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Safe Room Alabama And Concrete Storm Shelters Alabama
It can be scary watching the 24 hour news and the apocalyptic musings of the History Channel and Discovery. That amplified fear can make some wonder if they should be doing more to protect themselves in their own homes.
Can we make our own homes safe enough to weather nature’s worst storms?
Tornadoes have been intermittent. However, we’ve recently seen a rash of them outbreak in the past couple years here in Alabama. We saw, and many experienced, the ravages of these events. Homes, today, are built to withstand some very high winds – however they are designed to meet the medium sized storm events. Frankly, any of these tornadoes can still destroy a home; even if built to today’s standards.
Evacuation is still the best way to avoid the full impact of these mega storms. However if one is unable to get out there is a way to provide some larger degree of safety – and that is by creating a safe room. These are also called storm shelters.
A safe room is a small windowless room that has been strengthened to resist the effects of wind pressures and the impact from windborne debris generated by extremely severe weather. These are becoming rather common in Alabama and other tornado states.
A relatively cheap storm shelter can provide you and your family with a sense of security knowing that there is a space in your home that will withstand the forces of the worst tornadoes.
What is a safe room? It is usually a small space within the home that has special walls, ceilings, fastening systems and doors and are (to use an engineering term) really, really strong They can serve the vital purpose of providing safety for you and your loved ones during those scary events.
We’ve installed a few for folks who value the room’s existence even if they never actually use it. Seems a lot like insurance, doesn’t it?
These rooms can be separate or can be some part of the home, like a walk-in closet, which is built like the proverbial brick stink house. They need to be isolated from the main structure so that as the main home becomes unglued and turns into countless fragments, this little oasis of space remains unscathed.
The best way to do this, above ground, is to build a concrete storm shelter with walls and ceiling that are formed and poured with solid concrete, rebar, and a FEMA compliant door. This can be relatively inexpensive do to if you are building your home – it is easy to work into the structure.
FEMA has a great guideline called FEMA320A “Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room inside your house”. Any structural engineer can probably design such as room for you.
Like insurance, a safe room can offer peace of mind – even if you never really use it. Let’s face it, life has its inherent risks. This is a way to effectively scratch one risk right off the list.