Published on May 10th, 2019
The bad weather warnings have shaken several people in northwest Arkansas already. Many are leaving their loving homes behind in search of someplace safe.
Several states and cities have building codes that mandate the construction of a storm shelter, but NWA is not one of them. Therefore, during heavy rainfall and storms, people rarely have a safe place near their home to seek refuge.
Many others worry about the cost of building the shelter that can withstand high winds and heavy rains.
Homeowners often make the mistake of considering their houses strong enough to withstand the force of the storm winds. However, tornadoes can turn any flying debris into missiles. Even the odd branch or twig can break windows and fly through the roof when the wind picks it up at high speed.
Arkansas lies in the high-risk zone according to recorded wind speed during tornadoes in the US. Even a wind speed of 158-206 mph can cause enough damage to the load-bearing structures of a house. Wind speed between 158 and 206 mph can wreak havoc on homes.
Do You Need A Storm Refuge?
If your home does not have a secure basement, it is imperative to build a storm shelter for the safety and wellbeing of your family and pets. Strong winds can demolish houses and cover the occupants in debris.
Reaching rescue services during a tornado is not as easy as people would like to think. Not seeking refuge in a storm shelter can endanger your life and the lives of your loved ones.
What Are Your Storm Shelter Options?
Depending on the type of home you live in and your budget, you can opt for various kinds of storm shelters. It is no longer necessary to construct stone-walled, underground refuges to keep your family safe during strong winds.
Modern technology has enabled homeowners to build shelters from scratch using lightweight material that can withstand strong winds and heavy rains confidently.
Here’s what you need to know about the modern storm shelters before you can commission the architects and workers –
1. Residential Safe Rooms
Sometimes it is necessary for people to stay inside their homes when they receive the storm warning too late. Or, when they don’t have the space to create a separate storm shelter. Residential safe-rooms are ideal for larger homes or homes with a spareable room.
These are reinforced steel that provides them with incredible durability and resistance to flying debris. So, even when the flying branches or broken parts of other buildings turn into projectiles, they cannot breach the thick steel walls of the residential shelter. These are perfect for the FE4 tornadoes.
It is one of the most accessible above-ground storm shelters that you can get since it requires minimal to no excavation, construction or renovation. Setting such safe rooms up is quite easy since all you have to do is unbolt, move and re-bolt.
You can quickly shift them from your basement to the laundry room and back to the cellar without hiring professional help. They have optimal ventilation, seating arrangement and storage space for emergency food and water. The area is ample for adults, children, and pets.
2. Customizable Concrete And Fiber Shelters
The concrete and fiber shelters are sturdy. The precast concrete shelters use 6000 psi concrete, in contrast to a regular driveway that has only 3000 to 4000 psi concrete. They also have reinforced fiber mesh to add durability and waterproofing.
Most importantly, the builders reinforce them with steel re-bars to give them enough resistance to the fiercest of storms in Arkansas.
Visit bbbseptic.com/storm-shelters/ to learn more about the precast concrete and fiber refuge for the entire family.
3. Pre-built In-ground Tornado Shelters
Some storm shelters come ready-to-use. They use highly durable polymer and fiber material that only requires minimal assembly after you place them in the ground.
Many people think about turning the storm shelter into a DIY project, but we insist on providing professional setup and construction to ensure the sturdiness of the structure. The only problem with pre-made or non-customized shelters is the lack of space.
That is the reason the leading storm shelter builders provide customization options for homeowners in NWA depending upon the number of family members, storage facilities and accommodation for pets.
Which Storm Shelter Type Is Ideal For You?
There are benefits and drawbacks for every new installation. However, when you are installing a storm refuge for the entire family, you need to keep their best interest in mind while choosing the right type.
Here Are Some Of The Pros Of Installing A Conventional In-ground Shelter –
- They save on square footage, and you can build them to be big enough for accommodating your family, extended family, and neighbors. You can turn them into a luxury shelter if you like!
- Storm shelters in NWA can add value to any real estate.
- In-ground shelters are always safe from lightning strikes and high winds. Flying debris cannot reach the in-ground shelters as quickly as they might reach poor-quality above-ground ones.
Advantages Of Opting For An Above Ground Shelter –
- You will never face a high threat of flooding. Moreover, the above ground reinforced steel shelters don’t float or upturn. Therefore they are secured and resistant to both high winds and flooding.
- You can place an above ground shelter anywhere – a pantry, laundry room, and basements are perfect places to house the storm shelter.
- Excellent quality steel shelters not only provide a safe space during storms, but they are also easily accessible in the event of suspected burglaries or home invasions.
- Most importantly, any above ground storm shelters are accessible for specially-abled family members, who might find descending to in-ground shelters inconvenient or impossible.
With climate change and its impact on the weather, it has become a necessity for almost all homes in the NWA to build a storm refuge.
Superior construction technology and a wide range of material choices have opened several options for homeowners.
Safety of the residents of northwest Arkansas no longer depends on budget constraints. Now, they can make informed decisions while building storm shelters in or next to their homes.