Even with Oklahoma’s tornado season winding down for 2013, those who live in tornado alley know the threat remains whenever the sky clouds over. This year was a particularly unusual season with some terrible storms that took lives and ruined others.
The biggest culprit in 2013 was the Moore tornado, officially designated an F5 storm. The Fujita scale rates tornadoes according to the destruction they leave behind. Experts say an Enhanced F5 tornado represents the upper limit of tornado power. Its destruction is almost always total.
They say an F5 will pull well-built homes “off their foundations and into the air before shredding them, flinging the wreckage for miles and sweeping the foundation clean.” Most materials are reduced to a coarse mix of small or granular particles spread evenly over the damage path. Heavy farm equipment weighing many tons are mangled beyond recognition and deposited miles away. Skyscrapers are twisted, whole communities leveled, and asphalt can be stripped from roadbeds.
When the Moore tornado touched down on May 20, 2013, to begin its 39-minute, 17-mile long rampage, its winds exceeded 210 miles per hour, killing 24 people and injuring 377 others.
When the storm passed and people emerged into the light to see what was left of their lives, those in Moore found nothing left standing except the swept remains of losses that will mount into the billions.
At one location, however, a home owner discovered an encouraging ray of hope, a monumental vestige of courage upon which to rebuild and restart life. It was a well-built Liberty safe, bolted to its foundation as instructed, standing like an immovable sentinel on a cement slab with the blasted remains, bricks and debris littered about to prove that a house once stood there.
Fortunately for this family, there, behind that locked Liberty door, securely held safe and harmless, were the most precious remains of their earthly belongings—all else was otherwise obliterated into tons of waste. Everything that mattered the most to them, next to family and pets, was safe and sound inside that Liberty safe.
These photos show the devastation created by an F5 tornado. When residents were finally allowed to return to their homes, no one else could have been more surprised than Bud Wilkinson. He saw from a distance a singular dark object standing amidst the rubble of his former home. What could it be? When he got closer, he saw it was a Liberty safe stoically holding its ground.
For Bud, the idea of preparation was hammered home in a very real way. After all, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark, and it wasn’t blowing when Liberty shipped a safe to a beautiful family home nestled in Moore, Oklahoma.
Liberty Safe, the best-built safes on the planet.