Have you heard of above ground storm shelters? If you live in Tornado Alley, you are probably beyond aware of the protocol when a twister is headed your way. You’ve probably done it so many times that it doesn’t even phase you when the ominous sirens go off during a bad storm. You get yourself to the nearest bathtub or hallway or tornado shelter and wait it out. That’s how our forefathers did it, and that’s what we’ll do.
The thing is, storm safety technology has progressed since the days of Dorothy and Toto. If Auntie Em had heard of above ground storm shelters, there’s a good chance Dorothy never would have gotten carried away to Oz. While that might have ruined one of our favorite childhood films, there are a myriad of benefits that come with above ground storm shelters:
Three Benefits of Above Ground Storm Shelters
It might seem intuitive that below ground storm shelters would offer superior safety; after all, the tornado itself if above the ground. The further you are from the threat, the safer you are, right? While that makes sense, and by all means, an underground storm shelter is better than no storm shelter at all (providing that it has been adequately tested), being underground introduces a new set of risks and dangers:
- The most common injury that comes from tornadoes is being hit with debris. Most underground storm shelters require you to walk outdoors in the middle of the madness to get to it. This exposes you to the danger of being hit with a flying object and hurt before you ever get to your shelter. Meanwhile, the above ground shelters are often in garages, so they can be safely reached in the storm.
- Gravity works against you with underground storm shelters. All it takes is for the door to be blown off and all of the glass and cement and other elements to your likely torn-apart home to come raining down on you. Even if the door stays safely in place, if a heavy object lands on top, you can end up trapped underground.
- Flooding is a serious issue with underground storm shelters. In the torrential rains that accompanies a tornado, your underground storm shelter could end up being an underground swimming pool.
Let’s say you spend the bucko bucks to have an underground storm shelter installed in your home. Then down the road, you decide to move. Your shelter cannot be moved with you. Guess what? You just paid all that money so the people who live in your home after you have a great underground storm shelter. Meanwhile, your above ground storm shelters can go anywhere you go. You investment stays in your pocket.
I know what you’re thinking, what if you downsize and no longer need a storm shelter at all? Well, unlike underground storm shelters, your above ground shelter can easily be sold to someone else. Or you can hand it down to your kids. Or if it’s a selling point, you can leave it in your home for the people who purchase it after you. The point is, you have a lot more ways of recovering the money you’re spending to protect your family from a tornado than you would with an underground shelter.
To follow-up with the previous point, you also have any number of options for customization with an above ground storm shelter, which might not be available with the constrictions of being underground. If you have a narrow area in your garage that would work well for a storm shelter, you can have an above ground storm shelter fabricated for those exact specifications. While you have to have the yard space available to put your underground, if you live in a condo or any kind of home with no yard, it’s no problem. You can have have an above ground shelter created for any space you have, to ensure that your family has the utmost safety available to them in the event of a tornado.