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A residential storm shelter installed at your property can save your family’s life when a tornado strikes. Every spring in Southwest Missouri, we’re reminded of the potential dangers of tornadoes, even though they can happen at any time of year. 

We’re going to answer frequently asked questions regarding residential storm shelters and tornado safe rooms.

What is a residential storm shelter?

A residential tornado shelter is an underground or above-ground safe room where you and your family can stay safe from high winds and storms.

What types of residential storm shelters are there?

There are two main types of residential storm shelters on the market today: underground and above-ground. Stronghold Safe Rooms installs above-ground storm shelters.

Above-ground residential storm shelters are made of steel and sit on a concrete pad, capable of withstanding the high winds associated with a tornado. Above-ground tornado shelters usually go in a garage.

Underground storm shelters are typically made of steel or steel-reinforced concrete. They are just as strong as their above-ground counterparts, but they can be prone to flooding if installed in the wrong spot.

Can a residential tornado shelter withstand an EF-5 tornado?

Yes, they have been proven to withstand winds up to 250 mph, per FEMA guidelines. They should also be designed to protect occupants from wind-borne debris.

Are all residential storm shelters tested?

Our residential tornado shelter designs have been tested for debris impact resistance at Texas Tech’s National Wind Institute, relying on 50 years of engineering research and experiments. 

How many people can a residential tornado shelter hold at once?

Residential storm shelters can hold as many people as needed. A residential storm shelter 4.5’ wide, 2.5’ long, and 6.5’ high can hold up to three people.

Are residential storm shelters ADA-compliant?

Yes, families can easily enter a tornado safe room, including the elderly, disabled family members, people who need wheelchairs, and pets. 

Are above-ground residential storm shelters worth it?

Absolutely, yes. Modular panels and welded steel have made tornado safe rooms worth it, particularly when we can construct them to the perfect size for your family’s needs. They’re also waterproof, have proper venting, and can protect you against flying debris.

What are the advantages of above-ground tornado safe rooms?

Above-ground residential tornado shelters have an advantage over their below-ground counterparts in several ways. 

1) They have been proven to withstand EF5 tornadoes, as evidenced by one family who survived the deadly Oklahoma tornado outbreak of 1999 in their above-ground shelter. Oklahoma became the first state to actively encourage homeowners to install above-ground storm shelters.

2) They are not prone to flooding. Tornado shelters can flood not just from rainwater but also from burst pipes. Why are burst pipes a problem? Trees being uprooted. When a tree is felled, it moves not only the roots but some of the surrounding dirt, which can cause pipes to lose their structural integrity.

3) Easy entry and exit. Because above-ground storm shelters sit on the same ground you walk upon, you and your family can enter and exit them easily and within seconds.

4) Above-ground tornado safe rooms can be installed easily with existing homes. The best place to install them is a garage with a concrete pad, either attached or separate from your home.

5) You could take them with you when you move. Because above-ground tornado safe rooms are modular, you have the ability to take them with you when you purchase another home.

What company can install an above-ground tornado shelter for my home?

Stronghold Safe Rooms can install a residential tornado shelter in your home at any time of year. Hundreds of families have trusted us to install a tornado safe room to keep them safe.

Contact our team or call (417) 883-0733 today for a consultation.