I am a huge ninny where tornadoes are concerned. As a person who likes to be in control, the randomness of tornadoes freaks me out. When the weather service decided to be more forceful with their warnings last year, I took them so seriously that I dragged my family–dog and cat included–to a local hotel one night when they predicted super severe storms and tornadoes. I figured we’d have a better shot if we were in some big, concrete high rise with bunker-style stairwells than our janky little suburban ‘hood.

Seeing the devastation in Moore, Oklahoma, it’s impossible not to wonder about your own chances for survival in the event something like that blows through your neighborhood. They don’t build basements in Texas and acrylic bathtubs being the new norm, what’s your best option? I’m sorry, but it’s hard to be confident about an interior closet or bathroom staying put when you see the pictures of entire neighborhoods completely flattened.

So when I saw an article about above-ground storm cellars–and in-home safe rooms, I was intrigued. Why have we never heard of this before?

Did you know you can create a room inside your home that can weather 250-mph winds and withstand any degree of lumber chunked at it? Not only is this possible, but it can be a bathroom or a closet that is functional when not in use as a safe room.

Oh my gawd, the peace of mind this would bring.

If you create a safe room during the construction phase, it’s a relatively low-cost upgrade. Jiminy Crickets, what a selling feature. If you live in tornado-prone areas, you may even be eligible for rebates through FEMA.

For more details, check out the info from Texas Tech’s Wind Science  & Engineering Research Center and FEMA’s website.