A Guide to Building a Tornado-Proof Underground Shelter

Tornado-Proof ShelterIf you live somewhere in the Tornado Alley, you probably already have safe shelters. All you need to remember is to maintain it. You can hire a repairman from companies like americanbasementsolutions.com to make sure everything is in order. Or just do it yourself.

Don’t have a tornado shelter yet? It’s high time you get a move on and build one. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages residents in tornado-prone regions to build tornado cellars.

Planning Process

Start building your shelter in your basement, if you have one. Begin with the walls and cement it to the basement floor.

For those who don’t have basements, make plans and draw blueprints on how large you want the shelter to be. It will depend on the size of the family, but you need to have about 10 square feet per person.

Once the space is determined, plan the area where you want to store food, blankets, water bottles, first-aid kits, and other necessities.

Construction Process

Since you already calculated the size of the shelter, now is the time to start digging a hole. It should be larger than the planned shelter size. You’d need enough room to build and operate in it.

Next is to use concrete to make the walls. It has to be at least five inches thick. Let it cure completely before moving to the next step. The outer frame of the shelter should be dome-shaped.

Add fiberglass, metal mesh and wooden constructions to strengthen the entire shelter. The additional frame must have anchors for stability. Adding another concrete layer on top of the metal construction will give it more strength. 

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On the shelter’s roof, put an additional metal mesh layer to endure heavy debris and strong windows that may fall on top of it. The door that you install must have three dead bolts, and concrete and steel frame.

Ensure that the safe room is indeed safe by consulting an architect or a professional builder. You owe yourself and your family that peace of mind.

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