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A large steel safe room.

The Advantages of Private Storm Shelters Over Community Shelters in Oklahoma City

There’s no questioning the need for community shelters in Norman and Oklahoma City during a storm, but more and more people in Oklahoma are beginning to see the necessity for adding private storm shelters in residences.

Tornadoes have historically had devastating consequences on communities, educating state and local governments on the benefits and drawbacks of relying only on community shelters. It’s a drastic and exclusive measure, but many communities have banned community shelters completely. Oklahoma City is one of them.

But here’s the thing: a private shelter offers considerably more advantages than community shelters, such as an underground bunker or garage shelter.

Here are a few of the most important things to think about:

The Risk of Overcrowding in Public Shelters

Unfortunately, public shelters typically lack adequate room, which is especially problematic as populations continue to rise. This means that the city will need to prepare by constructing more shelters and venues for people to gather in times of crisis and that existing facilities will be overcrowded.

In 2011, as an EF-5 tornado threatened Edmond, Oklahoma, the district’s schools opened their doors to the public. Over 8000 individuals came up seeking shelter. Although these campuses swiftly reached capacity in their safe rooms, many people continued to arrive with nowhere else to go.

Community shelters should be large enough to accommodate everyone in need of them, but in practice, this is rarely the case. Disabled people, among others, are disadvantaged in this scenario because they may not have the financial resources to secure a private shelter that meets their needs in terms of accessibility and safety.

Attempts To Reach Community Shelters Put People In Danger

When a warning is issued, a large number of people will rush to community shelters, causing a gridlock and potentially dangerous situations for others who live nearby. In the event of a tornado warning, every second counts, making it challenging for residents who live further away to make the journey to designated shelters.

That, along with full shelters and individuals being left to fend for themselves when the tornado strikes, is a tragedy waiting to happen. It also calls for pinpoint accuracy and fast thinking, which are hard to muster in the face of cataclysmic events.

Cars stuck in a traffic jam

One obvious advantage of private storm shelters over public ones is that everyone seeks the nearest and safest place to take cover in the midst of an emergency. The peace of mind that comes from having your own personal storm shelter installed within reach during severe weather is invaluable.

Although community shelters may not seem efficient at first, they should not be written off entirely. They’re crucial because they provide safety for people who don’t have access to private shelters due to financial constraints or a lack of room. Disabled persons, the homeless, those living in mobile homes, and the elderly are just some of the groups who can be negatively impacted if community shelters were to disappear entirely.

Therefore, we offer community shelters constructed to FEMA standards and backed by a 10-year warranty against corrosion and leaks, in addition to residential above-ground storm shelters, underground cement shelters, and garage shelters.

If you have any questions regarding our safe rooms, contact our storm shelter experts in Oklahoma City or Norman today.

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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