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Tornado Alley Armor AwesomeBlog!

Your Comprehensive Guide to Severe Weather Protection! Safe Rooms, Tornado Storm Shelters, FEMA Standards & Grant Programs, National Storm Shelter Association News, Site Selection, Installation Guides, Tips from the Pros....and more!

Monty is the co-owner of Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms, an innovative common sense safe room design that delivers certified EF5 tornado safety at an affordable price. Monty is a 3rd generation entrepreneur, with a broad and diverse background in research, product design, development & testing, with both domestic and international business experience. Monty's wife Leslie is also his business partner.

What's the most important thing to look for when shopping for a tornado storm shelter?

What's the most important thing to look for when shopping for a tornado storm shelter?
By far the most important question to ask when shopping for a tornado shelter is "Are you a member of the National Storm Shelter Association?"NSSA Producer Members (like us) are your only assured way to know that the shelter is in fact FEMA compliant and built to withstand EF-5 forces. We are required by the NSSA to pass a full 3rd party engineering peer review of our entire design package, including quality control measures, full compliancewith FEMA361 and ICC-500 guidelines, calculations, construction prints, and impact test verification to name a few. No other association or certainly noindependent provider will have their designs independently verified...they'll instead give you lots of well-rehearsed excuses why they're not members of the NSSA. The NSSA does all the leg work and covers all the bases for you, so you simply have to look for NSSA Producer Members.We use a smart design in our shelters. We chose 10 gauge TEMPERED steel for our panels while the vast majority uses A36 COLD ROLLED general construction steel. The difference is dramatic, like comparing the old lead bullet proof vests to the new Kevlar ones, and the same mechanical principles apply. I encourage you to watch our impact test videos on our website to see for yourself. The panels absorb and transfer the energy so efficiently that the boards don't shatter like you'd expect, they simply bounce off. Since our panels are designed to deflect on impact we carry a full life timereplacement warranty against tornado damage. One side note....you ultimately pay by the pound for the extra steel required to make cold rolled A36 stand up to EF-5 debris impacts, so why pay for all that extra weight you don't need?Tornado Alley Armor fasteners are Grade 8 yellow zinc plated, the hardest you can get without purchasing exotic alloys like titanium at $50/bolt. It's the same grade used in bridge and building construction. Many manufactures use larger but softer bolts...
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What kind of steel do you use in your tornado storm shelters? How does that compare to plate steel, cold rolled, or other types of steel used in storm shelters?

What kind of steel do you use in your tornado storm shelters? How does that compare to plate steel, cold rolled, or other types of steel used in storm shelters?
b2ap3_thumbnail_Tornado-Alley-Armor-Safe-Rooms-Above-Ground-Storm-Shelters-F5-Rated-Texas-Tech.JPGThere's more than meets the eye with our choice of steel. While nearly all others use cold rolled A36 plate steel at 3/16" or even 1/4" thickness, we chose a different strategy. Our steel is hot rolled 10 gauge 1011-CS Type B, which means it has been tempered to give it pliability and remove the inherent brittleness found with A36. It also keeps the panel weight light enough to be user friendly. Our steel performs more like kevlar, increasing the impact time by limited deflection, which greatly enhances the unit's ability to effectively dissipate the impact energy into the structure and properly transfer it to the concrete. It's like the crumple zone on your car. Even the guys at Texas Tech couldn't believe how well it performed during impact testing. And of course, since it is designed to deflect we offer a lifetime replacement warranty on any parts deflected due to debris impacts.   Although other shelters may be made with thicker A36 steel, the A36 doesn't dissipate the energy nearly as effectively as ours, so the impact energy remains much more focused at the point of impact. It will remain rigid and either stand up to debris or rip open and fail catastrophically since it isn't tempered like our steel. Stopping blunt 2x4 impacts is one thing, but a fence post or street sign post may be another matter. So all of that to say there's more to steel performance than simply thickness.  
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Could I use my tax refund as a down payment for a safe room, tornado shelter or storm shelter?

Could I use my tax refund as a down payment for a safe room, tornado shelter or storm shelter?
Absolutely! An income tax refund from the IRS is an easy way to help pay for your safe room purchase.  Your tax refund will give you a head start on the process, and if you are an early filer you could most likely have your safe room installed before the storm season arrives! If you are due a refund and your tax returns are send to the IRS in January it’s not uncommon to receive your refund in as little as two weeks with electronic direct deposit. Checks may take a little longer to receive.  Also, many banks and credit unions offer Refund Anticipation Checks (or equivalent Refund Anticipation Cards), also known as RAC’s, which allow you to receive your refund right away….a great way to start your safe room purchase early in the year, before the big Springtime purchasing season arrives. If your tax refund is enough to cover the entire cost of the safe room, congratulations! However, for those refunds that aren’t enough to fully pay for your safe room purchase, Oklahoma Central Credit Union offers an incredibly low 0.99% APR financing term on safe room loans. For those who otherwise may not qualify for a safe room loan, the combination of a Refund Anticipation Check along with a low interest loan may be your best opportunity to purchase a safe room for your family. And the best part is that you don’t have to wait for the loan and refund to be finalized! As soon as the financial institution notifies us that you’ve been approved for a RAC and/or safe room loan, you can order your safe room! Have questions? Call us toll free at 855-55-ARMOR or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Where Can I Purchase A Do It Yourself Safe Room?

