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Why Storm Shelters Do Not Have to Be Underground Anymore

When a colossal tornado strikes the nation, everyone assumes that nothing aboveground can survive a direct hit, especially with winds up to 200 mph that can rip homes right off their foundations. 

However, that’s not entirely true. At Valley Storm Shelters, we’ve done the research (and the testing) and found that aboveground shelters are actually a better choice than traditional underground storm cellars. Larry Tanner, a research associate at the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University, has examined how different types of structures hold up in a storm, and they pay special attention to storm shelters.

The institute tests and approves shelters for manufacturers using high standards set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They put each shelter through a series of tests that are meant to mimic the effects of a strong tornado. Tanner reported that they found 16 aboveground safe rooms or storm shelters in the damage path or near the storm’s damage path during one particular storm. All survived.

Let’s discuss why storm shelters do not have to be underground anymore, contrary to prior beliefs. 

Storm Shelters Do Not Have To Be Underground - Here’s Why

If you’re considering adding a storm shelter or safe room to your home or place of business, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that there are underground shelters and aboveground shelters. There are advantages to both, to be sure, but keep reading, and you’ll see that below-ground storm shelters can be inconvenient and even dangerous. 

A properly engineered shelter like the ones at Valley Storm Shelter can withstand even the worst storms, like an E-5 tornado with winds up to 250 mph.

Aboveground Storm Shelter Advantages

Aboveground storm shelters are quickly becoming the more popular choice for those living in extreme weather areas. They don’t get damp or musty like underground storm cellars due to water getting trapped inside. Many people find their underground cellar so unpleasant that they wait until the last possible second to enter them.

Valley Storm Shelters aboveground shelters are much more comfortable and are useful because they can also be used as storage sheds if installed outside the home or a safe for those built inside. Keep reading for more aboveground storm shelter advantages.

Easy To Get In and Out

Aboveground shelters are much easier to get in and out of, which is a huge advantage for those who have mobility challenges. If you or your family has a wheelchair, scooter, or walker, it can be stressful trying to get down narrow, steep steps into a below-ground shelter. Aboveground shelters are as simple as stepping into them, and they can be fitted with a small ramp for those who need it. 

Stairs can be a hassle during a crazy storm. Aboveground shelters are much easier to access, and you’ll have an easier time getting pets and small children inside.

Aboveground shelters also have plenty of room inside to be comfortably seated to wait out the storm. When severe weather strikes, you’ll be happy to know that Valley Storm Shelters has shelters that can fit up to 36 people! That means if you end up having to camp out for several hours or even stay overnight, just add some cots and blankets, and you’ll be cozy and comfortable, no matter what is happening outside!

Less Chance of Getting Trapped By Debris

Additionally, and maybe most importantly, aboveground shelters provide a much less chance of you getting trapped inside by debris. Below-ground storm shelters can be buried underneath rubble and debris after a tornado or hurricane rolls through. Though it is rare, there are still several stories a year about families becoming trapped in their below-ground storm shelter until neighbors or first responders find them. Our storm shelters stand out when the storm dies away, and there’s no chance they will fill with water. Our door opens to the inside, which means even if there’s debris, you’ll never get trapped inside!

Simple and Fast Installation

Lastly, aboveground storm shelters are much easier to install than other shelter types. They don’t require large holes in your yard, and you won’t have to destroy the concrete in your garage. We can install your shelter in just a couple of hours, and we don’t even need overhead cranes to place them. 

Plus, your storm shelter can move with you! Storm shelters are an investment, and you need a shelter that can move with you to your new home. We’ll help you load and relocate your storm shelter so that your investment and your family are protected no matter where life takes you.

Still don’t believe us? Watch this TedTalk as experts discuss why storm shelters do not have to be underground anymore. If you still have questions, reach out to us at Valley Storm Shelters. We would love to give you peace of mind that you and your family will be safe during any storm.