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A storm shelter in Oklahoma outside

Understanding the Safety Standards of Tornado Shelters: What You Need to Know

In regions prone to tornadoes, having a reliable tornado shelter is paramount for safeguarding lives during severe weather events. Understanding the safety standards that govern tornado shelters is crucial to ensure that the chosen shelter provides the highest level of protection.

This comprehensive guide delves into the key aspects of tornado shelter safety standards, empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their family’s safety.

FEMA Certification

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a vital resource when it comes to tornado shelter safety standards. FEMA has established rigorous guidelines that tornado shelters must meet to ensure their effectiveness in protecting against tornadoes. Look for shelters that have received FEMA certification, as this indicates that the shelter has undergone testing and meets the highest standards for safety and durability.

Design and Construction

The design and construction of a tornado shelter play a pivotal role in its ability to withstand the impact of tornado-force winds and debris. FEMA-approved shelters are engineered to resist wind forces, flying debris, and even potential structural damage. When assessing tornado shelters, pay attention to features such as reinforced walls, anchored foundations, and secure entry systems, all of which contribute to the shelter’s overall safety.

Wind Resistance and Impact Testing

Tornado shelters must undergo rigorous testing to simulate the extreme conditions they may face during a tornado. Wind resistance and impact testing are critical components of these evaluations. Look for shelters that have been tested against high wind speeds and flying debris, ensuring that they can withstand the forces unleashed by a tornado without compromising the safety of those inside.

Occupancy Duration

An underground safe room with the lid open

Consider the intended duration of occupancy when selecting a tornado shelter. FEMA guidelines recommend that a tornado shelter should provide sufficient protection for at least two hours. This ensures that occupants remain safe even during prolonged tornado events or when emergency response times are delayed.

Size and Capacity

The size and capacity of a tornado shelter are essential factors to consider, especially for families with multiple members or individuals with specific needs. FEMA recommends a minimum of 5 square feet per person to ensure adequate space. Additionally, shelters should be able to accommodate occupants comfortably and allow for easy movement during an emergency.

Accessibility and Location

The accessibility and location of a tornado shelter are critical considerations. The shelter should be easily accessible to all members of the household, including those with mobility challenges. Ideally, the shelter should be located in a secure and easily reachable area, minimizing the time it takes to seek refuge during a tornado warning.

Safeguard Your Home with the Right Shelter! Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!

At Oklahoma Shelters, we understand the unpredictable nature of tornadoes in the Midwestern and Southern regions. Ensure the safety of your family and property with our reliable storm shelters and safe rooms. Our shelters meet the highest industry standards, proven through rigorous testing.

Call us or email our representatives to speak with our highly trained sales associates.

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