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A large size concrete safe room in Oklahoma

Above Ground Tornado Shelters: Are They Safe?

The state of Oklahoma averages about 57 tornadoes annually. These tornadoes are some of the toughest in the entire country that often wreak havoc across the state. There have been 4,484 tornadoes in the state since 1950, causing 348 deaths. This severity is the reason why the government of Oklahoma has deemed it essential to build storm safe shelters in some tornado hotspots across the state.

This is where homeowners must choose the kind of storm shelter they need for their household. There are two main types of storm shelters: Above ground storm shelters and underground storm shelters. The choice for either of the two depends on your preference. However, it’s important to analyze both before making a decision.

Underground  Storm Shelters

Underground shelters are concrete or steel bunkers placed below the earth’s surface, allowing the ground to serve as protection during a tornado. These storm safe rooms come with an air circulation plant to ensure refuge for extended periods.

Above-Ground Storm Shelters

These are the kind of storm shelters placed on top of the ground surface and serve as protective cabins during a tornado.

One of the general concerns about an above-ground storm shelter is that it may lose its grip due to high wind pressure during a tornado and may get sucked up into the vacuum.

However, this is false. Above-ground storm shelters have extremely rigid bodies that are impossible to take apart from their base. Furthermore, the accumulated weight of the people inside the shelter adds to the overall weight of the room.

A large size concrete safe room in Oklahoma

Benefits of Above-Ground Shelters

Plenty of Room

One of the best things about an above-ground shelter is that it has abundant space. This means that you can fit as many people as you want along with your personal belongings, water containers, and essential equipment to survive the tornado.

Easy Installation

The installation of above-ground storm shelters is fairly easier than their underground counterparts. Installing them doesn’t require extra tasks like excavation and underground cleaning before installation. It also saves you the hassle of having a huge hole dug outside your house.


Considering the costs of excavation, cleaning, and installation—underground bunkers may be costlier than above-ground shelters. This is a significant advantage that may be the deciding factor for many homeowners.

Doesn’t Flood

There are numerous designs for above-ground shelters that prevent them from flooding or taking in debris. One of the most effective is a slope-top concrete storm shelter that allows the rainwater to slide off and away from its body.

Easy Relocation

You don’t want to spend a fortune buying a safe shelter and installing it in the ground, only to abandon it when you decide to move.

Luckily, with above-ground shelters, you don’t have to. These shelters are mobile and can be moved with ease if you decide to relocate.

A family posing with Oklahoma shelter crew

If you’re ready to invest in an above-ground storm shelter, consider us at Oklahoma Shelters.

We’re a certified storm shelter and storm safe room provider in the state of Oklahoma. Whether you want to buy cement shelters,  underground bunkers, or garage shelters, buy one of our products with a 10-year warranty.

Want to learn more? Contact our team today for a consultation and a quote.

Storm Shelters

Underground Slope Top Shelter

Concrete Shelter

Underground Garage Shelter

Garage Shelter

Installing Steel Safe Room

Steel Safe Room

Underground Bunker

Underground Bunker


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I loved it, the install was quick and easy. I liked this company so much that they put one in for my parents.

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