Underground Storm Shelters Guymon
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 with respect to protecting their families from tornadoes. At that time, underground storm shelters in Guymon 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, in their house for tornado protection. Homes throughout Guymon were installing these underground storm shelters to protect themselves.
This was a good thought 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 Guymon weren’t installed properly and have actually floated up from 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 set up in-garage to deal with the destructive forces connected with tornadoes that would give our Guymon clients peace of mind and provide them with the maximum probability of survival in an EF5 tornado.
Through instense research, we identified vacuum, air pressure, and debris as the most destructive forces involved with tornadoes.
With potential wind speeds of 300+mph in mind, we recognized that vacuum is among 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 made a lid system which permits 360o of venting for quick equalization of pressure inside the shield. By promoting the pressure inside of the shield to quickly equalize with the outside pressure, the secured lid system 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 far as possible. The patented FlatSafe lid system only sticks up 1/4″, so there is very little surface area affected by horizontal wind speeds.
Because FlatSafe Tornado Shelters are below 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 understood that all debris falls at exactly the same speed and only mass determines its impact. Our 1/4″ plate lid is larger than the shelter opening and is reinforced to absorb and withstand some falling debris that might land squarely on it. We designed 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 rust protection options to ensure that the shelter would last as long as the house and the homeowner. FlatSafe provided the original 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 bigger than the framework of the saferoom opening and sits over the framework, not down inside the frame.
Our lid system is MUCH 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 does not take away from a homeowner’s usable garage floor area.
FlatSafe below ground storm shelters permit easy entry and exit, provides a powerful system for leaving with debris on the lid, and leaves Guymon residence with the peace of mind 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, below ground storm shelters industry. Many FlatSafe shelters have taken a direct hit from an EF5 tornado and our customers rave about the protector performance and their choice to purchase. FlatSafe continues to push for new innovation and continues to push for more stringent and thorough codes to protect the families in and around Guymon.