Findlay, OH -- Take steps now to reduce future damage from tornadoes and severe windstorms, warn hazard mitigation experts from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
To help people take those steps, mitigation specialists invite the public and those in the building trades to a Wind Resistant Construction Workshop:
Tuesday, December 10, 1 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Van Wert Fairgrounds; Jr. Fair Building
1055 South Washington Street, Van Wert
Vendor displays open at 1 pm; Speaker presentations begin at 3 p.m.
Attendees will learn that building better can greatly improve their odds against the threat of severe damage to their homes from tornadoes. FEMA has found that when a house is built with enhanced construction techniques that include common connections that secure the roof to the walls to the foundation, it minimizes property damage to homes in areas, like Ohio, at high risk for damaging winds.
"After seeing all the destruction the recent tornadoes caused, and knowing tornadoes surely will be back, it only makes sense to plan to build better and stronger when we're in the rebuilding phase," Ohio EMA State Coordinating Officer Dale Shipley said.
Workshop materials also will cover how to build an in-home safe room - the best protection for your family against tornadoes. This in-home tornado shelter is designed to withstand extreme windstorms and wind-borne debris where you and your family can survive a tornado with little or no injury. A safe room is a small interior room, built to extensively-tested strict specifications and anchored to the house foundation to resist overturning and uplift, and can be used for other non-emergency purposes, like a bathroom or large closet.
Ron Sherman, tapped by President Bush to lead the federal assistance team in Ohio following the November 10 tornadoes and severe storms, said: "There is no better usage of time and money than to help prevent possible reoccurrence of wind-damaging tragedy. Safe Rooms save lives."
Homeowners who receive a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster assistance loan to repair or rebuild a damaged or destroyed home may use some of the loan funds to construct a safe room. The SBA also can increase the approved disaster loan by up to 20 percent to cover the cost of adding a safe room or implementing other approved measures to reduce disaster damages.