Our Favorite Laundry Room Ideas

Our Favorite Laundry Room Ideas

Nowhere is the difference between high-end new construction/remodeling clearer, than in laundry rooms. These once simple utilitarian spaces have become large, decorated rooms incorporating many great features. Features like drying racks, built-in ironing boards, craft areas, wrapping areas, offices, and mudrooms with gleaming machines. Today, we share some of our clients practical laundry room solutions.

Drying rack

Pull down drying rack. A pull-down drying rack is designed for drying delicates directly on the rack, or for drip drying clothing on hangers. The pictured rack is strategically located over the sink so no messy drips to clean up.

Hanging Rod

Hanging rod. A must for hanging clothes after removing them from the dryer or for drip drying clothing on hangers. Having the rod located above the sink is ideal. The drips from the clothing just fall right into the sink.

custom-made sink insert

Custom sink insert. The covered laundry sink provides space for the client to fold laundry in this small, single-wall laundry room.

 custom cabinetry

Cabinetry, cabinetry, cabinetry. Almost all of our clients want custom cabinetry in their laundry rooms. Featuring things like open shelving for frequently used products and supplies, and plenty of countertop space for folding.

customized storage

Laundry basket storage. What better way to store your laundry baskets! When a client works with a custom cabinet maker, they are able to design the laundry room of their dreams.

laundry centers

Master bedroom closet laundry center. What’s more handy than a laundry center in your master bedroom closet. Think of all the steps you’ll save when it’s time to put away your clothes! The master bedroom laundry center shown, features a pull-out ironing board (disguised as a drawer), pull-out folding station and his and her pull-down hampers.

pull-out ironing board

Pull-out ironing boards. Meet the pull-out ironing board, disguised as a drawer. It’s no longer necessary to take up wall-space to have the ironing board hidden away.

multiple appliances

Multiple Appliances. Client’s with large families, are opting to build homes with large laundry rooms, featuring multiple appliances. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. also builds homes with multiple-level laundry rooms (especially in lake homes). Multiple level laundry rooms save footsteps, backs and time on laundry day.

multiple purpose laundry room

Multiple-purpose laundry rooms. Client’s often opt for multiple-purpose laundry rooms. Think offices, mudrooms, craft-rooms, study rooms, pantries and more.

These are just a few of the laundry rooms in the homes remodeled or built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. Looking for more ideas? Visit our website or our Houzz profile.

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Best of Houzz 2018

Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. of Goshen
Awarded Best of Houzz 2018
Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,
Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

Goshen, IN, January 19, 2018 – Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. of Goshen, Indiana has won “Best of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The premier custom home builder and remodeler, located in Northern Indiana, was nominated by their clients and chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best of Houzz 2018” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

Best of Houzz 2018

“We are honored to stand among the distinguished professionals, who have won this award” states Jeff Martin, President of Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. “Throughout every project we manage, we are committed to providing every client unparalleled service. It is something we instill into our team members from the person who answer the phones, to the guy who frames the walls.”

“The Houzz community selected a phenomenal group of Best of Houzz 2018 award winners, so this year’s recipients should be very proud,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz. “Best of Houzz winners represent some of the most talented and customer-focused professionals in our industry, and we are extremely pleased to give them both this recognition and a platform on which to showcase their expertise.”

Follow Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. on Houzz at http://www.houzz.com/pro/martinbrotherscontracting/

About Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.
Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., of Elkhart County, Indiana, is known throughout Michiana as the area’s premier, upscale, custom home builder and remodeler. Our award-winning homes are crafted with detail in mind from start to finish by our experienced team of career carpenters and construction management professionals. Licensed to build in the State of Michigan, we serve an area within a one-hour radius of our rural Goshen, Indiana address.

