Storm Shelters Above Versus Below Ground
May 5, 2010
For those living in Oklahoma we understand just how important it is to have a tornado drill in our homes, so each member of our family knows what to do and where to go when the sirens sound. Many Oklahoman’s have storm shelters either in their home, garage, or on the property nearby the house. It is very important to have a storm shelter if you live in Oklahoma. The major problem comes when a family is trying to decide what type of storm shelter to choose – above ground or below ground.
You will hear both sides of the fence stating the below ground is safer and the other side saying there is no difference. Since the tornado that hit in Oklahoma on May 3, 1999, awareness of tornadoes and how to protect your family against such emergency has been prevalent throughout the state, so in most cases, families want a storm shelter, but have a hard time making the decisions needed to actually have one installed.
An underground storm shelter is always safer, no matter what. However, there are disadvantages to having an underground shelter which includes they are more susceptible of floating due to the high water table, are more susceptible to stresses if the soil freezes during winter, and they can be more expensive if the ground is bedrock.
If you do choose to have an underground storm shelter, you will need to decide if you want an in house entry. Many families opt for in-house entry which does have advantages including it is safer if the tornado is so close you do not have time to go outdoors, is convenient, less susceptible to animals calling it home, and it is easier to control access. On the other hand, there are disadvantages. If the tornado destroys your home, you may be left under all that debris, which will make it harder for rescue workers to come to your aid, quickly. This type of shelter is not easy to install if your home is built and if the shelter is not properly installed it can float or harm other areas of your home due to freezing or other problems.
Above ground storm shelters offers less preparation to the ground and is much easier to enter for every member of the family including those in wheel chairs. The only disadvantage is the room the shelter may take up in your home or garage.
Today, you can talk with a storm shelter company and learn that every storm shelter, above and below ground have been tested to ensure they will protect your family to the best of its ability.
Here is a company that sells and installs above and below ground Storm Shelters made to Fema specs http://www.southernstormsheltersdirect.com/ they offer free quotes and a 10 year warranty.