Everything You Need to Know about Underground Tornado Shelters

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Twister Ravaging through Field

Everything You Need to Know about Underground Tornado Shelters

2019 was a hectic year for citizens in Texas. Second, only to Louisiana, Texas experienced more natural disasters than any other state in the country in recent history.

With weather predictions estimated to be even more uncontrollable this year, many citizens are now choosing to have tornado shelters installed on their properties, with underground shelters being a more popular choice.

Yet, due to some mishaps in recent years regarding underground shelters, many homeowners are second-guessing their choice.

To put your worries to rest, US Safe Rooms offers some information on underground tornado shelters.

The Basics of Underground Shelters

Without a doubt, underground tornado shelters are still the safest option when it comes to choosing safe shelter from a storm or tornado.

Almost perfect in design, underground shelters (or safe rooms of any kind) are designed to meet FEMA guidelines and go through the Texas Tech Impact Test before being provided to the public.

But, keep in mind, not all tornado shelters will be created equal.

Some unfortunate stories have come to light involving underground shelters and people getting hurt because of stuck doors or water seeping into the shelter. In these cases, the problem is that most homeowners believe that underground shelters are all alike, whether it’s a new edition or an old, outdated model.

The great thing about underground tornado shelters from US Safe Rooms is that ours meet FEMA guidelines. But, if you’re thinking about investing in a cheap shelter or even a second-hand bunker, be warned that you will be putting your life at risk.

underground safe room

Constructing a Safe Storm Shelter

We have received queries from people worried about water getting into the shelter, which is a definite disadvantage with the underground option.

But the easy solution here is that instead of installing the storm shelter so that its flush with the floor of your garage floor, many homeowners have their shelter raised slightly above the level, whereas others choose to have their shelter door installed in a way that imitates an underground cellar entrance. So, even if there’s water from the storm, the entrance stays well above the floor level.

constructing underground safe rooms

Are You Interested?

US Safe Rooms offer aboveground and underground tornado shelters in Texas.

For further information on installation and other features of underground tornado and storm safe rooms, don’t hesitate to contact us. Call 469-629-6000 today.

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Aboveground Safe Room in the Corner of a Garage

Choosing the Right Size of Tornado Shelter for Your Texas Home

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.

Safe Room Being Delivered to Client

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?

A professional from a company that offers tornado shelter rooms in Texas, like US Safe Rooms, takes all factors into account before providing you with a safe size tornado shelter.

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.

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