There is no doubt that tornadoes are one of the most destructive natural disasters. They can strike with little warning, and the damage they can cause is devastating. As a result, it's essential for families to have a safe place to go in the event of a tornado.
Choosing the right tornado shelter for your family can be overwhelming, but with the right information, you can find the right tornado shelter for your family.
First, let's break down two different types of tornado shelters:
1. Underground Tornado Shelters
These shelters are located underground and can be accessed via a stairway or a trap door. They protect against high winds and flying debris by design, since they are underground. They might be accessed in an area of your yard, or they can be created to be accessed through a garage.
However, they can be expensive to install due to the need to excavate and dig a hole if no existing underground space is available. And, they may not be an option for those with mobility issues, since they will require stairs or a ladder.
There are some claims that underground shelters are safer, but above-ground shelters can be just as safe as underground shelters if they meet the standards set by the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) or other recognized organizations. These standards ensure that above-ground tornado shelters are built to withstand the high winds and debris of a tornado, and that they have proper ventilation, lighting and other safety features.
2. Above-ground Tornado Shelters
These tornado shelters are located above ground, either in a room of your home or in a separate structure. The strongest above-ground tornado shelters are made of steel and are anchored to the ground to withstand high winds. It's important to do research and choose a shelter that is certified by a recognized organization.
Additionally, above-ground shelters are often less expensive, easier to install, and more accessible than underground shelters, since they don't require stairs or a ladder.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tornado Shelter for Your Family
When choosing a tornado shelter for your family, there are a few important factors to consider:
1. Location of the Tornado Shelter
Consider where the shelter will be located and how easy it will be to access in an emergency. Will everyone in your family be able to reach the shelter quickly and safely?
2. Tornado Shelter Size
Make sure the shelter is large enough to accommodate everyone in your family, as well as any pets. The National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) recommends a minimum of 3.5 square feet of floor space per person in a residential tornado shelter. It's also important to take into consideration the space required by pets, wheelchairs, or other mobility equipment.
3. Level of Tornado Protection
Consider the level of protection the shelter provides from high winds and flying debris. All tornado shelters from Survive-A-Storm Shelters are certified by the NSSA and tested through the Texas Tech Wind Institute to ensure the best protection from even category EF5 tornadoes.
4. Cost of a Tornado Shelter
Consider the cost of the shelter and whether it fits within your budget. Tornado shelters can be expensive, so you'll want to make sure you can afford the initial cost and find out if any maintenance will be required over time. Some companies will offer financing options for tornado shelters, and there may also be grants available in your area.
Where Will Your Family Go When a Tornado Touches Down?
As you can see, having a safe place to go in the event of a tornado is essential for families. Choosing the right tornado shelter can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be.
When you consider the important factors, you can make an informed decision that will keep you and your loved ones safe. The recommendations made in this blog post are just a starting point. It's important to do your own research and choose the shelter that best fits your needs and budget.
To take the next step, you can reach out to Survive-A-Storm Shelters and one of our experts will assist you in determining your next move.