When weather makes a turn for the worst, it is critical for individuals to feel that they can be safe in a volatile situation. The most inherent danger to people and property during tornadoes and hurricanes is the flying debris carried in the high winds. Traveling at such intense velocity, any item turns into a missile that can cut right through a building wall and endanger the people inside.
Concrete safe rooms are a proven way to keep people safe during a tornado or hurricane. Typically created as a small, windowless room, safe rooms are completely encapsulated in concrete. The room would be located in a central area of the home for additional protection as well as accessibility, but can be placed on the outside wall of the home or in a garage.
A safe room can be incorporated into the construction of a new home, or can be retrofitted into an existing home. The advantage of a safe room over a storm cellar is that the safe room can function year-round as a usable area, such as a bathroom, closet or utility room.
Safe rooms can be constructed with a variety of concrete systems, including precast, cast-in-place, insulating concrete forms, and concrete masonry.
Understand Your Safe Room Options
PCA, FLASH, and FEMA developed a video series describe different tornado safe room options. The series, "Which Tornado Safe Room is Right for You?", provides comparative information on cast-in-place, concrete block masonry, insulated concrete forms, and precast concrete.