About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

Amenity Packed Kitchen

It’s Martin Brothers’ Monday & we bring you the transitional kitchen in the  1,568 sq. ft. addition to the Italianate home along the St. Joseph River.  The painted, birch, full-overlay, custom kitchen by Ayr Custom Cabinetry  features luxury appliances, dolomite tops and backsplash, luxury lighting, wet bar, walk-in pantry and built-in storage upgrades. Red oak hardwood floors were installed by Hoosier Hardwood Floors. Super white dolomite tops and backsplash by Z Stone Creations.

kitchen-03-houzz

kitchen-marble-01-houzz

pantry-houzz

kitchen-pots-pans-houzz

kitchen-spice-rack-houzz

Architectural design by Helman Sechrist Architecture; interior design by Jill Henner; general contracting by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.; photography by Marie Kinney.

To see additional photos of this project, please visit our Facebook page.

It’s Time to Service the Generator

We would like to take this time to remind our clients that, if you have not already done so, please schedule your stand-by generator service. Those with service contracts should simply confirm their service time. It is very important that the stand-by generator is serviced twice a year, spring and fall.

If you do not have a stand-by generator, Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. recommends that you have one installed. Power loss can happen at any time. Typically associated with severe weather, power loss can happen for a myriad of reasons.

Generators can power the air conditioning system, heat, pumps, refrigeration, hot water, security, home automation and other vital components of your home. Call us today at 574-862-2142 to find out about installing a stand-by generator in your home.

Blue slate floor installed by Halsey Tile Co. in lake home built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.

Caring for Natural Stone Floors & Showers

by: Halsey Tile Co.

Natural stones, especially calcite based stones such as marble, travertine, limestone, and many slates, have a delicate chemical composition that may interact in negative ways with cleaning solutions that were not specifically formulated for the task. Once you know WHAT to use, all you have to do is follow some basic guidelines and your natural stone installation will give you years and years of beautiful service.

Routine Preventive Measures

  • DO Use coaster under drinking glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices to avoid etching.
  • DO Dry marble surfaces completely. Marble is very prone to water spots, so it is a good idea to never let it air dry.
  • DON’T place hot objects directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot items.
  • DON’T use cleaning products, unless the label specifies it is for natural stone. This includes glass cleaner to clean mirrors over a marble vanity top or a liquid toilet bowl cleaner when the toilet sits on a marble floor.

Treating Spills

8907Some spills will turn out to be detrimental to stone if unattended: orange juice, lemonade, wine, vinegar, liquors, tomato sauce, yogurt, salad dressing, perfume, aftershave, the wrong cleaning products and so on. Though a long list, most likely won’t damage “granite” and “green marble” surfaces (at least in the short run), but will ETCH polished marble, travertine, limestone, onyx, alabaster and many slates.

Therefore,

  • DO pick up/clean any spill as quickly as possible.
  • DON’T rub the spill, only blot.
  • DON’T use cleaning products on or near your natural stone unless the label specifies that it is safe for natural marble (cultured marble is man-made and is basically a plastic material). This includes glass cleaners to clean mirrors over a marble vanity top or a liquid toilet bowl cleaner when the toilet sets on a marble floor.

Floors

Blue slate floor by Halsey Tile Co. in lake home built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.Invest in quality cleaning tools.

A cleaning chore – any cleaning chore is never a matter of a cleaning product only. The implements – cleaning rag, paper towel, scrubbing pad, squeegee, etc. are important considerations as well. A good quality mop and the proper mop bucket are critical to obtaining the best results when mopping your highly polished stone or porcelain floor.

Choosing the right cleaner is critical to maintaining the beauty of your natural stone flooring. Always use a pH neutral floor cleaner like Hillyard’s Super Shine-All, or other labeled pH neutral safe cleaners, for natural stone cleaning. Using soap or vinegar WILL damage your floor. Soap builds up over time and needs to be stripped properly, so it is best to just stay away from it. Vinegar is highly acidic and will ETCH your floor most times beyond repair.

We found that sponge mops are not the best choice for highly polished stone floors. A better choice is a good-sized, closed loop cotton string mop. However, the very best choice is a microfiber mop. It is a good idea to have at least a couple of mop-heads, so that when one is dirty, all you have to do is trow it in the wash and use another in the meantime.

To seal or not to seal.

