Ocala FL campground with tornado shelters? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-13-2016, 10:34 PM   #1
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Ocala FL campground with tornado shelters?

Hello, I may move to Ocala FL, and would like to live in my FGRV full-time in a campground. I would probably use St Brenans Isle as my legal address. I am, however, afraid of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. I didn't like them before I moved in to a tiny trailer, and I really don't like them now.

Is there a campground/park where I could stay full-time near Ocala FL, that has tornado shelters? If crappy weather approached, I would have to have a safe place I could go 24/7.
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Old 07-14-2016, 05:36 AM   #2
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Most campgrounds use the block-wall bathroom structure as a storm shelter. Few in Florida would have any underground shelters. I think you would find the block bathrooms to be quite adequate.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:26 AM   #3
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Hey William,
Since you're still full timing I think your pursuit of warmer climes is a good idea. I followed your adventures this past winter while spending time in the Florida Panhandle. I was in the Pensacola area when it was hit by a Tornado in late Feburary. In speaking to several residents they felt that for the Panhandle that was a pretty rare event. I live in CT. and we have had deadly Tornados in our state, so it's possible pretty much everywhere. As long as you have a plan and take precautions I think that's all you can do. I loved the Panhandle and everything it had to offer. Best of luck. Peace.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:38 AM   #4
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Hi wwig, it seems I have to choose either NJ winters or FL tornados, lol. A few weeks ago, they had tornado watches here in NJ, so I just stayed at work until they expired. I might be able to do the same in FL.

I'm not sure how much I would trust brick bathrooms in a campground. I would also be surprised if everyone in the campground fit in to one room. Maybe I can find a nearby mall that is open 24/7, that has storm shelters. Or maybe drive over to the closest fire-station and see if they would let me hangout if I bought them a few large pizzas.

If I can't find a good tornado solution, I would get a ground-level apartment and not live in the Casita.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:38 AM   #5
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Whoot, I have been in Florida 53 years and have never experienced a tornado. They are pretty rare here. Hurricanes in any specific area aren't all that common either. Since you are thinking of Ocala you are pretty far north. On the off chance a hurricane is heading for Ocala you will have days notice and are far enough north you can scoot out of the state before the southerners block the highways. No worries.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:51 PM   #6
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The west coast of Florida is the second most active tornado zone in the US, following Tornado Alley. That being said, Florida tornadoes are rarely severe and are short lived. Many are waterspouts that do not come ashore or fall apart soon after making landfall. Typically, the damage may be a few fallen limbs or a carport torn off of a home. But when hurricanes hit Florida, some of the resulting damage can be attributed to tornadoes spawned by the hurricane. I have lived in Florida for 30 years and tornadoes cause me very little concern.


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Old 07-14-2016, 03:34 PM   #7
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Hey William,
When the tornado hit Pensacola I was camping at Ft Pickins COE campground. The campground was evacuated due to the threat of severe weather. I sat out the storm in a Walmart parking lot thinking I would take shelter there if things got really bad, figured it was better than the Casita. We had about 4 hours of severe thunderstorms and strong winds. Called my wife in Ct. and told her I've never seen such surf in a parking lot before, about 8 inches of wind blown water. Rode out the storm in the Casita no worse for wear, then headed back to Ft Pickins. You were a real trooper last winter so I'm sure you can handle whatever comes your way. Peace
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Old 07-16-2016, 11:22 PM   #8
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I guess I will wait until I am sure I am going down to Ocala before I fret about tornadoes in Ocala. Maybe I could find a place, like a gym, that is open 24/7, where I could go if there was bad weather.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:25 AM   #9
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Seriously, fretting over a tornado in Ocala is like worrying that NY will annex NJ. While the tornado is a bit more possible, neither is very likely.


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Old 07-17-2016, 04:53 AM   #10
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Seriously, fretting over a tornado in Ocala is like worrying that NY will annex NJ. While the tornado is a bit more possible, neither is very likely.


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Ocala averages 2 tornadoes each year. This one was "just outside Ocala":

Cleanup continues day after tornado hits Marion County | Weather - WESH Home

"At least 60 Marion County homes were damaged, 10 of which are now unlivable, fire officials said."
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:12 PM   #11
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Ocala averages 2 tornadoes each year. This one was "just outside Ocala":

Cleanup continues day after tornado hits Marion County | Weather - WESH Home

"At least 60 Marion County homes were damaged, 10 of which are now unlivable, fire officials said."

