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TEDx: Why Storm Shelters Do Not Have to Be Underground Anymore

Popular opinion in many parts of the country is that when a tornado is bearing down on a community, the only safe place to take shelter is below ground. Joseph has found that this flies in the face of 15 years of research done at Texas Tech University’s National Wind Institute investigating the safety of above-ground storm shelters. He discusses findings from the Moore, OK, tragedy as well as several additional benefits of above-ground shelters. In addition, he shows video of TTU’s Debris Impact Facility firing 15-pound, 2″ by 4″ wood beams at 100 mph to show what tornadic debris can do to a normal home and how a storm shelter keeps occupants safe.

Valley Storm Shelters Featured on the Rick & Bubba Show

Valley Storm Shelters was recently featured on the Rick & Bubba show. Watch as Rick and Bubba put a storm shelter through a series of tests while their producer, Speedie, sits inside.

Oklahoma tornadoes: Aboveground shelters stood up in face of EF5 Moore tornado

Researchers who toured Moore after the May 20 tornado said above ground storm shelters held up well in the storm and can be a better choice than underground storm cellars.

Part of the terror of an EF5 tornado like the one that hit Moore on May 20 is the notion that nothing above ground can survive a direct hit and the 200 mph winds that rip homes off foundations.

But that’s not exactly true. Above ground storm shelters held up exceptionally well in the tornado and could be a better choice than a traditional underground storm cellar, said Larry Tanner, a research associate at the National Wind Institute …

What Are Saferooms

Saferooms are hardened structures specifically designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criteria and provide “near-absolute protection” in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes.  In a typical resident installation the saferooms are anchored to the garage concrete slab or a concrete slab outside of the home.

Accordingly “FEMA strongly encourages homeowners and communities to build safe rooms, but cannot endorse or approve specific manufacturers or producers.” Saferooms manufactured by Valley Storm Shelters™ are among the strongest on the market. Each saferoom uses 1/4 inch steel plate (10.2 lbs per square foot) and 4” C- channel (5.4 lbs per linear foot) to construct our shelter. The C-channel …

Storm Shelter – Direct Hit

We conducted our own field test which we called “direct hit” in front of 80 spectators including the president of the Better Business Bureau, local building inspectors, and Emergency Management Personal as well as local media and other special guests. “direct hit” was a live, unrehearsed demonstration of our steel above ground storm shelter sustaining various types of assaults which could occur during an EF-5 tornado or intruder event.

What is the Best Storm Shelter

Here is what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce has to say about it:

“There’s no one authority to tell you what the best storm shelter is, nor can the federal government endorse a specific type of storm shelter as being ‘the best.’ However, safety standards for storm shelters and shelter components have been established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure that you will be protected in most tornadoes, while the National Storm Shelter Association has also established a shelter standard. The Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University performs tests on shelters and various shelter components to see if they meet …