Underground Storm Shelters Chickasha
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 protector. People had very, very limited choices with respect to protecting their families from tornadoes. At that time, underground storm shelters in Chickasha 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 house for tornado protection. Homes throughout Chickasha were installing these underground storm shelters to protect themselves.
This was a fantastic idea 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. Many of these underground storm shelters in Chickasha 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 installed in-garage to deal with the destructive forces involved with tornadoes that would give our Chickasha 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 damaging forces involved with tornadoes.
With potential wind speeds of 300+miles in mind, we realized that vacuum is one of the most damaging forces that tornadoes create. It does not require much vacuum pressure, with respect 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 securely closed.
We recognized that 300+mph winds can cause tremendous 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″, so there’s very little surface area affected by horizontal wind speeds.
Since FlatSafe Tornado Shelters are below ground, it’s from 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 only 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 which were available. It was also engineered with corrosion 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 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 above the framework, not down inside the frame.
Our lid system is MUCH stronger than the typical 2-piece lid system offered by everybody 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 remove from a homeowner’s usable garage floor space.
FlatSafe below ground storm shelters permit easy entry and exit, provides a highly effective system for exiting with debris on the lid, and leaves Chickasha residence with the peace of mind 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. Several FlatSafe shelters have taken a direct hit from an EF5 tornado and our clients rave about the protector performance and their choice to buy. FlatSafe continues to push for new innovation and continues to push for more stringent and thorough codes to protect the families in the vicinity of Chickasha.