if you live in or near Dallas, you know there is a risk of a tornado hitting. But do you have a safe place to take shelter? Is it near or in your home? A safe room or home shelter can provide the life saving kind of protection you need to survive, provided you can get there fast enough. With the ever increasing occurrences of tornados and other severe storms, shelters and safe rooms are getting more and more popular, with contractors in Dallas being booked out for months!
But what’s the big deal? Why are storm shelters and safe rooms so important?
The truth is, the safest place to be during a treacherous storm or tornado is under the ground. Basements are the most common, and provide protection from the harsh elements, but unfortunately, are still susceptible to the danger of debris landing on or blocking the exit. Naturally, a fully underground shelter or cellar will be the best option for safety from the more violent storms, but don’t provide an option in more flood prone, or highly developed cityscapes.
What to do now? Build a safe room. These are different than the more common shelters, but offer all the same protection and benefit. FEMA says a safe room is a structure that will provide near absolute protection from severe storms. So in order to call it a safe room, it must be built according to federal laws and meet very specific standards of safety.
Some safe room facts:
- Each safe room should be built to handle 250 mph wiinds and more than 3,000 pounds of force. (That’s more than an EF-5 level tornado!)
- Normally, safe rooms are built in basements or garages.
- Usually made of steel and fiberglass for the highest level of wind protection.
- All safe rooms and shelters use concrete foundations as their primary anchors.
- There are two kinds: above and below ground.
If you live in Texas and are considering building a safe room where you live, make sure to weigh out the different options, advantages and costs associated, with a licensed contractor who’s work is compliant with all FEMA and NSSA standards. Safe rooms are not inspected by any regulating agency to ensure quality, so it’s always best to go with a trusted local company, like Unique Home Building.
Lastly, you don’t have to wait for your shelter to be built to start being prepared. As you plan, begin collecting the must-have emergency supplies, such as canned goods, water and a weather alert radio, to help meet your needs and keep you informed.
At Unique Home Building, your home and family are our priority. We know that scary things happen and are happy to help you prepare for the best case scenario! Call to set up a consultation today!