Tornado and hurricane activity has not only increased in intensity but the time of year they strike has increased as well. Tornadoes are causing devastation well into the winter months in areas that seldom see tornadoes and this trend appears as if it may continue.
The ideal situation during a severe storm would be in a concrete home or structure. If you are unable to build a concrete home, a concrete saferoom may be the answer for you. It is a small windowless room with concrete walls and ceiling that is attached to the basement floor or slab. This helps to protect you and your family from the increasing threat of severe weather. The construction cost of adding a saferoom to new construction with a basement or slab is minimal, especially when compared with the security of your family. No room is 100% safe from storm damage but a saferoom can offer extra protection which may make the difference.
The saferoom does not have to be an empty spot in the middle of your house. It can easily be integrated into the design as a useful part of your home such as a closet, bathroom, or utility room. Blockouts can be placed in the forms before pouring the concrete to allow openings for plumbing, A/C and heating ducts without compromising the integrity and security of the room.
Saferooms can be built into new construction, existing homes, or as stand alone rooms in areas such as mobile home communities, RV parks, or homes with crawlspaces. An exterior saferoom can easily be designed to look like and be used as a standard storage shed. When considering a saferoom please check local building codes for wall thickness, reinforcement, and door requirements. Potential water levels must be taken into consideration when building a saferoom.