Underground Storm Shelters Catoosa
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 room to put in a septic tank shelter. People had very, very limited choices with respect to protecting their families from tornadoes. At that time, underground storm shelters in Catoosa 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, in their home for tornado protection. Homes throughout Catoosa 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 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 Catoosa 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 take care of the destructive forces connected with tornadoes that would give our Catoosa customers peace of mind and supply them with the maximum 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 which allows for 360o of ventilation for rapid equalization of pressure within the shield. By promoting 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 enormous damage to whatever 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’s 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 worry about is falling debris. We knew that all debris falls at exactly the same speed and only mass determines its impact. 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 corrosion protection options to ensure that the shelter would last as long as the home and the homeowner. FlatSafe supplied the original single-lid design and was the first low-profile, in-garage shelter offered. The lid is 1/4″ thick steel plate with added structural tubing to give extra strength. The single-piece lid is bigger than the framework of the saferoom opening and sits over the frame, not down inside the frame.
Our lid system is a lot 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 powerful system for exiting with debris on the lid, and leaves Catoosa 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 customers rave about the shelter performance and their choice to purchase. FlatSafe continues to push for new invention and continues to push for more stringent and comprehensive codes to protect the families in the vicinity of Catoosa.