You see the question pop up a lot around this time of year. Especially right now considering the amount of severe weather we've already experienced this summer. The question is if you don't have a storm shelter nearby, where do you go to be safe during a tornado? The answer is a little tricky.

If you don't have shelter during a tornado in Amarillo, this is what you should keep in mind.

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First Of All, There Are No "Public Storm Shelters"

That doesn't mean that there is no where for you to go. That just means there aren't any places designated by the city or county as a public shelter.

I found a post the City of Amarillo in 2019 that drove the message home.

While it may seem a bit cold and unfeeling, kind of like the part in that one thing where everyone is told "May the odds be ever in your favor," it is the way it is. Also, if there were "public shelters" where would you put them? Which neighborhoods would be lucky and which ones would be forced to travel? Do we put one on every block? How big should they be?

When I was a kid growing up, the small rural town I lived in would open up the nuclear shelter in the basement of the post office. Not many people used it, but it was handy if you got caught outdoors and and a storm swooped in. Also, that town was a tiny fraction of the population size of Amarillo.

So What Are We To Do In The Event Of A Tornado?

So there aren't "official" storm shelters out there for those of us that don't have one; at least not that I've been able to find. When I search for any information, all I find is info on the grant for those that want to build one on their property and links to places to buy one.

That doesn't mean we're out of luck. You'll just have to get to know your neighborhood.

For the most part, the best thing you can do if you don't have a shelter is see if you have a neighbor that would be willing to make room. If no one does, someone will know where one is that you might be able to use.

As one user recently pointed out in a thread on social media, these are places to keep in mind:

  • Truck stops
  • Hotels
  • Some churches

Again, you're going to want to plan ahead and check with churches in your area. Ducking into a truck stop or hotel usually isn't that tough to do if you're in a bind. I've worked in businesses that had a basement, and they never sent anyone away who asked to take shelter during a tornado warning.

The key thing is to have a plan ahead of time. You can use this info to help come up with one.

KEEP READING: What to do after a tornado strikes


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