tornado shelter

A Homeowner’s Guide to FEMA Guidelines for Tornado Shelters

While following a tornado drill plan and squirreling away essentials might help if you already have a hideaway at home in case a tornado hits, these steps can’t save you if your safe zone is still susceptible to tornado damage. This is why tornado shelters are so crucial for homeowners in tornado-prone areas.

However, not all tornado shelters are the same.

Unfortunately, even with something as essential as a tornado shelter, there are many unscrupulous characters out there who don’t sell tornado shelters that meet FEMA guidelines. And that can make a big difference for your safety, a potentially life-damaging one.

Here’s what you need to know about FEMA rules and additional guidelines.

–         FEMA Safe Room Design Requirements

To be regarded as a “FEMA safe room,” all designs for the tornado shelter construction have to follow guidelines as specified in the FEMA P-361. The design has to follow all applicable state, federal, and local codes. If a layperson is designing the shelter, they have to also consult with a design professional to make sure their design meets and exceeds the guidelines, as stated in the FEMA P-361.

–         Info on FEMA Funding

For any safe room project that requires financial assistance, the person has to contact their State Hazard Mitigation Officer, who will determine whether the person can be considered for funding and whether the applicant’s design qualifies per the state, federal, and local design requirements.

–         FEMA Approval

Because of federal regulations, there are no products, firms, or individuals who have FEMA approval, endorsement, or certification, or recommendation. However, design professionals who are registered can design safe rooms, under the condition that their design meets and exceeds the current FEMA guidelines.

delivering storm safe room

–         Additional Guidelines on Safe Rooms

Besides following FEMA guidelines, safe room designs also have to follow all underlying building codes. Alongside, safe room construction must also comply with code requirements. The safe room design must also satisfy the standards set by the International Code Council in collaboration with the National Storm Shelter Association.

Titled “Standard for Design and Construction of Storm Shelters,” and also known as ICC 500, the safe room design has to satisfy all the changes and requirements as per the latest edition.

Installing a Safe Room

Considering the above rules, it’s vital that residents and commercial clients seeking safe rooms choose a company that satisfies all demands, like US Safe Rooms.

Catering to clients in Denison, Dallas, and other regions of Texas, our safe rooms are designed according to FEMA guidelines. So you can rest assured, knowing that you’ve made the right choice. Contact us today at 469-629-6000 and talk to us about our aboveground shelters and safe rooms in Texas.

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