A tornado can devastate a community. We have all seen the unfortunate photos. While property damage is expensive and disheartening, it is not nearly as troubling as people losing their lives or being injured. Luckily, precast concrete forms have been used to make safe storm shelters.
Storm shelter forms are being used to make FEMA 320 standard shelters to help save lives.
Storm Shelter Standards
FEMA issues guidelines for shelters, but does not provide accreditation. Accreditation primarily comes from testing done at the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University. According to National Geographic, “Their researchers test shelter components and reinforced doors by hitting them with 15-pound two-by-fours through a ‘modified potato gun.’ he device mimics flying debris traveling at 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour). In a different room, a tornado vortex simulation mimics wind speeds of up to 250 miles per hour (402 kilometers per hour).”
“We enjoy blowing things up here,” says Larry Tanner, a structural engineer and research associate at Texas Tech.
Federal Rebate for Storm Shelter
In addition to the greatest incentive needed, keeping your family safe, there is also monetary assistance provided by the federal government toward the purchase of a storm shelter.
National Geographic reports: “Many local municipalities in Oklahoma have applied for federal rebate money to offset the costs of building shelters. In 2012, Oklahoma launched a program called SoonerSafe, which can give homeowners up to 75 percent of the cost of building a safe room—as much as $2,000. The money comes from the federal government and is dependent on unused FEMA funds. Last year, 16,000 people applied for the funds and 500 were awarded grants through a lottery.”
Other Important Components
Both FEMA and Texas Tech recommend these items be included in your storm shelter, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, an emergency radio, batteries, basic tools, blankets, some water and dry food. Residents of many communities can register their storm shelters with emergency response teams, which will then know to check on residents after a natural disaster.
Del Zotto Storm Shelter Forms create highly secure, top-quality shelters. They can be sold to mobile home park residents, camp grounds, marinas, small businesses and residential areas. Call us now for more information 352-351-3834.