Underground Storm Shelters Ada
On May 3, 1999 an EF5 tornado struck Moore, OK that’d record wind speeds of over 300mph. After that 1999 tornado, we realized that not everybody in Oklahoma had the room to put in a septic tank shelter. People had very, very limited choices related to protecting their families from tornadoes. At that time, underground storm shelters in Ada were not installed in half the houses they are now.
Immediately thereafter, the first generation of this in-garage, underground storm shelters was born. This allowed for the masses to install a shelter underground, in their home for tornado protection. Homes throughout Ada were installing these underground storm shelters to protect themselves.
This was a good thought for sheltering people and keeping them out of the weather but it had its downfalls. It stuck up 4 to 5 inches away from the garage floor, had poor ventilation, rusted out quickly, and had steep, awkward ladders for entry and exit. Many of these underground storm shelters in Ada weren’t installed properly and have actually floated up from the ground due to buoyancy and ground water. We took note, and made history.
In 2003, the FlatSafe Tornado Shelter was invented. We engineered our underground storm shelters, to be installed in-garage to deal with the destructive forces connected with tornadoes that would give our Ada customers peace of mind and supply them with the highest probability of survival in an EF5 tornado.
Through instense research, we identified vacuum, air pressure, and debris as the most damaging forces involved with tornadoes.
With possible wind speeds of 300+mph in mind, we recognized that vacuum is among the most damaging forces which tornadoes create. It does not take much vacuum pressure, with regard to psi, to cause structural damage. To counter vacuum forces, FlatSafe made a lid system that permits 360o of ventilation for quick equalization of pressure inside the shelter. By boosting the pressure inside of the shelter to quickly equalize with the outside pressure, the secured lid process is held securely closed.
We understood that 300+mph winds can cause tremendous damage to anything it slams against so we sought to lower our exposed surface area as much as possible. The patented FlatSafe lid system only sticks up 1/4″, so there is very little surface area affected by horizontal wind speeds.
Because FlatSafe Tornado Shelters are under ground, it’s out of the way of horizontal winds and the debris thrown and circulated by it. So the only debris to be concerned about is falling debris. We knew that all debris falls at the same speed and only mass determines its effect. Our 1/4″ plate lid is larger than the shield opening and is reinforced to absorb and withstand any falling debris that might land squarely on it. We designed it to provide more than adequate ventilation (breathing) even after impact.
FlatSafe Underground Storm Shelters
The FlatSafe Tornado Shelter was engineered to meet all of the regulations and criteria that were available. It was also engineered with rust protection options to ensure that the shelter would last as long as the home and the homeowner. FlatSafe supplied the first single-lid design and was the first low-profile, in-garage shelter offered. The lid is 1/4″ thick steel plate with additional structural tubing to give additional strength. The single-piece lid is larger than the frame of the saferoom opening and sits over the frame, not down within the frame.
Our lid system is MUCH stronger than the typical 2-piece lid system provided by everyone else and provides more than adequate ventilation to the occupants. FlatSafe was the first to encase shelters in ready-mix concrete to counteract buoyancy and floatation. The FlatSafe shelter design does not remove from a homeowner’s usable garage floor space.
FlatSafe below ground storm shelters allow for easy entry and exit, provides a highly effective system for leaving with debris on the lid, and leaves Ada residence with the peace of mind that they have an extremely high probability of surviving a direct hit from an EF5 tornado.
Read Real Testimonials From Tornado Survivors
Since 2003, FlatSafe has established itself as the innovator in the in-garage, low profile, under ground storm shelters industry. Several FlatSafe shelters have taken a direct hit from an EF5 tornado and our customers rave about the shelter performance and their option to purchase. FlatSafe continues to push for new innovation and continues to push for more stringent and thorough codes to protect the families in and around Ada.