Q What type of storm shelter is best?
A Whatever is above ground can be a target for debris or, as FEMA refers, "missiles" to hit into. While the above-ground "safe rooms" are more convenient, most are tested by shooting a 15lb 2x4 at the door at 100mph. Tornadoes throw SUVs, tractors, and the neighbor's gun safe at you. If you're looking for convenience, simply pull the covers over your head. Fully underground is the ultimate in tornado protection. Consider the wooden spear going through thick concrete in the picture.
Q Where's The Best Place To Put A Storm Shelter?
A Most tornadoes travel from Southwest to Northeast. So if possible, place it in the Southwest part of your yard. That helps prevent debris from landing on top of the shelter. We like to install them just off the rear of a patio or deck. Being outside rather than inside your home also lessens the chance of debris landing on top of it.
Q What About Lightning?
A The chance of lightning hitting something only inches above the ground and not a tree or something taller would be extremely unlikely. Our storm shelters also offer a bonus. They provide a "Faraday effect." They can protect your electronic devices against Electromagnetic Pulses (EMP). Electricity and lightning flow around the outside of hollow metal objects, not through them. It's why you are safe in a car. It's not the rubber tires and planes get hit regularly.
Q What If Something Falls On The Door? Am I Trapped?
A There are many ways to prevent or escape your storm shelter if this happens. The old way is to let family or friends who won't be there know where your shelter is. Many fire departments will also register your shelter's GPS location. It's a good idea also to write that down and keep it in the shelter. A $10 aerosol boat horn can be heard for miles; keep one in it. We also offer a 3-ton emergency door jack option with a lift range of up to about two feet. This will push the debris off the door.
Q Are Your Storm Shelters "FEMA Approved?"
A No storm shelters are "FEMA Approved" or "FEMA Certified." FEMA is a government agency that will not approve nor endorse any company's storm shelter, although some state this. If you see a company advertising they are, FEMA asks you to report it to them.
Q It seems like there are more tornadoes now. Why?
A Tornado Alley is shifting to neighboring states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
A recent study that examined US tornado data from 1954-2018 found that this shift has been happening over the last 30 years or so.
These and nearby states are experiencing an average increase in tornado touchdowns each year.
Researchers warn that these twisters could become more severe and devastate much of the central US.
"As the Tornado Alley moves eastward, expands northeastward and southeastward, and generates new tornado activity centers, people living in these areas will be experiencing more tornadoes — especially violent ones," said Guang J. Zhang, a research meteorologist with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.
Researchers have noted there's also been a shift further north in states like Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana — although the increase in tornado activity there is slightly less dramatic.