A Shield Against Twisters

Prayer is about all that's left when a tornado zeroes in, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod.

However, researchers at Texas Tech University have some new ideas about a last resort. The new approach involves encasing one room per house in walls filled with steel-reinforced concrete. The result is a dedicated "safe-room" where flying debris can't touch a soul.

In Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where a tornado killed 6 last year, Wayne and Mae Buck just spent several thousand dollars building a safe room into their day care center.

"You can justify the costs by the smiles on the faces of the kids," said Buck.

However, not everybody has that kind of money. This year, tornadoes across the country have claimed 124 lives - the most in 25 years -- across the country. More than half of the victims lived in mobile homes.

The people of Spencer, South Dakota would add a further caution. When a tornado wiped out Spencer in May, a power outage silenced their warning siren. Safe rooms will only be effective if their owners are given enough time to get to them.

Reported by Jim Axelrod
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