Every year severe weather, including tornados, causes hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars in property losses. An average of 750 tornados strike the United States each year and although the infamous "Tornado Alley" receives the majority of these incidents, the whole country stands at daily risk. Not knowing when or where a tornado may strike makes them especially dangerous. These factors also reduce the chances that you will have the time to look around for adequate shelter in the moments a tornado approaches. Securall® Tornado Shelters can provide you and your family with the immediate protection needed during these storms, right in your own home.
Securall Storm Shelters & Safe Rooms are built in accordance with specifications set forth by FEMA, the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA), and the International Code Council (ICC). Our tornado shelters comply with the recommendations established in the documents: FEMA 320 - Taking Shelter from the Storm (written in conjunction with Texas Tech's Wind Engineering Research Center) and ICC-500. Securall Tornado Safe's FEMA 320/361/ICC-500 Proprietary Wall Assembly & FEMA 320/ICC-500 door assembly was tested and successfully passed missile impact resistance tests at Texas Tech University’s Wind Science and Engineering Research Center.
Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business
Securall Storm Safe Rooms offer shelter when the other structures around you cannot. Securall Tornado Shelters are available in 4 convenient sizes; 4'x4', 4'x6', 4'x8', and 4'x10'. These FEMA shelters are designed to comfortably fit in your garage while allowing for plenty of space to store your vehicles and other items. At a mere 4 feet deep, these units can be easily placed out of the way in your garage or basement. The heavy duty roof allows for storage on top of the shelter which helps to maintain the maximum storage potential for your space.
Securall® Storm Shelters are built for mobility. Should you decide to change residences in the future you can simply unbolt the shelter and take it with you. Or, leave it and use it as a unique selling feature adding value to the property.
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard.
Know the Terms - Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:
Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.
Extreme windstorms in many parts of the country pose a serious threat to buildings and their occupants. Your residence may be built “to code,” but that does not mean it can withstand winds from extreme events such as tornadoes and major hurricanes. The purpose of a safe room or a wind shelter is to provide a space where you and your family can seek refuge that provides a high level of protection. You can build a safe room in one of several places in your home.
Having a storm shelter in your home or small business can help provide near-absolute protection for you and your family or your employees from injury or death caused by the dangerous forces of extreme winds. Near-absolute protection means that, based on our current knowledge of tornadoes and hurricanes, there is a very high probability that the occupants of a Storm shelter built according to this guidance will avoid injury or death. A storm shelter can also relieve some of the anxiety created by the threat of an incoming tornado or hurricane. Our knowledge of tornadoes and hurricanes and their effects is based on substantial meteorological records as well as extensive investigation of damage to buildings from extreme winds. Securall® offers safe rooms for use in homes as well as in small businesses.
This publication will help you decide how best to provide near-absolute protection for yourself, your family, or employees and answers many questions concerning tornado shelters. It includes the results of research that has been underway for more than 30 years, by Texas Tech University's Wind Science and Engineering (WISE; formerly known as the Wind Engineering Research Center or WERC) and other wind engineering research facilities, on the effects of extreme winds on buildings. FEMA 320 Tornado Shelter.
FEMA 320 also provides torando shelter designs that will show you and your builder/contractor how to construct a safe room for your home or small business. Design options include safe rooms located in the basement, in the garage, or in an interior room of a new home or small business building. Other options also provide guidance on how to construct an exterior safe room, either buried underground or attached to the existing building, or how to modify an existing home or small business building to add a safe room inside. These safe rooms are designed to provide near-absolute protection for you, your family, or employees from the extreme winds expected during tornadoes and hurricanes and from flying debris that tornadoes and hurricanes usually generate. Tornado shelter construction plans and specifications.
In ground storm shelters - Safe rooms built below ground level provide the greatest protection, but a safe room built in a first-floor interior room also can provide the necessary protection. Below-ground safe rooms must be designed to avoid accumulating water during the heavy rains that often accompany severe windstorms.
Tornado Alley - The land in the central United States is the best breeding ground for the storms which produce tornadoes. The land in the Great Plains is relatively flat, which allows cold dry polar air from Canada to meet warm moist tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico. It's along the front between the two airmasses that most tornadoes form. Most tornadoes in the United States form in an area called "Tornado Alley". This area includes parts of North Dakota ND, South Dakota SD, Nebraska NE, Kansas KS, Oklahoma OK, Texas TX, Louisiana LS, Arkansas AR, Missouri MS, Iowa IA, Illinois IL, Indiana IN, Kentucky KN, Tennessee TN. Storm chasers travel to this area because of the high concentration of tornadoes. These tornadoes are formed by thunderstorms. Some of the tornadoes in the southern states such as Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia are caused by hurricanes. Design Considerations - There are three major damaging mechanisms that must be considered in the design of a tornado-resistant shelter. First: Pressure forces created by high winds. Pressure forces on walls and roofs can range from less than 50 pounds per square foot for a weak tornado to over 200 pounds per square foot for a violent tornado having winds of almost 300 miles per hour. Second: Pressure forces created by sudden pressure drop. Pressure differences can range as high as 200 pounds per square foot. Sudden pressure drops are not a major problem for adequately vented shelters. Third: Impact forces created by missiles. Debris carried along by the storm can penetrate improperly designed shelter wall. Missiles can include pieces of houses, utility poles, or the neighbor's TV antenna mast. Above-Ground Tornado Shelter Above-ground shelters must be designed to withstand the full force of wind and missiles. The primary advantage of this type of shelter is it can be located inside a new home or attached to an existing home. In-home shelters can be made fireproof, protecting valuables from both storm and fire. Above ground shelters should be designed by a professional structural engineer. The wall and roof reinforcement must be continuous from deep piers right up into the shelter roof, anchoring the shelter to the ground. Walls are reinforced both laterally and vertically. Reinforcement must be designed to resist wind forces plus impact loads of missiles. Unreinforced structures are not safe shelters. The entrance to the shelter has to be protected from missiles. The entry door can be protected by a reinforced barrier shelter wall constructed similar to the shelter itself.