Why Above Ground Shelters Are The Best Option
Storm shelters are a must when you live in an area that is at high risk for tornadoes. If you live in tornado valley, the possibility of getting hit by a storm is real. Maybe you’re one of the many confused by which kind of storm shelter is best for you and your family. Valley Storm Shelters is here to help. We’ll break down some of the misconceptions and help you find the best shelter to give you peace of mind.
Though many people have thought that underground shelters are safer than above ground in the past, our research proves that above ground shelters are actually much safer. Let’s bust some myths and misconceptions about these shelters, and then you can decide for yourself which works best for you.
Misconceptions About Above Ground Shelters
While there are several pros and cons to both above ground and below ground storm shelters, it’s important that we address the misconceptions that regard the safety of above ground safe rooms.
Let’s address two myths and then discuss why Valley Storm Shelter is the leading safety room manufacturer on the market.
Misconception #1: Tornados can blow above ground shelters right off the concrete slab.
This is far from the truth. Though many think that it’s suction that causes the majority of tornado damage, the truth is that it is extreme wind speeds of surface air that is drawn to the vortex. These extreme wind speeds provide the energy responsible for the damage tornadoes can wreak upon buildings, vehicles, and other structures that aren’t secure. If tornado force winds get under an object, then, of course, it might be lifted airborne.
However, with a properly engineered and anchored shelter like those we create and install, the maximum wind force exerted on your safe room doesn’t hold a candle to the resistance rating of our anchoring system. Your shelter will remain securely anchored to your slab.
Misconception #2: Underground storm shelters are much safer than above ground shelters.
When you stop to think about it, do underground storm shelters actually offer more benefits and more safety features than properly constructed and certified above ground shelters? We think not. There is no data that backs the idea that underground shelters provide a significant advantage over above ground safe rooms.
In fact, many below ground safe rooms pose a lot of potential hazards that could possibly outweigh their benefits. The main one being the potential for debris falling onto the door of your shelter, which could result in you being trapped inside. Additionally, below ground shelters are often located outdoors, which means when disaster strikes, you’ll have to venture out into the bad weather just to reach your shelter. Imagine trying to navigate extreme winds and flying debris, along with pouring rain, and then having to open the door, get your family inside, and then secure the door. It seems like a lot of hassle!
Lastly, below ground shelters often are exposed to cracking, which leads to flooding. If they aren’t secured 100%, you might accumulate an insect or vermin problem, a problem you don’t want to face during extreme weather.
Whatever You Decide, Choose Get The Valley Difference
When it comes to finding the best shelter for your home, you want to choose a manufacturer who actually cares about structural integrity. Valley Storm Shelters™ is a leading designer and manufacturer of above ground shelters. We construct them to withstand 300 mph ground speed winds, equivalent to that of an EF-5 tornado. Each of our designs has been tested by the Texas Tech Wind Science and Engineering Research Center. We are also a Producer Member of the American Tornado Shelter Association - which means we know how tornadoes work, and we provide options to keep you safe. Here are few more details that go into every one of our shelters:
- Created with only the strongest and highest quality materials available
- ¼” steel plate for the wall, floor, and door
- Reinforced with ¾” steel corners
- 4” structural C channel
- A full steel ¼” floor with ½” plate where Hilti anchor bolts go through the shelter and into the concrete
- Steel floor that enhances structural support and prevents electrocution
- A minimum of three large vents to create natural airflow and are covered with ¼” steel debris protectors
- Electrical access protected with weather-resistant grommet
Additionally, we provide a 310-pound vault-like door that is known to be one of the strongest on the market. Here are some of the specs:
- ¼” plate steel with 4” C channel reinforcement
- Opens to the inside to prevent entrapment
- Equipped with a Medeco pick-proof and drill-proof deadbolt
- 1 ¼” stainless steel locking pins that are securing through six solid steel guide blocks and three solid steel receiver blocks
- Three heavy-duty barrel hinges with grease fittings to ensure easy opening and closing
- 1” diameter laminated polycarbonate bullet-resistant peephole (1 ¼” thick)
If all that wasn’t enough, Valley Storm Shelter offers an exclusive anchoring system for above ground storm shelters that is comprised of 24-inch carbon steel CORELOCK™ anchors, 7-inch by ¾-inch Hilti concrete cutting anchors, and industrial 2-component anchoring adhesive.
Ready to see how you can customize our safe rooms and shelters? Have questions about the installation process or the price? Give us a call today and let us help you feel safer as tornado season approaches.