Underground Storm Shelters Bartlesville
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 Bartlesville 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 house for tornado protection. Homes throughout Bartlesville were installing these underground storm shelters to protect themselves.
This was a good thought for sheltering people and keeping them from 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. A number of these underground storm shelters in Bartlesville weren’t installed correctly and have actually floated up out of 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 Bartlesville 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 destructive forces connected with tornadoes.
With possible wind speeds of 300+mph in mind, we realized that vacuum is among the most damaging forces that tornadoes create. It does not 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 venting 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 system is held securely closed.
We recognized that 300+mph winds can cause enormous damage to whatever it slams against so we sought to lower our exposed surface area as far as possible. The patented FlatSafe lid system only sticks up 1/4″, so there is very little surface area affected by horizontal wind speeds.
Since 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 knew that all debris falls at exactly the exact same speed and only mass determines its impact. 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 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 which were available. It was also engineered with rust protection options to ensure that the shelter would last as long as the house and the homeowner. FlatSafe supplied the original single-lid design and was the first low-profile, in-garage shelter given. The lid is 1/4″ thick steel plate with additional structural tubing to provide extra strength. The single-piece lid is larger than the framework of the saferoom opening and sits over the framework, not down within the frame.
Our lid system is MUCH 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 shelters 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 allow for easy entry and exit, provides a highly effective system for leaving with debris on the lid, and leaves Bartlesville residence with the reassurance 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, below ground storm shelters business. Many FlatSafe shelters have taken a direct hit from an EF5 tornado and our clients rave about the shelter 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 the vicinity of Bartlesville.