Granite top by Halsey Tile Co., in lake home built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.For porous stones like hone-finished limestone or certain mercantile granites, the application of a good quality impregnating sealer is recommended if the floor is installed in a room that has the possibility for accidental spills of staining agents (example: cooking oil, coffee, juice, makeup, lotion etc.).

The application of an impregnating seal to a highly polished marble and travertine, or polished high-density granite is not recommended.

    • DON’T damp mop your floor with commercial cleaner unless they specify pH neutral. Never mop with a vinegar solution.
    • DON’T use any cleanser in powdery or creamy form.
    • DON’T use any soap film remover such as TILEX SOAP SCUM or X14 SOAP SCUM on your polished stone shower or floors.
    • DON’T use any toilet bowl cleaners or vinegar to clean your toilets. Possible spills will eat holes in marble. Clean your bowl with a powder cleanser and spray disinfectant designed safe for natural stone. (MB does not recommend using a powder cleanser in a any toilet as it will scratch the surface. Please follow the toilet manufacturer’s recommendations when cleaning your toilet; only use cleaners that are marked safe on natural stone.)
    • DO clean showers daily with diluted solution of spray cleaner and squeegee.
    • DO use proper floor mats. The leather or rubber of shoes will not damage stone floors, but the dirt on them will. It is important to have good, not just “pretty” mats. Clean floor mats often.

0251Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. provides the above care instructions for our client’s that have had stone products installed by Halsey Tile Co. We recommend that all of our client’s follow care instructions provided by the installer (see your warranty binder). Thank you for using Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. to build your new custom home.

Jobsite fire extinguishers used by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

Fire Extinguishers In Your Home

Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. had our fire extinguishers inspected this week by Koorsen. We keep a fire extinguisher in all Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. owned vehicles, on our jobsites and of course in all of the Martin Brothers buildings.  Fire safety is an important part of our safety program. Keeping our jobsites safe is a priority. Well run, safe jobsites are important factor to consider, when determining which builder to hire for your project.

Today we would like to share with you an article written by Kidde, about choosing a fire extinguisher for your home. We thought it was a timely article, since we had our commercial fire extinguishers inspected this week.

Choosing a Fire Extinguisher for Your Home

At home, place the power to put out small fires in your hands and within your reach. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), someone in the United States dies in a house fire every three hours, averaging approximately 3,000 deaths each year. Arm yourself with the right equipment to help prevent a small self-contained fire from spreading out of control.

Kidde is world-renowned for our expertise in manufacturing reliable, high-quality fire safety products, including fire extinguishers. In fact, with a history spanning nearly 100 years, we’ve been making them for longer than any other company. Here we’ll give you some tips on how to choose them – and how to use them.

Choosing a fire extinguisher

Below are minimum recommendations for the home from the National Fire Protection Association.

  • Step 1: Choose primary extinguishers for your home. These include solutions for your living area and garage or workshop, and they’re pieces of equipment that you absolutely must have according to the NFPA.
  • Living area – For your main home protection, install a 2-A: 10-B: C rated living area unit on every level of your home. No more than 40 feet apart. Class A-B-C
  • Garage/Workshop – Due to volumes of flammable liquids in the garage, you should install a higher rated unit such as the 3-A: 40B-C Garage/Workshop unit. Class A-B-C
  • Step 2: Choose supplementary extinguishers for your kitchen and areas with a higher likelihood of electrical equipment fires. These are not required, but are highly recommended.
  • Kitchen – The kitchen is the likeliest place you will have a fire. Protect your home with a 711A extinguisher in the kitchen area.
  • Electrical – Ideal for tackling fires involving energized electrical equipment with a rating of 1-A: 10-B:C. Class B-C

(Rule of thumb is that you should have a fire extinguisher for every 2,500 square feet, Martin Brothers recommends that a home of over 10,000 sq. ft. be equipped with a fire suppression system.)

How to use fire extinguishers

Stand 5 feet away from the fire and follow the four-step PASS procedure recommended by the National Fire Protection Association:

  • P – Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you.
  • A – Aim low at the base of the fire.
  • S – Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly to discharge the extinguishing agent. (When the agent first hits the fire, the fire may briefly flare up. This should be expected.
  • S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side, moving carefully toward the fire. Keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire.

