Underground Storm Shelters Collinsville
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 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 Collinsville 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, inside their home for tornado protection. Homes throughout Collinsville were installing these underground storm shelters to protect themselves.
This was a good idea 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 Collinsville weren’t installed properly and have really floated up from 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 Collinsville 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 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 does not take much vacuum pressure, with respect to psi, to cause structural damage. To counter vacuum forces, FlatSafe made a lid system which allows for 360o of ventilation for quick equalization of pressure within the shield. By promoting the pressure inside of the shield to quickly equalize with the outside pressure, the secured lid process is held securely closed.
We understood that 300+mph winds can cause tremendous 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″, so 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 be concerned about is falling debris. We understood that all debris falls at exactly 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 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 make sure that the shelter would last as long as the home and the homeowner. FlatSafe provided the first 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 larger than the framework of the saferoom opening and sits over the framework, not down inside the frame.
Our lid system is a lot stronger than the typical 2-piece lid system provided 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 allow for easy entry and exit, provides a highly effective system for exiting with debris on the lid, and leaves Collinsville 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, below ground storm shelters industry. Several 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 thorough codes to protect the families in and around Collinsville.