Underground Storm Shelters Grove
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 everyone in Oklahoma had the space to put in a septic tank protector. People had very, very limited choices related to protecting their families from tornadoes. At that time, underground storm shelters in Grove 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, inside their home for tornado protection. Homes throughout Grove were installing these underground storm shelters to protect themselves.
This was a good idea 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 quickly, and had steep, awkward ladders for entry and exit. A number of these underground storm shelters in Grove 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 deal with the destructive forces involved with tornadoes that would give our Grove customers 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 connected with tornadoes.
With possible wind speeds of 300+mph in mind, we recognized that vacuum is one of the most damaging forces that tornadoes create. It doesn’t take much vacuum pressure, with respect to psi, to cause structural damage. To counter vacuum forces, FlatSafe designed a lid system which allows for 360o of ventilation for quick equalization of pressure within the shield. By boosting the pressure inside of the shelter to quickly equalize with the outside pressure, the secured lid process is held firmly closed.
We recognized that 300+mph winds can cause tremendous damage to whatever it slams against so we sought to lower our exposed surface area as far 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 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 the exact 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 that might 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 rust protection options to ensure that the shelter would last as long as the house and the homeowner. FlatSafe provided the first single-lid design and was the first low-profile, in-garage shelter given. The lid is 1/4″ thick steel plate with additional structural tubing to provide additional strength. The single-piece lid is larger than the frame of the saferoom opening and sits above the framework, not down within the frame.
Our lid system is a lot 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 take away from a homeowner’s usable garage floor area.
FlatSafe below ground storm shelters allow for easy entry and exit, provides a powerful system for leaving with debris onto the lid, and leaves Grove 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 clients rave about the protector performance and their option to purchase. FlatSafe continues to push for new invention and continues to push for more stringent and comprehensive codes to protect the families in and around Grove.