And where I live the average number is 3, and in both places the average number of deaths is 0. And in the 30 years I have lived in Florida the number of life threatening tornadoes is minuscule. But if anyone wants to spend time in Ocala and panic about something that truthfully is of less concern than getting bitten by a rattlesnake, a brown recluse spider, or getting mugged on the street, by all means they can worry themselves sick. Frankly, there is probably a 99% + greater chance of being injured in an auto accident in or near Ocala or having a tree limb fall on your head than to be injured by a tornado. But I would agree that someone would be more likely to be injured by a tornado than by slipping and falling on ice.


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Old 07-17-2016, 08:37 PM   #12
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. But I would agree that someone would be more likely to be injured by a tornado than by slipping and falling on ice.
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Depends on where you live. We have ice about 6 months out of the year so I worry more about falling on the ice than about tornados which I don't worry about at all.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:42 PM   #13
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And where I live the average number is 3, and in both places the average number of deaths is 0. And in the 30 years I have lived in Florida the number of life threatening tornadoes is minuscule. But if anyone wants to spend time in Ocala and panic about something that truthfully is of less concern than getting bitten by a rattlesnake, a brown recluse spider, or getting mugged on the street, by all means they can worry themselves sick. Frankly, there is probably a 99% + greater chance of being injured in an auto accident in or near Ocala or having a tree limb fall on your head than to be injured by a tornado. But I would agree that someone would be more likely to be injured by a tornado than by slipping and falling on ice.


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I believe in being prepared. I was prepared for muggers when I lived in Detroit, and I was prepared for rattlesnakes when I lived in Georgia's "rattlesnake country". If I live in Florida, I will be prepared for hurricanes and tornadoes. Nothing you, or anyone else, says is going to shame me into not being prepared. I'll drag around an 11,000 lb cement above-ground tornado shelter, from campground to campground, if I have to.
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:42 PM   #14
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I believe in being prepared. I was prepared for muggers when I lived in Detroit, and I was prepared for rattlesnakes when I lived in Georgia's "rattlesnake country". If I live in Florida, I will be prepared for hurricanes and tornadoes. Nothing you, or anyone else, says is going to shame me into not being prepared. I'll drag around an 11,000 lb cement above-ground tornado shelter, from campground to campground, if I have to.

I am in no way attempting to shame anyone into not being prepared, anymore than I would suggest that your response implies that I am irresponsibly unprepared.

I am merely stating as a long term resident of Florida with much experience with the weather one can expect when living here that worrying about something as remotely likely as a killer tornado should be of little concern. If you wish to drag around a concrete storm shelter be my guest. Most Florida campgrounds have concrete block bathrooms that would handle 99% of the typical F1 tornadoes that occur here.
I might also suggest pontoons on your trailer in the event sea level rise occurs faster than expected; after all much of Florida is not elevated much above sea level and then there is also a possibility of a super tsunami hitting the east coast; it could wash over the state. You might want to install a bed with an ejection jet pack in case one of Florida's numerous and frequently occurring sink holes develops under your campsite. One man's body was never recovered when a sinkhole opened up under his bedroom a couple of years ago. Also, killer bees have established themselves in Florida so a supply of epinephrine injectors might be in order. It might be prudent to stay inland as any outbreak of red tide could cause exposure to dangerous toxins. Definitely avoid wearing a hoodie in public as that can get you shot by some "cop wannabe." All that being said, hurricanes are probably the biggest threat in Florida, and many more people drown as a result of storm surge than are killed or injured by high winds. If there is any positive aspect of hurricanes, the National Hurricane Center provides several days warning and there is more than ample time to get out of the way.


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Old 07-18-2016, 04:29 PM   #15
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I am in no way attempting to shame anyone into not being prepared, anymore than I would suggest that your response implies that I am irresponsibly unprepared.

I am merely stating as a long term resident of Florida with much experience with the weather one can expect when living here that worrying about something as remotely likely as a killer tornado should be of little concern. If you wish to drag around a concrete storm shelter be my guest. Most Florida campgrounds have concrete block bathrooms that would handle 99% of the typical F1 tornadoes that occur here.
I might also suggest pontoons on your trailer in the event sea level rise occurs faster than expected; after all much of Florida is not elevated much above sea level and then there is also a possibility of a super tsunami hitting the east coast; it could wash over the state. You might want to install a bed with an ejection jet pack in case one of Florida's numerous and frequently occurring sink holes develops under your campsite. One man's body was never recovered when a sinkhole opened up under his bedroom a couple of years ago. Also, killer bees have established themselves in Florida so a supply of epinephrine injectors might be in order. It might be prudent to stay inland as any outbreak of red tide could cause exposure to dangerous toxins. Definitely avoid wearing a hoodie in public as that can get you shot by some "cop wannabe." All that being said, hurricanes are probably the biggest threat in Florida, and many more people drown as a result of storm surge than are killed or injured by high winds. If there is any positive aspect of hurricanes, the National Hurricane Center provides several days warning and there is more than ample time to get out of the way.


