Many places in the continental US are at higher risk for potentially deadly storms such as tornadoes and hurricanes. One of the best things that you can do for the safety of your family—and your own piece of mind—is to install some kind of storm shelter to keep all your loved ones safe.
The point of a storm shelter is to put barriers between you and the storm. High wind is itself not lethal, but the objects that it picks up can injure or kill you; the shelter that you choose needs to be impervious to both small and large flying debris.
There are a variety of types of storm shelters that you can build or install on your property to keep your family safe. The classic storm shelter that most people think of is the storm cellar as per The Wizard of Oz but there are a lot more options available currently. It is best to be completely underground for storm protection but there has been some very good development in above ground shelters as well.
The classic storm cellar is an outdoor subterranean structure usually built near a house so that the residents can take cover in it in the case of a tornado or hurricane. Typically they are large enough for a single family with about 80 square feet inside and most often an arched roof. Storm cellars are also sometimes made from modified septic tanks that have doors and ventilation added to them. Some modern versions of the classic storm cellar can be purchased to install under your garage floor either at the time of building or aftermarket. They are usually steel with a sliding door on top that allows you to continue using your garage for parking in. They tend to be rather close quarters inside.
Storm rooms are usually made from either steel or Kevlar; steel storm rooms are heavier and somewhat cheaper but can be extremely heavy, while Kevlar—the material used in bulletproof vests—is lighter and flexible, allowing projectiles to bounce off the surface, even at the high winds encountered in a hurricane or tornado. Kevlar rooms do not interfere with cell reception and can be built into your home as any type of room or closet. These above ground storm rooms can also be utilized as safe rooms in case of a home invasion.
All in all, there is no guarantee that even if you live in an area with a high incidence of tornadoes or hurricanes that you'll ever see one or have one occur near your home, but when the safety of your family is concerned, a little piece of mind goes a long way.
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