There are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of storm shelters out there. Do you really want to entrust the safety of your family to just any of them?
You’ve made a good decision in choosing to put a storm shelter in your home. Now the time comes to find which shelter will offer you and your family the most protection and fit most seamlessly with your house. Here are a few tips for choosing storm shelters:
Make sure the company is approved by the NSSA
Less than 10 percent of storm shelter companies can even qualify to be a part of the National Storm Shelter Association, which is the only regulatory body for storm shelters in the U.S. The NSSA looks for things like proper ventilation in tornado shelters and ensures that companies have third-party tests and the like. A company that’s qualified to be a member of the NSSA is a company that will provide you with a safe storm shelter.
Look for the little things
You may be worried that you and your family will be trapped in your storm shelter, if you are unable to open the door against the weight of storm debris. If that’s the case, then look for a shelter whose door swings inward, so being trapped is not an issue.
Another little thing would be a safety mechanism that allows the door to be opened from the outside or the inside. That way, if one side fails, the other side will still work, and you won’t be stuck. This is especially good if somebody is alone inside the shelter, and they happen to pass out or be unconscious or wounded.
You should also find out what the company uses to anchor the shelter, and why they use that particular anchor. One anchor to look for in particular would be the Hilti Anchorage Company, which is the number one anchor company in the world. This is the same company that NASA uses for anchors on their launch pads and that the Department of Transportation uses for anchors in cement roads.
Endorsements by reputable companies
Look and see if the storm shelter company you’re researching has been endorsed by any other well-known companies in the industry, like a reputable steel company or an anchor company like Hilti.
Their shelters should also have been tested for penetration at Texas Tech University. This test requires firing debris like two-by-fours at speeds greater than that of an F5 tornado at the storm shelter. That way, you know that it can stand up to the debris getting thrown around by the 300-mph winds in an F-5 tornado.
Reputation with BBB
You definitely want to make sure that the storm shelter company you choose has been around for awhile. If it’s somebody who just started up a few months ago, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be around to see your warranty through if something happens. Look for a company with a good history of providing shelters and a solid reputation through the Better Business Bureau.
These are just a few of the things that will help you in determining the perfect storm shelter for you and your family. By ensuring that the company you choose has these credentials, you’ll know that your family will be in capable hands in the event of a storm.