Spring is quickly approaching in Oklahoma. This means warmer weather and more daylight, but it also means storm season. This is a scary time of the year for a lot of Oklahomans and is also a really popular time when many people begin to start to formulate a weather safety plan for their family. For a lot of people, that means purchasing a storm shelter. We thought now would be a great time to try to enlighten people on things they need to know and questions they need to ask before pulling the trigger on a purchase.
Is it more safe to be underground??
Most people tend to prefer to be underground if they ever have to seek shelter from a tornado. Don’t get me wrong, being underground is extremely safe, but above ground safe rooms are statistically just as safe and are very easy to use. The Texas Tech Wind Institute in Lubbock Texas did a major investigation of all the above ground safe rooms in the direct path of the 2013 Moore tornado. They were able to determine that there were 13 registered safe rooms in the direct path of this devastating EF-5 tornado. All of the safe rooms made it through the storm unscathed and nobody inside of these shelters were injured or killed. In fact, nobody has been killed in an above ground safe room that meets or exceeds FEMA guidelines and has received a passing grade during testing at Tech’s Wind Institute. In both of our F5 showrooms in OKC and Tulsa, we have safe rooms installed just in case we get severe weather during working hours. This should tell you how much we believe in the technology.
Is an underground storm shelter in my garage more or less safe then an outdoor underground storm cellar?
Texas Tech researches say both underground garage storm shelters and above ground safe rooms installed inside your house are just as safe as any outdoor cellar. Even though they are believed to be just as safe, we tend to advise people more toward the shelters installed in the house. The reason for this is that although all three types of shelters are just as safe, that safety is achieved once you are inside the actual storm shelter. The number one cause of death during severe weather is impact from flying debri. If you have an outdoor cellar in your backyard, you have to physically leave the house and seek shelter outdoors. This leaves you extremely vulnerable to debri and the tornado it self. Storm shelters installed in the garage or inside the house offer you protection while you are seeking shelter. All our great options, but this is just what we would recommend.
Make sure the storm shelter you purchase meets FEMA guidelines and has been impact tested at Texas Tech’s Wind Institute
This seems pretty basic but since the 2013 Moore Tornado, there have been tons of storm shelter companies pop up. Many of these businesses were thrown together quickly to try and benefit from the growing storm shelter demand. Be careful when choosing a company to do business with. All storm shelters should be built and designed according to FEMA 320, FEMA 321, and ICC-500. All companies should supply you with blueprints for the shelter you wish to purchase and these blueprints needs to have an engineered seal of approval.
It is also extremely important that the storm shelter company you choose has been certified by the Texas Tech Wind Institute in Lubbock. A certified shelter is tested to make sure it meets the standards to survive a direct hit from a tornado. All impact tests are consistent with the Debris Impact Requirement of ICC-500. Above ground safe rooms leave you in dangerous territory being as that you are above ground and exposed to flying debri. You have to have a shelter that you know will hold up. Certification from Tech guarantees your family will be safe.
Do Your Research
This shouldn’t come as anything new but do research on the companies you are interested in. Again, there have been a lot of companies start up over the last two years and not all of them do good work. Look online and find reviews on google, yahoo, and facebook. Check out if they are accredited with the Better Business Bureau and what their rating is. Ask the company if they will give you any names and numbers of past customers that can vouch for your work. Don’t just take the company for their word.
We hope this helps out some of you in the decision making process. Call us if you have any other questions or concerns. We would love to help your family any way we can.
F5 Storm Shelters OKC (405) 824-7209
Tulsa (918) 970-4770 Stay Alive, Call F5!
Things to know before purchasing a storm shelter
Over the years, above ground safe rooms have started to become more and more popular all throughout Tornado Alley. For people who are not familiar with safe rooms, think of them as a steel closet that is bolted into your garage floor. To many Oklahomans, the thought of being above ground during a tornado could sound terrifying, but after much testing and investigation, safe rooms are statistically just as safe as being underground as long as they meet certain criteria. Nobody has been injured or killed in an above ground safe room that has received a passing grade from Texas Tech Universities Wind Institute in Lubbock, Texas. Our safe rooms passed these test and you can watch video of this on the video portion of our website. FEMA also has a set of guidelines that you must meet when building a safe room. We exceed FEMA guidelines by 50% or more throughout every aspect of construction. We use thicker steel then is required, more locking mechanisms, more ventilation cutouts, and probably most importantly, more bolts anchoring the safe room into your slab.
Like we said previously, safe rooms are becoming a lot more popular. This type of storm shelter is great for elderly couples who maybe can’t get down steps as easily or as quickly as may be required in order to seek safety inside an underground garage storm shelter or outdoor storm cellar. They are also very popular options for families with a member with a disability or in a wheel chair. Just think for a moment, if you had a child in a wheel chair home by themselves during severe weather, what would you do? An underground storm shelter could be useless in this scenario. Some people feel more claustrophobic being below ground, thus, above ground storm shelters may offer more comfortability. Safe rooms are also great because they have the abilty to be moved. If you move to a new home sometime in the future, you can take the safe room with you if you choose. One of the big drawbacks we hear when discussing safe room options is that many people fear they will lose too much space in their garage. For this concern, there is an easy solution, bolt together safe rooms.
Our bolt together above ground safe rooms are great because they allow people that are in an existing home to install their safe room inside of the house. A lot of companies only build pre fabricated safe rooms, meaning, they are already built when they show up for install. These type of safe rooms offer limited options on where they can be installed. It’s pretty much either inside of your garage or maybe a backyard patio. Bolt together safe rooms come in panels that our installers will put together at your house. The installation is easy and is a one day job. We can put these anywhere inside your home so that you don’t lose any space inside the garage. Most people usually elect to install them inside of a closet or spare bedroom. If you have any other questions or want more information, call one of our showrooms in either Oklahoma City or Tulsa. We have sales reps that would be more then happy to assist you!
F5 Storm Shelters OKC (405) 824-7209
Tulsa (918) 970-4770 Stay Alive, Call F5!
Inside of a bolt together above ground safe room
This is what our bolt together above ground safe rooms look like from the outside. They are just as safe as being underground.
THE BEST TIME TO PURCHASE A STORM SHELTER
Most people don’t know this, but one of the best times to purchase a storm shelter is during the Fall and Winter seasons. One of the main reasons for this is because there are not a lot of long waiting list. You can typically get your storm shelter installed within 2-3 weeks of purchase as opposed to in the Spring and Summer months when the wait could be multiple months. Choosing to purchase a storm shelter now is smart because it guarantees that you will have the shelter when you know you are going to need it, during storm season. Waiting until March to sign up for installation can almost guarantee you the you wont have it until the following years storm season. This can be kind of frustrating.
Another great reason to purchase a storm shelter later on in the year is the savings! Who doesn’t love saving money? Storm shelter demand is obviously a lot lower in November then it is in April or May.
This strongly benefits the customer. Right now, we are taking $200 off any storm shelter or safe room purchase. This deal will not be around in the Spring. Take advantage of the time of the year and get your family prepared for next storm season!
If you are interested in purchasing a storm shelter or if you won one of the many rebate programs going on through out the state then give us a call. We can answer any questions you may have and would love to help you protect your family. We sell all types of storm shelters. From our most poplar seller, the underground garage model, to above ground safe rooms, and outdoor storm cellars, F5 Storm Shelters has you covered. With locations in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, we can get anywhere in the state easily. Call us today! Stay Alive, Call F5!
F5 STORM SHELTERS
Storm Shelters, Tornado Shelters, Safe Rooms
Tulsa – (918) 970-4770
Oklahoma City – (405) 824-7209