Harsh Weather Season Is Upon Us.

I’ve got bronchitis.  I feel like hammered shit, and I’m pretty sure that thing I hocked up earlier is breathing on its own now.

The concrete guys are here.  They demolished our back patio earlier this week, and today they took away the dunnage and they set forms and tamped the bed sand to prep to pour the new patio.  When we closed on the house 11 months ago, cracks started appearing in the concrete before we were even moved in.  The builder has been very very supportive and stood behind his work and that of his subs.  We’re very happy with the level of support we’ve received from him.  I don’t see us getting another house ever again at this point, but we’ll use him if we do.

Speaking of builders in OKC/Moore, things have been going like gangbusters all year.  Almost from the moment debris was swept away from the tornadoes last May, we’ve been seeing construction work all over the area.  Lots of new houses going up in places where the old neighborhoods were destroyed.  Local addenda to the building codes has specifically tightened, too.  All houses must now have hurricane straps on the rafters, and south and west facing gables are no longer allowed in new construction.  Although not a part of code, all the houses in our neighborhood, whether already built or still under construction have or will have storm shelters before the end of the month.  Our builder said that he’s trying to contract with a shelter builder to install shelters in all his new construction, and he’s retrofitting the built houses he hasn’t yet sold because people are walking away from buying houses that don’t have shelters.

We’ve stocked our shelter for the season with fresh batteries, water, some snack foods, flash lights, crank radio/cell phone charger, and blankets.  We’ve added a pre-paid cell phone on a different network from ours as well.  We’re as good to go as we can be living here.  Last night and the night before were the first tornado watches of the season, so we’re off and running early this year.


27 replies
  1. 1
    Cervantes says:

    Good luck, Soonergrunt — and congratulations on that union thing!

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Stay safe, Soonerfamily. You sound as well-prepared as anyone could be.

  3. 3
    Mj_Oregon says:

    Stay safe. I really hope you never have need of that shelter but I’m so very glad you have one!

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    ZOMG they’ve tightened up tyrannical building regulations in response to the last series of tornadoes!

    Our Freedumb is in danger! Fight the socialist building inspectors! Man the ramparts! Oil up your AR-15s!

  5. 5
    Roger Moore says:

    It might be a good idea to have a bit more food in your emergency kit than just some snack foods. I know you’re mostly thinking about waiting out a single storm, but everyone should have an emergency kit with at least a few days worth of food and water in case of a disaster that leaves you cut off from supplies of fresh food. Your storm shelter sounds like a good place to keep that kind of thing, so you should consider having a full disaster kit there.

  6. 6
    Hal says:

    Speaking of harsh weather, this winter has rendered the streets where I live a minefield of potholes. I just may need a tire or two by the time summer arrives.

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore: Oh, too, don’t forget to rotate the stockpile regularly!

  8. 8
    gvg says:

    From Hurricane country, it’s the 3rd or 4th year after where you have to start remembering to restock every year. Also stock a little stash of whatever medicines your family typically uses-sinus, allergies, daily stuff you don’t want to be out of. Also a little pet food stash. Right after storm damage, if you didn’t get hit, it’s nice not to need to go anywhere but sit tight. You don’t have to deal with downed powerlines and frantic people who do have damage not to mentioned long lines in stores. Pet carriers and shot records so if you have to go to a hotel, you can.

  9. 9
    MomSense says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Wait a minute, Sooner just told us that building is going gangbusters after they imposed onerous, business killing, government regulations. This can only mean that we are heading for a death spiral!

  10. 10
    MomSense says:


    I started riding my bike to work. Thank FSM for shocks and wide tires.

  11. 11
    BubbaDave says:

    Obama could have prevented the tornados but he Didn’t. Even. Try.

  12. 12
    PurpleGirl says:

    Sooner — the shelter and plans sound good except for not having some real food there. I hope you and your family don’t need to use the shelter or lose the house to a storm. The new regulations answer a question I’ve had for a long time about people in tornado prone areas having a safe place place to go.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    @BubbaDave: That is so true. If the government would just spend money on the study of tornadoes instead of global warming, we’d be safe.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MomSense: Good catch.

  15. 15
    BD of MN says:

    I just got done moving 7″ of fresh, 30 degree snow out of mine and two of my neighbor’s driveways. ugh, even with a snowblower…

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    Bronchitis this time of year is probably allergies — a lot of people still don’t realize that asthma and allergies go hand-in-hand, so allergies trigger (mild) asthma, which triggers bronchitis.

