Underground Tornado Shelters Oklahoma City
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 room to put in a septic tank shelter. People had very, very limited choices with respect to protecting their families from tornadoes.
Immediately thereafter, the first generation of this in-garage, underground tornado shelters was born. This allowed for the masses to put in a shelter underground, in their home for tornado protection. Homes throughout Oklahoma City were installing these underground tornado shelters to protect themselves.
This was a fantastic 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. Many of these underground tornado shelters in Oklahoma City 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 tornado shelters, to be set up in-garage to take care of the destructive forces connected with tornadoes that would offer our Oklahoma City customers peace of mind and supply them with the maximum probability of survival in an EF5 tornado.
Through extensive 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 among the most damaging forces that tornadoes create. It doesn’t require much vacuum pressure, with respect to psi, to cause structural damage. To counter vacuum forces, FlatSafe designed a lid system that allows for 360o of ventilation for rapid equalization of pressure within the shelter. By promoting the pressure inside of the shelter to quickly equalize with the outside pressure, the secured lid system is held securely closed.
We understood that 300+mph winds can cause tremendous 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 is very little surface area affected by horizontal wind speeds.
Since FlatSafe Tornado Shelters are below ground, it’s 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 just mass determines its effect. Our 1/4″ plate lid is larger than the shelter opening and is reinforced to absorb and withstand any falling debris that might land squarely on it. We made it to provide more than sufficient ventilation (breathing) even after impact.
FlatSafe Underground Tornado 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 home and the homeowner. FlatSafe supplied the original 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 additional strength. The single-piece lid is larger than the frame of the saferoom opening and sits above 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 remove from a homeowner’s usable garage floor space.
FlatSafe below ground tornado shelters allow for easy entry and exit, provides a highly effective system for leaving with debris on the lid, and leaves Oklahoma City 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, under ground tornado shelters business. Many FlatSafe shelters have taken a direct hit from an EF5 tornado and our clients rave about the shelter 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 Oklahoma City.
Contact our dedicated specialists today at (866) 520-FLAT to learn more about the installation of our storm shelters in your Oklahoma City home.