Tornado Safety Discussions Prompted by Recent Events
Yesterday, just south of Watford City in McKenzie County, an EF-2 tornado touched down right next to a small, temporary community of workers, injuring nine and sending a 15 year old girl to the ICU. There has been a recent oil boom in the area, prompting the erection of small towns of working men and women who are either currently employed by an oil company or who are looking for similar or derivative work. These small “man camps”, as they’re called, have no zoning laws, and North Dakota has no safety laws in place for their protection. Although tornadoes are rare for the area, the chance of death and injuries to those living in trailers are much higher, and since the workers lacked even sufficient warning, we are lucky more weren’t hurt and nobody was killed.
What should be done to protect the workers?
The first action that must be taken is the creation of more strict zoning laws in order to standardize safety regulations. With zoning laws in place, sufficient sirens and warning signs can be used to help workers prepare. Considering some of them live in tents or cars, this is incredibly important for optimal tornado safety.
What About a Shelter?
These workers and their families should not be sacrificing their lives for the sake of the oil boom. A steel safe room is the only option, and should be mandated by the state per the new zoning laws. With ample warning, and a steel safe room to retreat to, future injuries and deaths can be prevented. At US Safe Room®, we can provide an affordable safe room storm shelter, sized to allow room for the entire community of workers. With zoning laws in place, it could be possible for government subsidization or cooperative agreements between companies to establish this simple safety feature for the vulnerable employees. Our safe rooms are:
- Movable (in case the project site moves or zoning changes)
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