Underground Storm Shelters Ardmore
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 install a septic tank protector. People had very, very limited choices with respect to protecting their families from tornadoes. At that time, underground storm shelters in Ardmore 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 put in a shelter underground, in their home for tornado protection. Homes throughout Ardmore 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 fast, and had steep, awkward ladders for entry and exit. Many of these underground storm shelters in Ardmore weren’t installed properly and have really 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 set up in-garage to deal with the destructive forces involved with tornadoes that would offer our Ardmore customers 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 connected with tornadoes.
With possible wind speeds of 300+miles in mind, we realized that vacuum is among the most damaging forces which tornadoes create. It doesn’t require much vacuum pressure, with respect 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 shelter. By boosting the pressure inside of the shelter to quickly equalize with the outside pressure, the secured lid process is held firmly closed.
We recognized that 300+mph winds can cause tremendous damage to whatever 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″, therefore there’s very little surface area affected by horizontal wind speeds.
Because FlatSafe Tornado Shelters are below ground, it’s out of the way of horizontal winds and the debris thrown and circulated by it. So the only debris to worry about is falling debris. We knew that all debris falls at the same speed and just mass determines its effect. Our 1/4″ plate lid is bigger than the shield opening and is reinforced to absorb and withstand any falling debris which may 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 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 provide extra strength. The single-piece lid is bigger than the framework of the saferoom opening and sits above the frame, not down inside the frame.
Our lid system is a lot stronger than the normal 2-piece lid system provided 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 doesn’t remove from a homeowner’s usable garage floor space.
FlatSafe below ground storm shelters allow for easy entry and exit, provides a powerful system for leaving with debris onto the lid, and leaves Ardmore 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 protector performance and their option to buy. FlatSafe continues to push for new innovation and continues to push for more stringent and comprehensive codes to protect the families in and around Ardmore.