Many people who grew up in tornado alley have many memories of spending hours in an underground storm cellar. These underground structures were created to allow tornadoes pass by without loss of life, although the family might still suffer loss of property. Today a safe room provides an above ground option within one’s own home. According to FEMA, such rooms provide near-absolute protection for humans due to dangerous winds, such as those caused by hurricanes and tornadoes.
The safe room also helps to relieve the anxiety due to the threat of incoming tornadoes or hurricanes. Scientists have studied meteorological records and damage to buildings from extreme winds to offer suitable designs. These rooms can be installed in both homes and businesses.
There are several options for the building of a safe room. They might be constructed in an interior room of a new home or business, in an existing basement or garage. In addition, it is still possible to construct an underground shelter to provide safety from the storm.
In addition to protection from the wind itself, it is important that such shelters provide protection from the flying debris it can carry. Many of the deaths that happen in these storms are due to such materials that are carried by the storm. The walls should provide adequate protection from such materials even if the home surrounding the room is destroyed.
Residential safe rooms are designed to protect families of groups of up to 16 individuals. In many areas, community safe rooms are being designed to provide shelter for larger groups in such natural events. In certain areas, schools are also considering the construction of such shelters.
In addition to providing protection in the event of a storm, some homeowners are designing safe rooms as a place of retreat for home invasions. These rooms are equipped with deadbolt locks that can be activated from the inside and communication devices that allow the authorities to be notified. If living in a high crime area, the installation can provide a life saving option.
In the event of natural disaster, residents might also want to keep an emergency preparedness kit in the safe room. FEMA offers a list of the basic contents to be included in the kit. A food storage calculator can be used to determine the amount of food to be stored to ensure a family’s need until the supply chain can be returned to normal.