If you live in Tornado Alley, you’re no stranger to the devastating winds that can sweep through your property in a matter of seconds. Although standard tornado shelters are underground, which makes sense as tornado winds are less likely to penetrate your basement, these shelters can still experience damage from the structures above. If the house collapses or suffers damage, that’s bad news for anyone seeking safety in the storm shelter below.

While aboveground storm shelters may not seem like the safest options, rest assured, new technologies and building constraints have allowed manufacturers to create both indoor and outdoor aboveground storm shelters that can resist harsh conditions.

Plus, in certain regions, conditions are simply not conducive to building underground shelters at all. For instance, in earthquake-prone California, you won’t find many houses with basements.

Here are some scenarios that may make you rethink the safety of an underground shelter:

Hurricanes or Flooding

Flash flooding kills more than 140 people annually, which is more than any other thunderstorm-like hazard. In the case of these floods, or floods caused by a hurricane, a belowground safe room will not protect you from rising floodwaters. Though while you are inside a secured safe room you will not be affected by wind or water, once the storm has passed your chances of leaving the storm shelter could be limited by high water levels

Excessive Debris

In any natural disaster, debris will scatter. Regardless of water conditions, it is possible that materials like fallen trees will block the entry/exit of your belowground shelter. Unless someone knows exactly where you are, the debris blocking the shelter door may not be removed for hours or even days after the storm. With an aboveground shelter, it is possible to enter or exit the enclosure from multiple doors, rather than one creaky cellar door.

Building Restrictions

While it’s possible that your community may have a communal storm shelter if your geographic area is affected by natural disasters often, most areas do not. In urban areas, certain building restrictions exist that may not allow you to build a belowground shelter. And if you rent your home or apartment, your landlord may not allow you to build a shelter on their property either. Aboveground shelters can be used both inside and outside to not violate any city or lease terms.

Valley Storm Shelters can customize an aboveground storm shelter to fit your family’s size and needs. A variety of tools and amenities can be added to your aboveground shelter in order to make your family feel safe, comfortable, and secure.