Underground Storm Shelters Hobart
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 room to install a septic tank shelter. People had very, very limited choices with respect to protecting their families from tornadoes. At that time, underground storm shelters in Hobart 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 home for tornado protection. Homes throughout Hobart 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 fast, and had steep, awkward ladders for entry and exit. A number of these underground storm shelters in Hobart weren’t installed correctly and have actually floated up out of 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 set up in-garage to take care of the destructive forces involved with tornadoes that would offer our Hobart customers peace of mind and supply them with the maximum 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 among the most damaging forces which tornadoes create. It does not require much vacuum pressure, with regard 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 boosting the pressure inside of the shelter to quickly equalize with the outside pressure, the secured lid system 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 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 worry about is falling debris. We understood that all debris falls at the same speed and only mass determines its effect. Our 1/4″ plate lid is larger than the shelter opening and is reinforced to absorb and withstand some falling debris which may land squarely on it. We designed it to provide more than sufficient 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 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 additional structural tubing to give extra strength. The single-piece lid is bigger than the frame of the saferoom opening and sits above the frame, not down within 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 does not remove from a homeowner’s usable garage floor area.
FlatSafe below ground storm shelters allow for easy entry and exit, provides a highly effective system for exiting with debris onto the lid, and leaves Hobart 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 business. 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 invention and continues to push for more stringent and thorough codes to protect the families in the vicinity of Hobart.