    Also, can you please remind me what the name of the company was that installed your storm shelter? My coworker’s friend just moved to Tornado Alley (on the Texas side) and won’t have a basement in her new house.

  17. 17

    It rained a little here this last week. Temps plunged into the sixties. Pure hell.

  18. 18
    cmorenc says:


    The builder has been very very supportive and stood behind his work and that of his subs. We’re very happy with the level of support we’ve received from him. I don’t see us getting another house ever again at this point, but we’ll use him if we do.

    We bought a newly constructed second home at Sunset Beach, NC in 1995 that was built by a similarly competent, scrupulous builder whom we’ve periodically retained ever since to do any needed maintenance repairs (even the most soundly built homes out on a seaside barrier island, subjected regularly to a harsh salt-water marine environment, will be more needy of maintenance than inland houses). I have also had the opportunity over the years since then to visit other houses on the island this builder has had under construction, and see for myself that he cuts no corners (including the types of things the eventual owner once the house is sold will never see) – and my own house has held up to four hurricanes so far, including one Cat-3. His reputation is solid among every single other owner of a house he’s built over the years in the area that I know of.

    It’s indeed a privilege to find a builder or repair contractor like that whom you can trust to build/fix things right (including when his own workmen get it wrong the first time), fairly charging you without ripping you off.

  19. 19
    Trollhattan says:

    We’ve added a pre-paid cell phone on a different network from ours as well.

    Clever–would have never thought of a survival burner.

    Best of luck with the finishing touches. Dreamt last night a truck brought a giant box to my front yard, containing a shed kit from Costco. Kept asking them, “Did I really order this? I just don’t remember.”

    I must want a shed, but would have to annex part of some neighbor’s yard to put it up.

  20. 20
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Mnemosyne: Our shelter was built and installed by Smart Shelters. Inc. They did the whole job, start to finish in about three hours. This time of year, the shelter companies are pretty stacked up and it will be several weeks until the unit can get installed.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Not bronchitis here, but a monster cold that has made me feel like crap and be cranky as hell for the past several days. Currently,my voice is more or less a croaking sound.

  22. 22
    Long Tooth says:

    3 things about concrete: It’s expensive to pour, it will crack, and no one will ever steal it.

  23. 23
    Origuy says:

    Another thing to store in your emergency kit is a small stash of bills–ones and fives. ATMs and credit card networks may not be working and you want to have some money on hand for emergencies.

  24. 24
    ruemara says:

    Get a dehydrator. Store up fruits and chopped. Also, a vacuum sealer. I’d be packing away my riced cauliflower by the bashful. Plus several gallons of potable water.

    Stay safe & feel better. Psst, garlic tea & oregano oil. The tea is smelly but good with lemon and honey, oregano oil helps fight off infections. Possibly by burning the ever loving shit out of it.

  25. 25
    cckids says:

    Speaking as a survivor of Tornado land, another thing to add to your shelter is (if possible) a supply of any medicines your family might need. If the meds aren’t stable for heat, have them in a place you can grab.

    We sat out one lengthy tornado warning without my son’s seizure meds, to our sorrow. Always had them with us, after that.

  26. 26
    angelah says:

    Two tips for stocking emergency supplies – 1) make a list of the perishables’ expiration date and keep it somewhere you will see it regularly, so that you can use up / replace them without losing the money invested, and 2) regular unscented bleach – lots of uses, even as emergency disinfection for drinking water, see http://water.epa.gov/drink/eme.....ection.cfm 1⁄8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) per gallon of water – and write that formula on the bottle. The one time I thought I might need it I couldn’t remember the ratio.

  27. 27
    J R in WV says:

    We drive through OK from East-West going and West-East coming home. I stopped once to take a whiz at a rest stop, and was surprised to see that it was concrete masonry construction – the actual big room inside had a vault-type door on it, with a big wheel to close multiple locks.

    So I wonder, what to do if you see the funnel, but there isn’t a rest stop with a vault door nearby?

    Just drive like hell and hope you outrun the storm?

    Seems like a lose-lose proposition…

    I was pretty taken aback when I drove through west KY into Arkansas and the overpasses crossing the road I was driving on had giant chains holding them down enough to find them after a real banger tornado rips the road infrastructure apart…

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