When to use fire extinguishers

It’s important to remember that fire extinguishers are only one element of a complete fire survival plan. Only use your extinguisher after making sure:

  • All residents of the home have been evacuated to safety
  • The fire department has been notified (call 911)
  • There is a clear exit behind the person using the extinguisher

Use your extinguisher only to keep a small self-contained fire from growing, only when the room is not filled with smoke, or to create a safe pathway out of the home. Be sure to read the instructions and become familiar with your fire extinguisher’s parts and operation before a fire breaks out.

Continue reading “Fire Extinguishers In Your Home”

8 Elements of Classic Kitchen Style

If you follow us on Twitter or Instagram you know we have been sharing 8 Elements of Classic Kitchen Style. (You may read the article from Rebekah Zaveloff  that appears in Houzz by clicking on this link.) Classic kitchens are timeless and flexible. This comes with other givens, such as neutral color palettes and simple, unfussy details. We offer a short synopsis of each of the 8 elements within this article.

No. 1 White or cream cabinetry. Classic kitchens are timeless yet fresh. This is a style that almost everyone feels comfortable in, even some the modernists among us. White kitchens define this style.

No. 2 Simple architectural details. You may see legs on islands, feet or furniture-style toekicks, crown molding and even a paneled hood, but these details are often restrained in a classic kitchen rather than being over the top and ornate.

No. 3 Honed black countertops. Classic kitchens often go the timeless route with blacks or whites, whether it’s honed absolute black granite, soapstone, or cast quartz material.

No. 4  White marble countertops. Cararra marble and Calacatta marble are the two that really stand out in classic kitchens. In fact, marble countertops are often the focal point of a classic kitchen. 

No. 5 White subway tile. It really doesn’t matter what size, though the classic is 3×6. It can be glossy, crackle, beveled or square edged, handmade or machine made, or even in white marble.

No. 6 Simple door styles.  Another aspect that defines this look is the cabinet door style — often either a simple shaker door or a shaker door with a bead molding.

No. 7 Neutral palettes. Classic kitchens don’t have to be all white.Mix stained and painted cabinetry. Black and white is about as timeless and classic as it gets.

No. 8 Flexibility. Classic kitchens are like chameleons: You can take the same kitchen & completely change its look by mixing in modern bar stools or lighting … or industrial bar stools and lighting … or traditional — you get the idea. Classic can become eclectic by adding modern tile and mixing it with a vintage-style table and chairs and industrial-style pendant lights.

See Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. for your new classic kitchen today!

Custom built lake home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

Custom Building a Luxury Home

We found this article today on HGTV.com by Annalise Burgos and couldn’t wait to share it. Ms. Gigliotti and Ms. Burgos relate so many common sense tips about the process of building a luxury custom home.

Be sure and check out a few of the custom, luxury homes Martin Bros. Contracting has built in our 51 year history at the bottom of the article.

Custom Building a Luxury Home

When you’re spending several million dollars on a home, you want it to be perfect. That’s why luxury homeowner Sharon Gigliotti chose to custom build her dream home, rather than buy an existing property.

“No matter how lovely the house was or how much I really liked it, I always thought it would be better if it had this or that,” said Gigliotti, who bought previously-owned homes in the past. “I always felt like it was lacking something.”

“If I’m going to spend X amount of money decorating or furnishing a luxury home and will live there for a length of time, I want it to really work for me,” said Gigliotti, who lives with her husband, two teenage sons and two dogs in a luxurious 9,000-square-foot home in Knoxville, Tenn.

And real estate agents say many of their luxury clients feel the same way. “You get the floor plan you want; you get the materials and quality you can afford to pay for. If you want a dream home, the only way to get it is to design it yourself,” says Judi Starliper of Realty Executives Associates in Knoxville. She says 60 percent of her clients in the $1 million-plus price range have their homes custom built.

