Underground Storm Shelters Cushing
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 everyone 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 Cushing 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 install a shelter underground, inside their house for tornado protection. Homes throughout Cushing were installing these underground storm shelters to protect themselves.
This was a fantastic idea for sheltering people and keeping them out of 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 Cushing 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 offer our Cushing clients peace of mind and supply them with the highest probability of survival in an EF5 tornado.
Through instense 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 take much vacuum pressure, with regard to psi, to cause structural damage. To counter vacuum forces, FlatSafe made a lid system that allows for 360o of ventilation for quick equalization of pressure inside the shield. By promoting the pressure inside of the shelter to quickly equalize with the outside pressure, the secured lid system is held firmly closed.
We understood that 300+mph winds can cause enormous damage to anything 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.
Since FlatSafe Tornado Shelters are under 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 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 that might land squarely on it. We made it to provide more than adequate ventilation (breathing) even after effect.
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 additional strength. The single-piece lid is larger than the frame of the saferoom opening and sits over the frame, not down inside the frame.
Our lid system is a lot stronger than the typical 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 does not 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 onto the lid, and leaves Cushing residence with the reassurance that they have an extremely 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 industry. 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 comprehensive codes to protect the families in the vicinity of Cushing.