Louisiana or Neismith). For whatever reason those were dismantled and are no longer there. Perhaps someone knows why?

Also, I live in a house built in 1945 that does in fact have a fully concreted in storm shelter, including a concrete ceiling, in my basement that is able to withstand an F5. It has an air vent and shelf storage for enough food until help arrives should we become stuck under debris. While I realize I am lucky and that this is not the norm today, builders then were aware of the necessity for such rooms for the simple fact that we are in fact in tornado alley. It is possible to build these spaces for not much more money than a normal basement, you would only need to add the ceiling and two additional walls because basements are already built with concrete. They needn't be finished basements, just included in the base structure. I agree that an ordinance should be in place to require building these it in every new house or in the form of a common area for new neighborhoods.Builders should not be able to pass that cost along to the consumer. While some may say this is not possible to monitor, the cost to built said structures is somewhat static and doing so should be simple to do so. This is merely a suggestion, so before you spew you hate on these comments please take a moment to ponder. I am not out of touch or rich, just giving another point of view to this serious problem. .

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grammaddy 2 years ago

It surprises me that those building houses in "Tornado Alley" are not required to build them WITH basements. I guess "common sense" really isn't all that common.

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Kookamooka 2 years ago

I was surprised when I moved to Lawrence that developers were ALLOWED to build apartments and houses without safe rooms and/or a shelter for their tenants. I guess it's everyone for themselves. Not a good situation. But tornado alley is in TX and OK now.

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Benthic 2 years ago

I have a basement in my home, so I don't give a sh#t.

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mrbig 2 years ago

+1 basset. -1 lonious

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melott 2 years ago

  1. Don't expect Teri to lift a finger to promote public shelters. She is content with making announcements.
  2. You can construct an above-ground shelter with room for 4 people for about $8000. FEMA plans. Secure against tornadoes up thru level 4.
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pbunyon 2 years ago

Hi Yeoman2, I'm not smoking anything, just offering a suggestion for improvement. Do you have any ideas that would help the promotion of shelters?

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g_rock 2 years ago

Shelter? This is Kansas. I'm breaking out the red sparkly shoes and borrowing the neighbor's dog for a while and seeking adventure.

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Jane 2 years ago

I think the people who are so afraid of storms should buy or rent accordingly.

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Sharon Nottingham 2 years ago

I think that the park and rec Community bldg downtown has a shelter on the lower level. IMO shelters should always get included with all new city structures.

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pbunyon 2 years ago

It would seem that Ms. Teri Smith should address this issue with the city council. Perhaps the architects that recently moved downtown could offer free assistance reviewing some public buildings that would meet the requirements for a safe public shelter..I'm old enough to remember the horrific storm that hit Topeka..

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Lana Christie-Hayes 2 years ago

Hmmm.. Maybe some of the $ spent on things like expanding the library should go to providing a few shelters around town!

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greenworld 2 years ago

lowest level of house or basement if no basement then go to bathroom and lay face down to bathtub is what I heard, If neither of those then RUN LIKE HELL!!!!

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Jane 2 years ago

mudfoot55-do you really think that space in a shelter should be occupied by animals to the exclusion of people? Every shelter has a maximum capacity and I think that space should be exclusively for people.

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muddfoot55 2 years ago

My mobile home park has been told to go to the hospital, about 3 blocks away. But they do not allow us to bring our pets in, even if they are crated. I believe any state where tornadoes are expected, mobile home parks should be required to have an on site shelter

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Keith Richards 2 years ago

The KU School of Pharmacy building has a FEMA tornado shelter serving all of west campus. It holds 500-600 people and I believe the doors to the building automatically unlock during a tornado warning.

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RoeDapple 2 years ago

Maybe the city could open up some of the old tunnels under downtown . . . or just keep them open for the homeless . . .

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