Underground Storm Shelters Anadarko
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 protector. People had very, very limited choices related to protecting their families from tornadoes. At that time, underground storm shelters in Anadarko 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 install a shelter underground, inside their house for tornado protection. Homes throughout Anadarko 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 off 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 Anadarko weren’t installed correctly and have actually floated up out of the ground because of 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 take care of the destructive forces connected with tornadoes that would give our Anadarko clients peace of mind and supply them with the highest probability of survival in an EF5 tornado.
Through extensive research, we identified vacuum, air pressure, and debris as the most destructive forces involved with tornadoes.
With potential wind speeds of 300+miles in mind, we recognized that vacuum is among 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 permits 360o of venting 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 system is held securely closed.
We understood that 300+mph winds can cause enormous damage to anything it slams against so we sought to reduce our exposed surface area as much as possible. The patented FlatSafe lid system only sticks up 1/4″, therefore there is very little surface area affected by horizontal wind speeds.
Because FlatSafe Tornado Shelters are below ground, it is 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 understood that all debris falls at exactly the same speed and just mass determines its effect. Our 1/4″ plate lid is larger 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 adequate ventilation (breathing) even after impact.
FlatSafe Underground Storm Shelters
The FlatSafe Tornado Shelter was engineered to meet all of the regulations and criteria which 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 given. The lid is 1/4″ thick steel plate with added structural tubing to give additional strength. The single-piece lid is larger than the framework 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 offered by everyone 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 does not take away 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 exiting with debris onto the lid, and leaves Anadarko 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. Many FlatSafe shelters have taken a direct hit from an EF5 tornado and our customers rave about the shelter performance and their choice to purchase. FlatSafe continues to push for new innovation and continues to push for more stringent and comprehensive codes to protect the families in the vicinity of Anadarko.