Underground Storm Shelters Alva
On May 3, 1999 an EF5 tornado struck Moore, OK that had record wind speeds of over 300mph. After that 1999 tornado, we realized that not everybody in Oklahoma had the space 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 Alva were not installed in half the houses they are now.
Immediately thereafter, the first generation of the in-garage, underground storm shelters was born. This allowed for the masses to put in a shelter underground, inside their home for tornado protection. Homes throughout Alva were installing these underground storm shelters to protect themselves.
This was a fantastic 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 fast, and had steep, awkward ladders for entry and exit. Many of these underground storm shelters in Alva weren’t installed properly and have really 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 set up in-garage to take care of the destructive forces connected with tornadoes that would give our Alva clients peace of mind and supply them with the maximum probability of survival in an EF5 tornado.
Through instense research, we identified vacuum, air pressure, and debris as the most damaging forces connected with tornadoes.
With potential wind speeds of 300+mph in mind, we recognized that vacuum is one of the most damaging forces that tornadoes create. It doesn’t require much vacuum pressure, with regard to psi, to cause structural damage. To counter vacuum forces, FlatSafe designed a lid system that allows for 360o of ventilation for rapid equalization of pressure within the shield. By boosting the pressure inside of the shield to quickly equalize with the outside pressure, the secured lid process is held firmly closed.
We recognized that 300+mph winds can cause enormous damage to anything it slams against so we sought to reduce our exposed surface area as far as possible. The patented FlatSafe lid system only sticks up 1/4″, therefore there’s very little surface area affected by horizontal wind speeds.
Because FlatSafe Tornado Shelters are below ground, it is from 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 understood that all debris falls at exactly the same speed and only mass determines its effect. Our 1/4″ plate lid is bigger than the shelter opening and is reinforced to absorb and withstand some falling debris that might land squarely on it. We made it to provide more than sufficient 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 make sure that the shelter would last as long as the house and the homeowner. FlatSafe provided 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 bigger than the framework of the saferoom opening and sits above the framework, not down within the frame.
Our lid system is MUCH stronger than the normal 2-piece lid system offered by everybody else and provides more than adequate ventilation to the occupants. FlatSafe was the first to encase lands in ready-mix concrete to counteract buoyancy and floatation. The FlatSafe shelter design doesn’t take away from a homeowner’s usable garage floor space.
FlatSafe below ground storm shelters permit easy entry and exit, provides a highly effective system for leaving with debris onto the lid, and leaves Alva residence with the reassurance that they have a very large 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 business. Many FlatSafe shelters have taken a direct hit from an EF5 tornado and our clients rave about the protector performance and their option to buy. FlatSafe continues to push for new invention and continues to push for more stringent and thorough codes to protect the families in the vicinity of Alva.