Where do you think I would be safer?
October 26, 2010 2:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm wracked with indecision... where should I park?

This is the time of year when the weather around here can get fairly severe. As a matter of fact we're under a tornado watch as I type this. I live in an 18' class C motor home full time. I park in the parking lot of the college I attend. The places I'm allowed to park are limited and I have two choices of geography. Where I am parked now is on an incline surrounded by buildings -- including a stadium -- and I feel pretty secure there, especially since it's a high traffic area which means it's patrolled a lot.

The second area is in a lower lying area near the gym were the RVs park during football games. There is a hill to one side and dorms and the gym on the other. But if I park there, I'd have to vacate a day earlier on game weekends -- because the RVs park there on game weekends.

But my question is, which would be safer during severe weather, like the current tornado watch? Last night we had a high wind advisory and my poor motor home shook all night. I'm not sure if parking in a lower area would have helped or not.

I tried looking it up on Google and Bing, but everywhere I went said go indoors. Sometimes that is just not an option -- all buildings are closed after 1am here. So I put it to y'all? Should I stay on the incline surrounded by buildings and is heavily trafficked? or move to the lower area surrounded by a hill and dorms but is less traveled?
posted by patheral to Grab Bag (7 answers total)
If a tornado hits and you're in an RV, you're not safe. Got any friends who are interested in severe-weather parties? If so, hit them up when severe weather arrives.

I would imagine lower is better for high winds, provided you're not worried about flooding. Depending on how often you have severe storms, though, general-purpose safety might override a desire to live in a lower area.
posted by singularian at 3:02 PM on October 26, 2010

The motorhome will be toast in really severe weather so you should choose your parking area based on the availability of a nearby refuge. If you can't get onto a building how about a pedestrian underpass or something similar?
posted by fshgrl at 4:17 PM on October 26, 2010

The motorhome will be toast in really severe weather so you should choose your parking area based on the availability of a nearby refuge.

Exactly. A tornado, while exceedingly rare, will tear that thing up.

Also, those things need to be tied down during windstorms.
posted by gjc at 5:08 PM on October 26, 2010

I can't tie down my class C, what would I tie it to? How would I tie it? It's a van, parked in a parking lot... Anyway, this is a tiny town, there are no shelters here. There are no basements either because of the high water table.

There really aren't that many tornadoes that go through here -- I've been informed that they usually go east or north of us. What I'm worried about is something happening in the middle of the night - any other time, I'm covered, though I do wonder what to do with my cat...

Thanks for the answers, I suppose the best thing would be to park nearest a building and hope for the best. I suppose I can crouch in the entranceway when the sirens sound at 3am.
posted by patheral at 5:40 PM on October 26, 2010

I suppose your vehicle is too tall to enter a parking garage? Are there any sheltered loading docks on campus? Something with 2 close walls or maybe an overhang? Good luck!
posted by TishSnave at 6:24 PM on October 26, 2010

Check local "vehicle storage" businesses? Like the "U-STOR-IT" of vehicles? They might offer services large enough for RVs. Of course, you wouldn't be able to stay in it while it's in storage...but it would be safe(r).
posted by carlh at 3:44 AM on October 27, 2010

TishSnave, I'm sure it would be fine in a parking garage if there were such and animal here. ^_^ I've looked around in my designated parking areas and the best I can do is park *near* buildings but not close enough to make much of a difference. I think I could probably get up close to the stadium if it gets really sketchy, but I'll have to ask the college if that's okay first.

Er, carlh, I live in the RV. I have nowhere else to stay. Everything I own is in there, and I'm living on my student loans. No money for hotel rooms.

Seriously, tornado watches last, what? a few hours at the most? And tornado warnings are even shorter. It's not like I have the time to drive it somewhere, even to a friend's house (all of my friends live in apartments off campus) during a tornado warning. I mean, wouldn't it be even more unsafe to try and move during a warning?
posted by patheral at 6:55 AM on October 27, 2010

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