• -
Safe room attached to the side of the house

The Difference between a Safe Room and a Storm Shelter

Compared to other natural disasters, tornados are typically affect smaller geographical areas. However, they occur more often than earthquakes and hurricanes and cause more loss of life.

Records from 1950 to 2019 show that tornadoes caused 5,900 deaths in the United States. More and more people are opting for safe rooms and storm shelters as their due diligence of doomsday prep.

Safe rooms and storm shelters both are parts of building where occupants can take shelter. They are considered separate from the rest of the property even if they’re inside the property.

While both are quite similar, there are a few significant features that make them stand apart.

Let’s explore the differences between a safe room and storm shelter, so you know which is the right option for you.

Official Building Criteria

Whether it is a prefabricated or site-built project, the technical design of the project favors the prescribed safety guidelines by FEMA.

Safe rooms are in no way built to be a temporary structure, but for temporary use; hours or days, and not weeks. Sure, you can ride out the storm in a safe room, but living in there might not be the most comfortable experience.

Safe room attached to the side of the house


It’s just a room to give you refuge from the raging storm tornedo, or a bear attack.

On the other hand, storm shelters have more legroom for the occupant to get comfortable.


Safe rooms are also usually built in a room in the house or adjoined to it. They are usually built underground or on the first floor.

And storm shelters are usually built underground or at a different site like the backyard, garage, or barn.


It depends on the built itself, but generally safe rooms and storm shelters have different features.

Most safe rooms lack all the features that you could need in case you must stay in there for a while.  You would be fine with a few things for a day or two. But you still need a ventilation system, heating and a light source for your survival.

Storm shelter offer power facilities through generators, batteries, or alternative fuel.

Recommended that it is built with an AC, running water, a fridge, and freezer to store food.

Shelter with flattop behind the house

Storm shelters also come as pre- built shelters that can be attached to the house. These are anchored in to the foundation of the house.

Either way, both safe rooms and storm shelters are built to withstand tornadoes and hurricanes.

With all that in mind are you considering getting either a storm safe room or concrete tornado shelter?

Leave it to us. With over 200+ builds we’ve had the experience to make each build according to the customer’s needs.

So call us now if you’re in or around Norman or Oklahoma City and ensure your family’s safety with our shelter rooms.

Storm Shelters

Underground Slope Top Shelter

Concrete Shelter

Underground Garage Shelter

Garage Shelter

Installing Steel Safe Room

Steel Safe Room

Underground Bunker

Underground Bunker


Customer Reviews

400+ 5 Star Google Customer Reviews

Google Review

Powered by Google

James Benton
Our friends recommend them and they did an excellent job

Roberto Peralta
The best company I've ever dealt with, you will not regret it.

Rohan Papaly
A truly fantastic company!

Laura Jane Lamb Atchley
It is rare to find a business as professional, service oriented, and motivated to do quality work as Oklahoma Shelters! 

Lauren Anderson
They were great and I highly recommend.

Michele Walton
We were very pleased with our new storm shelter. 

See More Reviews