Storm Shelter

Storm safety, even in this literally rapidly-changing climate, doesn’t seem to be the first place you would look for artisanal craftsmanship, but on the other hand, what better time to rely on the personal touch, the tradition of excellence, the dedication to an ideal? What better to feel safe about than your safe room? If you’re thinking about relying on a community shelter in your hour of need, think again. Most municipalities, even in a state as prone to tornadoes as Oklahoma, don’t have any such emergency structures. And when a tornado hits, you’re already running out of time: the average person only has 10 or 15 minutes to take cover. You need a sage place you can rely on, and you need it on your property.

That’s where Tornadosafe comes in. Despite the name, these aren’t just storm shelters okc, make no mistake. Each of their structures are tested under tornado conditions by the Texas Tech University Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, which means they also meet the rigorous standards set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In fact, their shelters already stood up to the ultimate test, surviving with flying covers the devastating EF5 tornadoes that ripped through Moore, OK in 2013.

Above ground or under ground, in the state of Oklahoma or out, they’ll work with you on a shelter custom-built to your specs and delivered right to your home. In fact, the guys at SSOKC will visit you personally and help you determine the best location for your new structure. All their products are manufactured in-house — no subcontracting out pieces and parts to other, inferior designers and manufacturers. And there’s no need to let the cost send you into your panic room; the Oklahoma Central Credit Union will actually work with you to help finance your shelter. Head over and they’ll help you manufacture the structure you need to stay safe.


Many years ago, my grandmother taught me to can and preserve fruits and vegetables for future use. This was a practice she learned from her mother during the Great Depression. She told me the story of how it saved her entire family from certain death.

My grandmother survived the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s on the plains of Oklahoma. During the darkest times, when the winds and dust were at their worst, her family more or less lived in the dirt root cellar that her father and brothers had dug out underneath the house.

Because there was not enough food available, or animals to hunt, during the Dust Bowl, canning and preserving became a must. Absolutely nothing could be wasted. Even the scraps left over from the flour bags had to be reused as garments in order to stretch money and resources far enough to survive.

When we set out to do the canning, we first had to pick the fruit. I was lucky enough to be able to go with her to pick the fruit on the family farm. We chose to pick peaches from the tree that had been growing there for over 40 years. There were many peaches. Many, many peaches. We wound up canning a total of 87 jars!

We made sliced peaches, peach chutney, peach jelly and jam, peach compote and peach pie filling. Each jar lasts about 1.5 to 2 years. That comes out to be about 3 cans of peaches to be consumed in a month!

It took us several days to make it happen, but I am glad I learned how to do it. There’s a lot of hard work work making these jars of food correct and making them seal properly. In our increasingly corporate world, it’s becoming a lost art. In fact, many people don’t even know how to prepare basic meals much less prepare food for future food use.

Tornadoes & Other Storms

t’s been a few months of hot, clear weather, but we’re about to head back into storm seasons here in Oklahoma. It’s not just that it is storming and nasty, it’s that the weather becomes a life threatening situation often enough that it’s something of a cultural joke.

Over the years, we’ve had many tornadoes. The oldest documented one was in Woodward, Oklahoma in the late part of the 19th century. This was back before storm warnings and tornado sirens. People were asleep when the tornado came down. Because of the lack of warning, many people died. It was a terrible tragedy.

However, good things have come out of this tragedy as there are now forewarning systems, sirens, shelters and various other things to help keep us safer. Building codes have become stricter, in addition to the fact that science has made great improvements to construction techniques and building materials.

There are lots of different kinds of storm shelters now. Back then, if you had a shelter it was in the form of a root cellar that may or may not be safe. People died from drowning in the cellar almost as much as they did in the tornadoes. Nowdays there is still that possibility but it is not nearly as dangerous.

One of the best things that we have managed to come up with over the years is the siren system. All the sirens interlink together so when the alarm is sounded for one area, nearby areas are put on alert too. This is because tornadoes are unpredictable and can “jump” by quite a distance, even miles, to a new location.Since the storms will move very fast, it’s nearly impossible to know where the tornado might jump to until it’s already made it’s move. It’s better to be safe than sorry.