The Role of Underground Storm Shelters and Survival Bunkers in Weathering Any Storm
Last updated Thursday, August 24th, 2023
How to Get a Storm Shelter That Guarantees Your Family’s Safety
Your home is your ultimate comfort zone. But it’s important to know its vulnerabilities to be prepared when extreme weather disasters strike. Because tornadoes, hurricanes, and thunderstorms won’t come knocking on your door.
They’ll try to blow it away, turning your comfort zone into a death trap. Even your basement may get damaged by debris or collapse. You need to be prepared and have a strong shelter to weather the storm.
You can rebuild your home, but you can’t reclaim your life. Nearly 500 Americans lost their lives and thousands were injured in natural disasters last year.
Underground storm shelters and survival bunkers could’ve prevented most of these tragedies. They are built to withstand all kinds of extreme weather events and can easily be integrated with your property.
Understanding Underground Storm Shelters and Survival Bunkers
Underground shelters are specially reinforced structures built to withstand extreme winds and temperatures while protecting you from flying debris. They are constructed with steel and fiberglass and use concrete foundations.
They’re naturally reinforced by the ground on all sides since they’re built underground. Only the doorway needs extra reinforcement to prevent any damage.
Survival bunkers are built very close to homes to provide quick access in case of emergencies. They usually have an angled door to allow debris to easily slide off when you try to open the door. A reinforced ventilation system is also necessary to maintain proper airflow while you wait out the storm. You can modify your shelter’s entry and exit design based on your preferences.
You may be wondering – “How much can these storm shelters really take if there’s a major disaster?”
They can protect you from 250 mph winds and over 3,000 pounds of force. No storm ever gets close to those levels of intensity. So don’t worry!
The Key Components of Unmatched Protection
Here are a few essential design components that make up a 100% weather-proof storm shelter:
- Fully Welded Units – for providing maximum overhead cover and structural integrity
- Below Ground Staircase Entry – for easy and secure access
- Optional Overhead Hatch with Ladder – to give you an alternate entry point in case the other entry is blocked or not reachable
- Additional Exit Point – for giving you a safe way out in case the entry gets blocked by debris
Weathering the Storm: How Underground Shelters Work
Underground storm shelters are the most resilient safe spaces in the face of terrifying F4 and F5 tornadoes. The Midwest is well known for being the Tornado Alley of America. Our emergency storm damage cleanup team has helped several homeowners affected by tornadoes all across Nebraska.
Here are two common scenarios we have faced:
- We have witnessed homes with their entire foundation ripped away after a tornado. It looked like there was no trace of a home on the damaged property. Yet, homeowners with underground shelters walked away without a scratch.
- We’ve also seen cases of milder property damage but severe injuries to the family living there. Why? Because they had no shelter to retreat to and got injured by the flying debris.
So your family’s safety is your responsibility. You need to build an underground storm shelter keeping your family size in mind. Consult your contractor to pick the right size for safely accommodating all members.
The Aftermath: The Importance of Storm Cleanup
An underground shelter can save your life, but you and your property may still be at risk when you come out. There could be fallen trees, broken power lines, damaged water pipes, and parts of your property on the verge of collapse. So don’t jump in to fix the damage right away. You’re not even sure how much damage there is and how to safely remove it.
Tree Wise Men’s storm damage cleanup team is available 24/7 to quickly clean up and secure your property. We start with a deep inspection of your property damage and identify any other threats that need to be dealt with.
Our crew will first clear out all debris that is limiting your home’s access and functionality. We know how hard it is to get back on your feet after surviving this traumatic event. So we’ll help clean and secure your home to turn it into your comfort zone again.
At the same time, our team will also evaluate structural damage that could compromise your long-term safety. We’ll help you take preventative measures to avoid any future injuries or damages.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the lifespan of an underground storm shelter?
Underground shelters can last for hundreds of years because of their sturdy construction and highly limited exposure to weather elements. However, steel and fiberglass shelters last longer than concrete shelters.
How can I ensure proper ventilation inside the shelter?
You can buy underground storm shelters that provide 360 degrees of passive ventilation through the back lid. They can strategically make holes and install exhaust fans to maintain smooth air circulation.
It’s important to consult your contractor to get the perfect ventilation system for your shelter size.
Can the shelter be customized to suit specific needs?
Here are some of the factors that will determine the right type of underground shelter for you:
- Number of people you need to accommodate
- Seating, lighting, ventilation, communication, and other amenities
- Construction materials and design
- Interior layout
- Power and energy needs
Are shelters suitable for areas prone to flooding?
No. Underground shelters are particularly vulnerable to leakages, entry-point or ventilation obstructions during flooding. Above-ground shelters are a safer option if you live in an area prone to flooding.
How long does it take to install an underground storm shelter?
Your contractor will be able to install an underground storm shelter within 3-5 hours.
Are there any special maintenance requirements?
Ensure your shelter’s entry and exit are free from all obstructions. Check the ventilation system periodically to see if the airflow is fine. And keep your shelter free from dust so that the air quality is clean when you have to use it.
How do I ensure my shelter remains hidden from view?
The simplest way to keep your shelter hidden is to cover the entry with the fallen branches and leaves in your yard. Make sure you can easily clear this stuff and get in within seconds in case of an emergency.