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Safe rooms can provide homeowners shelter from violent tornados


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.