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After reading your post , I believe the only safe and logical thing to do is steer clear of Florida. Any place with that many known hazards is not safe for man or beast . I for one appreciate your
unbiased warning and will follow your advice.

Plus I do not own a portable concrete storm shelter and don't intend to buy one .
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:19 PM   #16
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After reading your post , I believe the only safe and logical thing to do is steer clear of Florida. Any place with that many known hazards is not safe for man or beast . I for one appreciate your

unbiased warning and will follow your advice.



Plus I do not own a portable concrete storm shelter and don't intend to buy one .

Yep. And I forgot to mention a freak snowstorm that could hit Florida and bring the roof of a Walmart down, crushing shoppers to death. Sort of like the unexpected Category 1 hurricane (weakest hurricane) that is referred to as "Super Storm Sandy." We should all dig a hole, crawl in, and not go anywhere out of fear that we might encounter a potential danger, e.g., an ISIS inspired terrorist (could wear body armor all the time) or an asteroid could wipe out all of humanity. Or a train full of toxic chemicals could derail. Wow, so much to worry about. Don't know how I survived all this time; nobody is safe anywhere.


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Old 07-18-2016, 06:20 PM   #17
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Yep. And I forgot to mention a freak snowstorm that could hit Florida and bring the roof of a Walmart down, crushing shoppers to death. Sort of like the unexpected Category 1 hurricane (weakest hurricane) that is referred to as "Super Storm Sandy." We should all dig a hole, crawl in, and not go anywhere out of fear that we might encounter a potential danger, e.g., an ISIS inspired terrorist (could wear body armor all the time) or an asteroid could wipe out all of humanity. Or a train full of toxic chemicals could derail. Wow, so much to worry about. Don't know how I survived all this time; nobody is safe anywhere.


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Isn't Florida the leader in mosquito's carrying the Zika virus ?
Taking reasonoable precautions based on known hazards makes logical sense but there are times that things get beyond our control.
We can either control our fears or let our fears control us.
We've had several tornados in our area in the last ten years .
One wiped out most of our small town and most of the homes just North of us. . Just like in the 1950"s , when I didn't build a fallout shelter , I have no intentions of building a concrete storm shelter.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:39 PM   #18
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Isn't Florida the leader in mosquito's carrying the Zika virus ?
Taking reasonoable precautions based on known hazards makes logical sense but there are times that things get beyond our control.
We can either control our fears or let our fears control us.
We've had several tornados in or area in the last ten years .
One wiped out most of our small town and most of the homes just North of us. . Just like in the 1950"s , when I didn't build a fallout shelter , I have no intentions of building a concrete storm shelter.

Steve, you and I are in complete agreement here. In 1969 I went in the army and was told I would be going to Fort Polk, LA, for basic training and AIT. Having lived in New England my entire life, I panicked. I mean, Louisiana is venomous snake country. Fear built up in my mind to a point that I was so worried I would likely get bitten I dreaded going. Of course, my fear turned out to be ridiculous if not a silly overreaction to a situation that I had blown way out of proportion. Yes, a tornado can strike anywhere. I might be concerned about them if I lived in Tornado Alley where F4 and F5 twisters are common. In Florida, every county has storm shelters for hurricanes, but not tornadoes.
Having lived and worked here for 30 years, I, like the overwhelming majority of residents see no reason/need to build a hurricane shelter, and I can honestly say I do not know a single Floridian who considers tornadoes to be a credible threat that they would even consider building a tornado shelter.


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Old 02-24-2020, 07:12 PM   #19
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I may be looking for an RV park between Savannah and Jacksonville that has a tornado shelter. I know most RV parks use their "clubhouse" our outhouse as the tornado shelter, but I would rather there be a defacto tornado shelter. Preferably one that says "Tornado Shelter". I realize they probably don't exist outside OK, but I thought I would ask if anyone has seen one in GA/FL, ideally near the state line. If not, anywhere else in GA or FL.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:32 PM   #20
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Ive never seen one at any campground. I always figured that if I needed to seek shelter, I would be making some new friends in a hopefully dry bathhouse shower.
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