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Tornado Shield helps protect against storm-flung debris

The Tornado Shield in its rolled-up portable state, ready for action
The Tornado Shield in its rolled-up portable state, ready for action
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The Tornado Shield in its rolled-up portable state, ready for action
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The Tornado Shield in its rolled-up portable state, ready for action
Each Tornado Shield is large enough to hold two adults and a child
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Each Tornado Shield is large enough to hold two adults and a child
Steve Anderson gets into the Tornado Shield
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Steve Anderson gets into the Tornado Shield
The Tornado Shield, with an occupant inside
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The Tornado Shield, with an occupant inside
This metal projectile pierced a 2 x 6 piece of wood when shot from an air cannon ...
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This metal projectile pierced a 2 x 6 piece of wood when shot from an air cannon ...
... but was stopped by the Tornado Shield material
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... but was stopped by the Tornado Shield material

When a tornado's heading your way, the best thing you can do is to go your basement or better yet, to a purpose-built storm shelter. The problem is, not everyone has access to either. With that in mind, Missouri-based entrepreneur Steve Anderson created the Tuuli Armor Tornado Shield. Essentially, it's a big bag that you get inside of.

After zipping yourself into the Tornado Shield, you then lie down on the floor in the safest place you can find (such as a bathtub). While it won't keep you from being crushed, its ballistic nylon construction is intended to protect against lacerations caused by flying bits of debris – such injuries are the most common type suffered by tornado victims.

Steve has tested the material against various glass, metal and wooden objects, of the type that might be whizzing through the air in a building being demolished by a tornado. Using an air cannon, he fired these items at the material, at speeds ranging from 200 to 260 mph (322 to 418 km/h). It reportedly stood up well to all of them, including a rebar-like steel rod that didn't penetrate the nylon at all, but that did go through unprotected wood.

The Tornado Shield, with an occupant inside
The Tornado Shield, with an occupant inside

Once the shield is zipped up, it has no openings that could catch the wind and cause it to become airborne.

Each Tornado Shield is large enough to hold two adults and a child, so not every family member would necessarily need their own – the combined peoples' weight in the one unit should also help keep it anchored on the ground.

Anderson is currently raising production funds, on Indiegogo. A pledge of US$320 will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. More information is available in the pitch video below.

Source: Indiegogo

TUULI ARMOR Tornado Shield - tuuliarmor.com

18 comments
Daniel Bruce
But can you breath in the bag? I don't see any air holes. What about it being lifted by the tornado?
Derek Howe
Daniel - It's not air tight, so you can breath just fine. If the twister lifts ya up and slams you into a bridge, your remains are much easier for the clean up crew to dispose of. win/win :)
ash
yes derek, it's like a big orange body bag, which makes it easier to spot under debris
Kari Latvala
By the way "Tuuli" is the finnish word for wind :)
Cyberxbx
Kari, you beat me to it! This is pretty cool but realistically, unless all homes were required by law to have them in tornado alley (which will never happen unless they have some government connection) that vast majority of people who could use one of these wont have them. For example.... how many folks do you know that have an ABC rated fire extinguisher in their homes? Or a second story escape ladder. Or even a weeks worth of food ration in the event you loose power or there is some major catastrophe. I even know of more than one diabetic that doesnt keep more than a weeks supply of insulin around. So despite Anderson's best efforts, the people who really need this wont bother.
James Ng
This is silly and is somewhat naïve. Tornado wind picks up a house and toss it 500 feet from the base. The only protection shield is an underground basement. Even a cast iron bathtub would protect a person 10 time better than this shield. BTW they should put name tag on this shield so it can serve as a body bag.
f8lee
Hmmm - I'm reminded of a product I recall being sold 20+ years ago - when the soft body armor made of kevlar was all the rage - that was a kevlar baseball cap. I thought "sure, the kevlar might not let a bullet penetrate but unless there's a metal backplate the inertia of the projectile itself would essentially pierce the skull and the cap would get sucked in behind the bullet!" So here I'm struck by the notion that even if a piece of 2x4 or rebar traveling at high speed doesn't penetrate the fabric, won't it break bones and likely kill the occupant anyway? Which I guess reinforces the notion of this becoming a handy pre-filled body bag for emergency crews who come in after the storm.
Bob Flint
Don't be so quick to underestimate the flying debris, granted heavier objects will crush you, and high speed projectiles will bruise you, but it should be simple to anchor the bag to the basement floor. (Maybe under a steel cage imbedded into sunken area). I think the idea has great merit, and at least offers protection from the maelstrom of shards of glass alone that would slice you to pieces.
Stephen N Russell
Mass produce, need some intake for air. Radical idea Make watertight, ideal for hurricane areas too.
Silverspike
I think this bag is a beautiful idea I think it's brilliant I think it's well worth $400 having been through this type of situation you're talking about I can tell you I wish I had that we are cut to shreds. We were injured very much because we had no protection against the flying debris and I'll tell you as soon as this goes on the market I will be buying one!