In the past few years, America has seen its share of deadly tornadoes and violent hurricanes. These natural disasters have left behind many damaged properties and taken several lives. This is why many people are looking for options to protect themselves and their families by purchasing storm shelters. These safe and sturdy structures are available in concrete, fiberglass, steel, and other materials. With versatile available options, it’s hard to decide which one best fits your requirements.
An expensive purchase like this requires consideration. Here are a few things that you should look into before purchasing a storm shelter
1. Certification and Testing
Ever since the 2013 Moore Tornado, there has been an influx of storm shelter manufacturers and sellers. A lot of these companies provide quick-fix solutions and take benefit of the rising demand for storm shelters. Therefore when buying a Storm Shelter Texas, check for certifications and testing results to ensure you are getting the best product.
A shelter that is certified and clears the impact tests required by the Debris Impact Requirement of ICC-500 can withstand a tornado. Some of the testing and certification requirements that you need to consider include:
- Certified storm shelter companies are associated with independent organizations, like American Tornado Shelter Association or Texas Tech Wind Institute.
- All storm shelters offered by the company should adhere to the design and manufacturing specifications of FEMA 320, ICC-500, and FEMA 321.
- Ask for the blueprints of the Storm Shelter Texas you are interested in, and ensure that it has an engineered seal of approval.
Proper certifications and testing ensure maximum safety for your family.
2. Above Ground or Underground? Which is Better?
Most people consider underground shelters safer than the ones above ground. Well, that’s not the case. Storm shelters that exist above the ground are just as reliable as the ones below it. The Texas Tech Wind Institute investigated all the shelters built above ground in 2013 Moore Tornado. There were 13 registered shelters in direct line of the EF-5 tornado, and none of them were damaged. Moreover, nobody inside the shelter was hurt or killed.
When properly constructed and examined, both above ground and underground storm shelters offer enhanced protection. Take into account the age of the people who will be using the shelter to determine which option is right for you. Handicapped or elderly people may have difficulty getting in and out of an underground one. Therefore, an above ground one will be a suitable option for them. Just ensure that the door of the above ground shelter has the required wind rating so that it can withstand the direct hit from storms and tornadoes.
Find out how the shelter’s ventilation system works. In the off chance that the debris collects in front of the main door, how would you exit the shelter? The response to these queries will help you evaluate your survival plan after the tornado, not just during it. Even though only 2% tornadoes are classified as violent and can cause major destruction, it’s good to be prepared for the worst.
4. Warranty and Installation
Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll want to find out how long it takes for the company to install the storm shelter in your home. The time required depends on where the shelter is being installed. Is it above ground or underground? Will it be installed inside or outside your house? These factors will affect the installation duration. So ask the company how long it will take for the builders to set up the shelter and make it fully functional.
You also need to consider the warranty of the shelter. The cost of the shelter will affect the warranty. Given that you are making a long-term investment, it’s best to consider both. A storm shelter with a 10-year warranty is better than one with a 5-year warranty, even if it costs a little more.
Don’t compromise on the safety of your family. Seek protection against tornadoes by installing a Storm Shelter Texas at the earliest. Find out more about different types of storm shelters, their features and financing options at Lone Star Safe Rooms. Call 817-682-7854 and get a free estimate today.