Underground Storm Shelters Edmond
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 protector. People had very, very limited choices with respect to protecting their families from tornadoes. At that time, underground storm shelters in Edmond 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 put in a shelter underground, in their house for tornado protection. Homes throughout Edmond were installing these underground storm shelters to protect themselves.
This was a fantastic thought 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 quickly, and had steep, awkward ladders for entry and exit. A number of these underground storm shelters in Edmond weren’t installed properly and have actually 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 deal with the destructive forces connected with tornadoes that would offer our Edmond clients peace of mind and provide 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 require much vacuum pressure, with regard to psi, to cause structural damage. To counter vacuum forces, FlatSafe designed a lid system which permits 360o of venting for quick equalization of pressure inside 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 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″, so there’s very little surface area affected by horizontal wind speeds.
Because FlatSafe Tornado Shelters are under 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 understood that all debris falls at exactly the exact same speed and just mass determines its effect. Our 1/4″ plate lid is bigger than the shield opening and is reinforced to absorb and withstand some falling debris which may land squarely on it. We designed 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 which were available. It was also engineered with corrosion protection options to ensure that the shelter would last as long as the house and the homeowner. FlatSafe supplied the first single-lid design and was the first low-profile, in-garage shelter offered. The lid is 1/4″ thick steel plate with additional structural tubing to give extra strength. The single-piece lid is larger than the frame of the saferoom opening and sits over the framework, not down inside the frame.
Our lid system is a lot stronger than the normal 2-piece lid system offered by everyone 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 allow for easy entry and exit, provides a powerful system for leaving with debris onto the lid, and leaves Edmond 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 industry. Several FlatSafe shelters have taken a direct hit from an EF5 tornado and our customers rave about the shelter 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 Edmond.