Consider these factors when custom building your luxury home:

Choosing the Site and Builder

The Gigliottis chose a five-acre property that is both “out in the country” (they wake up to deer in the front yard) and only a short drive from shopping and the freeways.

Whether you build a luxury home or buy an existing one, location is key. “Even though it is custom-built, you always have to think about resale because things can happen even if you plan on staying there for a lifetime,” Starliper says.

As for choosing a builder, interview two or three builders because not everybody gets along personality-wise, suggests Starliper. “Pick a builder that you have confidence in, that matches your personality, that you feel like you can work well with, and then get an architect with the same qualities — somebody who can see your dream. If you can’t communicate well enough to put that down on paper, that won’t work either,” she says.

Gigliotti worked with an architect to design a “European and old-world-looking” home. When planning her dream house, Gigliotti did a lot of research, collecting and studying floor plans. She had no professional design experience, but was inspired by her passion for studying houses. She created a scrapbook of features she wanted in her dream home — from vaulted cathedral ceilings to an open, continuous one-level floor plan to exquisite detailing.

Calculate Each Detail

From the fireplace in the spa-like master bath to the exposed brick wall in the kitchen, Gigliotti focused on every detail. Several millions of dollars later, Gigliotti says she was shocked at how much she had blown her budget. “Let’s just say there are not very many homes in Knoxville in this price range,” she said.

Staying on budget is a tremendous challenge when custom building a luxury home. Though Gigliotti and her husband were able to cover the additional expenses, any homeowner planning to build a luxury property must create a budget and account for every detail, from high-end built-ins to all the electronics required for a home of a large scale. The last thing you want is a home that’s half-finished, Gigliotti said.

“It’s easy to get carried away,” she explained. “You can plan something and then when you get into the actual building, you have all these options. Spend a lot of time really figuring out how much you’ll be spending. It’s all in the details.”

Build for Function

“I’ve been in luxury homes that feel cold, where you’re afraid to touch things,” Gigliotti said. “You don’t feel like a family lives there. There are no personal photos or collections from the family.”

Not the case for Gigliotti. People who’ve seen her home often comment on how cozy and welcoming the house is for such a vast space, she said.

That’s because she made it a point to build a luxury home that’s both a family-friendly environment and a welcoming space for entertaining. Hence, the basketball court, batting cage and pool with diving board for her kids and their friends, and a gourmet kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, high-tech media room and covered veranda with outdoor kitchen for the adults. “It would be silly to have a nice place if you didn’t entertain,” Gigliotti said.

“A luxury home inspires you to entertain more,” she said. “If you have such a wonderful space that flows well, you want to share that.”

Nothing expresses this more than the home’s media room. While a typical luxury home theater is a separate area from the rest of the house, Gigliotti’s media room flows right off the kitchen and living room to allow for maximum entertaining. Instead of traditional theater seats, she opted for comfy couches and chairs so guests can socialize while watching the Super Bowl or whatever else on the 96-inch flat screen.

Depending on what you want out of your luxury home, whether it’s to entertain or to showcase your art collection, design your home based on how you plan to use it.

Design to Protect

Luxury homes are owned by high net-worth individuals who want to protect their families and valuables. So when they build homes, security and privacy are major factors. Most luxury homeowners live in gated communities or high-rises staffed with security guards 24/7. But if you don’t live in this type of neighborhood, as is the case with the Gigliottis, you find other ways to feel secure. The home is set back from the road, and the Gigliottis built their own security gate with keypad and motion detection system inside the home.

“It was very important for my husband,” Gigliotti said. “He wanted to feel secure that when he’s not at home, his family is protected.”

Plan for Resale

What if later down the road, you decide to sell your dream home? Will buyers see their dream home in yours? Maybe. Starliper advises homeowners to keep universal appeal in mind when designing the home so the average person can see themselves living there.

For instance, she says, “if you put a big bonus room off the master bedroom and no one else could get to it except for the people in the master bedroom, that wouldn’t be good for resale. You might need that, because maybe you want to have an office off of your master, but the majority of people aren’t going to want a bonus room office off their master. They want it for the kids to have a playroom, so it would need to be accessible to other areas.”

