What to Look for When Buying a Tornado Shelter
If you live in the Midwest or any other area that experiences high fluctuations in weather patterns, you may have already experienced some form of storm or tornado; and if you are moving to the Midwest, you may be wondering how you can protect yourself from these occurrences. Luckily, many companies out there sell and install highly durable tornado shelters to keep you and your family safe and away from harm. When buying such a shelter, it is important to do your research and buy one that is convenient for you and suited to the setting. Therefore, the following is a good break down of what you should look for when buying a tornado shelter:
Is it Certified?
Certified shelters are tested multiple times and are proven to stay intact even after a direct hit from a storm or tornado. If you are going to buy a shelter, always make sure that FEMA (the federal Emergency Management Agency) has approved its usage, as these are much more reliable, cost effective, and have the proper structural integrity. These guys build tornado shelters that are rated to withstand an EF5 tornado. You want to look for shelters that meet that requirement for sure!
Do You Need an Above or Below Ground Shelter?
Both types of shelters, if built properly, are effective at protecting you from a tornado. However, deciding which one is better for you depends on your situation. An above shelter is normally easier for handicapped or elderly people to come in and out of, while underground shelters may be better for individuals who are easily able to move. Regardless, both are equally suited for any storm.
Are There Multiple Doors?
Make sure there are multiple ways to get in and out of the shelter in case there could be debris that blocks passage through one of the entrances. Also, make sure that all doors are sturdy and properly latched. It may be just a small part of your entire shelter, but the door insures that your structure is safe and storm proof.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
If disaster does strike and you are forced to reside in the shelter for an extended period of time, make sure there is enough ventilation without compromising the structural integrity of the structure. Since you may not know how long you would need to stay inside your shelter, it is best to have ventilation that makes it easy to take in oxygen.
Indoor Shelters vs. Outdoor Shelters
Both indoor shelters and outdoor shelters are efficient at protecting you. However, an indoor shelter may be better in terms of saving time for you and your family to get to safety in situations of quick emergencies.
Outdoor shelters, however, are better in terms of saving space inside your home, and giving better access for your neighbors to use if you do decide to share the same shelter.
There are many different things that go into deciding which shelter is perfect for you. However, it all depends on your situation and your needs, but always make sure the shelter is manufactured from a respectable company and is FEMA certified.