The right size for your tornado shelter ultimately depends on the number of people who’d use it.
FEMA recommends that every person have at least three feet of floor space in the tornado shelter. Multiply that by the number of people you have, and you get your total square footage for the required tornado shelter.
But, with so many people taking up space, what about the bare necessities? Food, water, radio, flashlights, emergency kits, space for sitting, food and water for pets, and additional space—with so much to bring on board, how do you decide on the right size for a tornado shelter?
Here are some details to help you decide.
Deciding on the Size for Your Tornado Shelter
Typically, the safe room designer has the authority to decide how big your safe room should be.
Before even estimating how much space needs to be leftover, the designer determines a base number by calculating the expected occupancy of every person seated or standing in the tornado shelter, as well as their basic needs.
So, taking an example of a hospital that wants to build a tornado shelter for the building occupants.
According to the guidelines for the minimum usable floor area, a person who uses a wheelchair would require 10 square feet of space in a shelter, whereas a bedridden patient would require 30 feet. According to the number of occupants in the hospital at any given point in time, and the total staff, the designer should be able to come up with a feasible, safe room that would comfortably keep all occupants safe.
Taking this rule and applying it to the design for a residential safe room, the designer would use the same tactics to determine whether every person of the house requires more space than what’s regular. Let’s not forget; there are many people who may have a problem staying in confined spaces. To provide them with enough breathing space, your designer would have to add even more space to make the room comfortable.
Besides, if any older adults in the family use wheelchairs or oxygen tanks, they would require extra space as well. Children, pets—every person would need enough space so they can stand or sit comfortably. Once that is decided, only then would your designer be able to add some more space in your tornado bunker for storing necessities.
So, How Do You Decide?
Get in touch with us and get the process started of sizing up your safe room?
Contact US Safe Rooms and let us know your requirements. With us by your side, you’ll benefit from a comfortable, reliable, securely built safe room that’ll keep you safe from almost all sorts of weather damage.