Top Factors To Consider When Buying Tornado Shelters
The United States tends to experience several tornadoes more than other countries. Tornadoes can be catastrophic because they can severely damage properties and even cause deaths. The worst thing is that tornadoes can happen when you least expect it.
Adequate preparation is crucial as it can help keep you and your property safe. Apart from stocking enough food supplies, the best thing you can do is to have a tornado shelter. It will provide a safe place for you to stay until the tornado passes. Having a tornado shelter on your property eliminates the risk of trying to reach a safe place in case of a tornado.
But for you to buy the right tornado shelter for you and your family, there are plenty of things you need to consider. In this article, we discuss some of the factors that you need to consider when buying a tornado shelter. Let’s delve into them.
One of the essential factors you need to consider when buying tornado home shelters is size. To get the right size of tornado shelter, you need to measure the number of occupants by three feet for standing or six feet for sitting. When it comes to choosing the right size, things like the amount of time spent in the shelter and if the shelter will be used to store dry foods and other valuables also play a crucial role.
Tornado shelters are basically designed to withstand different types of extreme loads, including wind load, a laydown, and wind-borne debris. They need to withstand wind loads 5-7 times higher than similarly sized, non-shelter buildings in the same area. When a tornado with wind speeds of over 250-mph hits a house, the house will not survive. This means that you need a tornado shelter that can withstand a 250 mph wind speed design. In addition to that, the shelter should be designed to withstand the weight of any collapse hazard, rollover, or lay down.
- Decide whether you want above-ground or underground shelter
When it comes to tornado home shelters, you can opt for above-ground or underground designs. Honestly speaking, both of them are equally safe. However, even though they are all safe, an above-ground tornado shelter is still ideal because the exit will not be blocked by debris from the hurricane, they are also less likely to lean and flood, and attract animals. Besides, above-ground tornado shelters can be placed inside a home, making them easier to access than underground shelters.
- Construction material
You also need to pay attention to the materials used to make a tornado shelter. You want to ensure that they are made of materials that are high-quality, durable, and long-lasting. Concrete is the most durable material. Some tornado shelters are also made of steel plates, high-density polyethylene, corrugated steel, or fiberglass. While fiberglass shelters are ideal because of their affordability, long-lasting, and portability, they are more vulnerable to damage caused by elements, such as water, leaks and mold, and they also cannot resist debris of an EF5 tornado.
It is also very important for you to buy a tornado home shelter that has been constructed and designed according to FEMA 320, FEMA 36, FEMA 321, and CC-500 guidelines. This ensures that you and other occupants are protected from high winds associated with tornadoes.