Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:33:46 GMT
Passengers aboard a Megabus were stuck in Fort Deposit on Wednesday after the bus suffered a mechanical issue and the driver became ill. A spokesperson for Megabus told WSFA 12 News that the bus was headingMore >>
Passengers aboard a Megabus were stuck in Fort Deposit on Wednesday after the bus suffered a mechanical issue and the driver became ill.More >>
Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying to the small Taiwanese island on Thursday where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48. There were 10 survivors, and authorities...More >>
Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:43 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:43:00 GMT
Autauga County authorities say a meth operation was busted and three people were arrested thanks to an anonymous tip. Billy Ray Kizziah, 21, of Deatsville, Joe Davis Henderson, 22, of Marbury, and KimberlyMore >>
Autauga County authorities say a meth operation was busted and three people were arrested thanks to an anonymous tip.More >>
Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:24 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:24:41 GMT
The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Arizona to carry out its third execution in the past year Wednesday following a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs.More >>
A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S.More >>
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
Many of you may be considering making some changes to your home to better protect you from the next big storm.
You may remember FOX6 News reported almost two years ago that researchers successfully tested a new panel that could be used in shelters and safe rooms.
A half-size model of the tornado shelter panels is on display at UAB. Researchers say they will soon be available for use.
Dr. Uday Vaidya is a Professor in the UAB Department of Material Science and Engineering and he's the project leader. The initial goal was to have them ready last year, but he says some of the final details have held up the process.
"We are working with two manufacturers right now who are looking to produce the panels. …" Dr. Vaidya said, "Some of the details are actually in the framing, in terms of locking down the panels to the foundation."
The panels, when installed, will retrofit an existing space, like a closet, from top to bottom. During a tornado threat, you walk inside and latch the door. The panels have been tested over and over. They've withstood the force of fifteen pound two-by-fours flying at the speed of one hundred miles per hour. That's the speed of flying debris from an EF-5 tornado.
"So if you had a closet or bathroom retrofitted with this panel you should feel a lot safer," said Dr. Vaidya.
So, how do people feel about these panels and the idea of making an instant shelter indoors?
"I think it's a good idea for someone who doesn't have a basement. I live in a condo around here and that may be something I would be interested in," Loraleigh Griggs said.
Kimberly Bishop says while it's convenient, she has reservations. "Of course, saving a life, it would always make sense. But I think to some extent it's something new. We're hesitant with new things," Bishop said.
The panels passed inspection by "National Storm Shelter Association" and they are expected to be ready this year. Homeowners would have to go through a contractor, approved by FEMA, to get them installed. The cost is around $4,000 and FEMA has loans available to help with some of the cost.