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Tornado Shelters. Safe Rooms. Storm Shelters. Panic Room. Storm Cellars. You’ve heard a thousand names but aren’t sure the difference between them, or if there even is a difference. 

Let’s dive into everything you need to know about safe room vs. storm shelter and what to expect when you need to keep your family safe.

Everything You Need To Know About A Safe Room Vs. Storm Shelter

When you break it down, most of these terms all mean the same thing. Here we dive into the definitions of a safe room vs. storm shelter and then describe the Valley Storm Shelter difference.

FEMA Definition For Safe Room

According to FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), a safe room is a hardened structure specifically designed to meet their criteria and provide “near-absolute protection in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes.”

“Near-absolute protection” means that the occupants of the safe room that is built in compliance with FEMA guidelines will have a very high probability of being protected from injury or death during a tornado or hurricane strike. The criteria for a safe room are provided in FEMA P-361, Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms.

FEMA P-320 (Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business) also provides basic safe room or storm shelter information and construction drawings for site-built safe rooms. Your safe room should also meet the criteria in ICC 500, Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters.

Bottom line: there is no difference between a safe room or a storm shelter, as long as your shelter meets the criteria outlined above. 

Why Do I Need a Storm Shelter?

When you install a safe room or storm shelter in your home or small business, you are providing near-absolute protection for you, your family, or your employees from injury or even death caused by dangerous weather. If you live in an area prone to extreme-wind events, you should consider building a safe room. We also encourage building owners, schools, hospitals, and neighborhood associations to consider making a community shelter to help shield people quickly when rough weather strikes.

Like we mentioned above, FEMA and manufacturers like us at Valley Storm Shelters have gained knowledge of tornadoes, hurricanes, and storms based on numerous meteorological records and extensive investigations of damage to structures due to extreme wind. When your safe room complies with all necessary conditions and guidelines, it can help relieve some of the anxiety that comes with the threat of an oncoming storm.

Choose Valley Storm Shelters For The Best Above Ground Shelter On The Market

No matter what you call it, you want nothing but the best shelter or safe room available when you have to survive a storm. Especially if you live in an area with frequent storms and intense winds and weather, then a storm shelter should be at the top of your to-do list. The key to surviving any storm is having a plan in place, and we think the best strategy is to choose an above ground shelter on the market. Choose a manufacturer that has tested their products more than any other shelter manufacturer on the market.

As the #1 Storm Shelter Provider, Valley Storm Shelter makes it easy to ensure your family’s safety, as we have many different solutions for you to choose from. We are the leading designer and manufacturer of safe rooms and above ground storm shelters, and we have the certifications to prove it. Each of our shelter options is constructed to withstand 300 MPH ground speed wind, equivalent to that of an EF-5 tornado. They’ve also been tested at Texas Tech Wind Science and Engineering Research Center. Valley Storm Shelters™ is also a Producer Member of the American Tornado Shelter Association. 

All of our shelters are constructed using ¼” steel plate for the wall, floor, and door. Each shelter is reinforced with ¾” steel corners, a 4” structural C channel, and a ½” plate for Hilti anchor bolts to go through the shelter into the concrete. Our steel floor enhances structural support and prevents electrocution. Additionally, a minimum of three large vents are strategically located to create natural airflow and are covered with ¼” steel debris protectors. The electrical access opening is also protected with a weather-resistant grommet.

The Valley Storm Shelters safe room is equipped with a 310-pound vault-like door known to be one of the strongest doors on the market. It’s constructed of ¼” plate steel with 4” C channel reinforcement and opens to the inside to prevent entrapment. They also have a Medeco pick-proof and drill-proof deadbolt, which allows you to use your shelter as a safe/vault to protect valuables. We also include three heavy-duty barrel hinges with grease fittings to ensure ease of operation of the door. See what’s happening outside with the 1″ diameter laminated polycarbonate bullet-resistant peephole (1 1/4″ thick).

See all of your custom options for your shelter here, and watch some of our videos so you can see why we are the most sought after shelter. 

Safe Room Vs. Storm Shelter - Get Yours Today

Safe room vs. storm shelter - at the end of the day, all you need to know is Valley Storm Shelter. Explore our website, watch our videos, and let us show you the difference that high-quality testing and engineering can make. Our products are created in-house, using only the highest quality materials, and are in full compliance with FEMA 361, FEMA 320, and ICC 500 standards.

When you need the strongest safe room or storm shelter on the market, then let Valley Storm Shelter help you today. We have excellent options to customize your shelter so that you and your family can be as comfortable as possible when the worst weather strikes. 

Don’t compromise on your safety - see The Valley Difference today.