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9469617

Safe rooms can provide homeowners shelter from violent tornados

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In the wake of last week’s violent tornado outbreak in Oklahoma, many homeowners have been forced to consider where they would go in their home with a severe storm bearing down. From basements to bathtubs, every homeowner’s emergency plan is somehow unique.

But what if there was a more practical solution, an actual safe room homeowners could depend on to guarantee their family’s well being?

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has it covered.

Since 1998, FEMA has provided a free instructions for how to construct a safe room. Taking Shelter From the Storm, Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business, FEMA P-320 is now in its third edition, last updated in 2008. It is a free download.

FEMA defines a safe room as:

A hardened structure specifically designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criteria and provide “near-absolute protection” in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes. Near-absolute protection means that, based on our current knowledge of tornadoes and hurricanes, the occupants of a safe room built in accordance with FEMA guidance will have a very high probability of being protected from injury or death.

For homeowners with a more urgent need and the funds to match, a company called Securall manufactures safe rooms that can cost anywhere from $3,500 to over $20,000. One model (pictured above) is 319 square feet and can hold up to 63 people.