Home Improvement

Finding the Right Tornado Shelter for a New Home: A Definitive Guide

When living in tornado alley, an area in the central U.S. that is exposed to frequent tornadoes, a homeowner will want to consider installing a safe room in his new home. A safe room is basically a hardened structure that is specifically designated to protect people in extreme weather events, such as tornadoes or storms. Also, there are some guidelines that different types of safe rooms need to follow to be considered an underground or above ground tornado shelter. This article enlists different types of tornado shelters that can be installed in a new home.

·         Underground storm shelters

An underground tornado shelter is the most common type of shelter that can be found in homes. This particular tornado shelter can hold many people depending on its size. Most underground shelters are made of steel, concrete, or fiberglass and can be installed into the ground within a few hours. Some features that an underground shelter should have for better protection against tornados are a fully weather-sealed door that is successfully impact tested, a six-point lock system, and non-skid steps for people to step down safely into the shelter.

·         Above-ground storm shelters

Above ground storm, shelter is another common type of safe roof that can be installed in a new home. These shelters function similarly to underground storm shelters, protecting people from strong winds, tornadoes, and debris. An above-ground tornado shelter can accommodate many people depending on its size. Usually, above-ground shelters have multiple emergency exits, in case the main door is blocked by storm debris. The shelters are efficient enough to be installed anywhere a solid concrete slab is present, including a garage or closet.

·         Bed Shelters

Bed shelters meet the requirements as set for protection against tornadoes and usually cost half the price of a traditional tornado shelter. With this safe room conveniently installed under the bed of an individual, he can have easy access to the shelter no matter what time of day it is. Usually, accessing the outdoor shelters can take too long, and also that it can be dangerous to run to them. On the other hand, bed shelters allow one to get inside the shelter early, before the tornado hits.

·         Underground garage units

If a person wants an underground shelter but also doesn’t want to risk going outside during a tornado, then having an underground garage storm a shelter is a great option. Similar to outdoor underground shelters, these have a door opening from the ground, and steps that can lead people down into the shelter. The smallest-sized underground garage shelter is known to accommodate around seven to eight people.


Many people avoid getting an above ground tornado shelter installed in their new house to save money. However, the less they know is that their and their family’s safety is priceless. So, when thinking of having a storm shelter for protection against a tornado, a homeowner can consider installing one of these four types of shelters in their new home.