Build or Buy?

If you’re in the market for a luxury home, weigh the pros and cons of building it yourself versus buying an existing one. Custom building allows you to control the home’s layout, add personal touches and choose features that cater to your specific lifestyle. But as Gigliotti cautions, costs can quickly add up. If you want more predictability in your luxury home purchase, buying a previously-owned property may be the way to go.


Custom, luxury homes built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.:

Custom built luxury estate by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.
11,200 Sq. Ft. French Country Manor

Custom luxury home built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.
8,800 Sq. Ft. Fully Automated Luxury Lake Home

Summer Lake Home Estate built by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc.
14,200 Sq. Ft. Summer Lake Estate

When choosing a luxury custom home builder, we invite you to consider Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. We recognize the investment our clients make in their custom built luxury home; therefore, we provide unparalleled service throughout the project.

At every stage of the custom build process, we commit to:

  • Superior customer service
  • Attention to the smallest detail
  • Insistence on using only the finest building materials

From initial design to the final finishing touches, the professionals at Martin Brothers’ expects your home-building experience to be a pleasurable one. We invite you to call us today at 574-862-2142 or toll free at 877-862-2142 to discuss the Martin Brothers difference.

We at Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. respect our client’s wishes and will not share homes on social media if the client does not wish to do so. References and visits to homes may be arranged to qualified candidates.

Step-by-Step Guide to Designing Your Bathroom Vanity

An exceptional vanity design requires careful planning and attention to detail. There are plenty of decisions to be made, from the layout and style to the types of sinks and countertops. This six-step process gives you a game plan to follow as you’re designing your new vanity space. Read the entire article by Sam Ferris, Houzz Contributor, below.

1. Determine the Bath Layout.

blue cabinets

2. Determine the Number of Sinks.

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3. Choose the Vanity Style.

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4. Find the Right Countertop.

Bath in remodeled home by Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc., Goshen, IN

5. Determine the Type of Sink

sink

6. Select the Fixtures. Select your cabinet hardware, faucets, lighting and mirror.

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For your bath remodel or to talk to someone about building an upscale custom home, call 574-862-2142 or visit our website at MartinBrosContracting.com

 

Tornado Safety Tips

The severe weather season is upon Michiana. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms — all spell danger. They can leave death and horrendous property damage in their wake. We offer this advice from the American Red Cross.

Tornado

tornado damageTornadoes are violent by nature. They are capable of completely destroying well-made structures, uprooting trees and hurling objects through the air like deadly missiles. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornado intensities are classified on the Fujita Scale with ratings between F0 (weakest) to F5 (strongest). Although severe tornadoes are more common in the Plains States, tornadoes have been reported in every state.

Know the Difference

Tornado Watch – Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans, and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives!

Tornado Warning – A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately under ground to a basement, storm cellar or an interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom).

How to Prepare for a Tornado

  • During any storm, listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings.
  • Know your community’s warning system. Communities have different ways of warning residents about tornadoes, with many having sirens intended for outdoor warning purposes.
  • Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • Practice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.
  • Consider having your safe room reinforced. Plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection can be found on the FEMA web site.
  • Prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
  • Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

Watch for tornado danger signs:

  • Dark, often greenish clouds – a phenomenon caused by hail
  • Wall cloud – an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm
  • Cloud of debris
  • Large hail
  • Funnel cloud – a visible rotating extension of the cloud base
  • Roaring noise

What to Do During a Tornado

  • The safest place to be is an underground shelter, basement or safe room.
  • If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative.
  • Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds.
  • Do not seek shelter in a hallway or bathroom of a mobile home.
  • If you have access to a sturdy shelter or a vehicle, abandon your mobile home immediately.
  • Go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter immediately, using your seat belt if driving.
  • Do not wait until you see the tornado.
  • If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building. If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter:
  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
  • If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Now you have the following options as a last resort:
  • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
  • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.

Your choice should be driven by your specific circumstances.

For what to do after the tornado, click on the link to see the entire article from the American Red Cross.