||Storm and Tornado Shelters
|Homeowners in high-risk areas for tornadoes
should consider a storm shelter, often called
a tornado shelter. These small structures,
either heavily reinforced above ground or
underground, are especially important for
homes without a basement or reinforced interior
Storm shelters can be made out of concrete,
steel or reinforced fiberglass and should
adhere to guidelines set up by FEMA. These
guidelines suggest construction, size and
content ideas capable of withstanding tornadoes.
- The number of people that need to fit inside
- If you want to use the storm shelter for
longer term emergency use
- determine how much food and water storage
space is needed
- accommodations for electricity and lights
- toilet facilities
- Pick a location, either in a secure area
inside your house or outside in the ground.
If you put your storm shelter outside, make
sure you put it in a place where flooding
won’t be a problem.
- Outside shelters can be landscaped with plantings
and flowers so they are not so obvious, but
remember to keep plants trimmed so they don’t
block entrances and ventilation ports.
Pre-made storm shelters are readily available.
They are shipped by truck to
your home and
installed, typically by the
or its representative. Consider
a manufacturer who specializes
in them, not
just as a sideline of another
Finally, don't use the shelter
as a handy
storage bin—you may not have
time to unload
it in an emergency.