Where Can I Purchase A Do It Yourself Safe Room?
Q: Where can I buy a Do It Yourself Bolt Together Safe Room, Tornado Shelter or above ground Storm Shelter kit that also has a professional installation option?     A: If you live within 100 miles of any of the following locations you can have your own Tornado Alley Armor DIY Safe Room kit with all necessary hardware delivered to your door within 4-5 weeks, palletized on a 40” x 80” wooden skid, with professional installation available upon request. A good rule of thumb to estimate freight & delivery cost is between $0.50 and $1.05 per mile depending on the weight of your selected model and whether it is a DIY or professional installation. We have access to some of the best freight rates in the country, so don't think the shipping will be too much. Give us a call and we'll quote it for you! As of April 2015 we have safe rooms in states designated with red font and an asterisk. We ship and deliver nationwide, so if you don’t see your state or area listed, or if you are in a state that isn’t red, give us a call! We’d be glad to add your region, and we may even be persuaded to make you a deal! *ALABAMA : Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville *ARKANSAS : Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Hope, El Dorado, Pine Bluff COLORADO : Denver, Pueblo **CALL US!** DELAWARE : Dover **CALL US!** *FLORIDA : Pensacola, Tallahassee, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami *GEORGIA : Atlanta, Macon, Augusta, Savannah, Albany, Valdosta *ILLINOIS : Springfield, Carbondale, Peoria, Chicago, Savanna, Champaign *INDIANA : Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Gary, Evansville *IOWA : Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Atlantic, Sioux City, Mason City, Davenport *KANSAS : Wichita, Topeka, Dodge City, Colby, Hayes, Salina, Chanute *KENTUCKY : Paducah, Bowling Green,...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Joyce Deer
I live in Mississippi, and I have a carpenter remodeling my house. Our plans included building a safe room, and then I saw this o
Friday, 07 June 2013 5:05 PM
Administrator
Thanks for your question! Your slab should be just fine. As a matter of fact, we've never come across a garage floor slab less tha
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 3:03 AM
Guest — Dac Al
Hi, I am thinking of having one installed in my 2.5 car garage. (3 people tornado shelter) The house is 13 years old. Do you t
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 2:02 AM
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Storm Shelter and Above Ground Safe Room Installation Locations

Storm Shelter and Above Ground Safe Room Installation Locations
Question: Can I install an above ground safe room in my home with a crawl space? Answer:   First, let’s define the general types of residential construction: Slab on grade: A concrete slab is poured in a properly prepared area with the slab sitting directly on the ground. It is often designed to be thicker around the perimeter to support the weight of the walls. Walls and structure are fastened directly to the concrete floor. Raised floor: Also known as crawl space, pier and beam, footer and stem wall. Wooden floor joists and decking are built on top of concrete piers and stem wall, with an air space between the soil and the floor. The raised floor, stem wall and piers provide support for the walls and a “crawl space” underneath. Basement: A combination of slab and raised floor construction, with the slab poured far enough below grade to allow walking height space between the slab below and floor joists above. Modular or Mobile Homes: Wooden floors and structure are built on top of steel I-beams suitable for over the road transportation. The I-beams are typically set on concrete blocks or piers. Of the four types of construction listed above, and assuming building codes were followed, only the slab on grade method provides an adequate base throughout the structure on which to anchor a safe room. However, there are exceptions and alternate location possibilities: Homes with basements are candidates for indoor safe rooms as long as the installation is limited to the concrete basement floor; or An adequate slab can be found elsewhere, such as a garage floor, driveway, carport, patio, or shop floor; or A slab or base engineered specifically for that purpose is installed. So to summarize, a safe room can be installed on any standard reinforced concrete...
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Welcome to the launch of our new Tornado Alley Armor Awesomeblog!

Welcome to the launch of our new Tornado Alley Armor Awesomeblog!
Hi! Thanks for checking out the launch of our inaugural Tornado Alley Armor Awesomeblog!Our goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive storm shelter information...discussions, news, facts, videos, tips, how-to's, how-NOT-to's, and more...found anywhere on the web.As you know, weather patterns are going crazy and tornado outbreaks are definitely on the rise. The need for a severe weather protection plan, including an easily accessible tornado shelter, is becoming a must for every home and business in "Tornado Alley".In the coming months we'll be sharing a wealth of tornado and severe weather preparedness information, including: FEMA safe room design standards - What design features you should expect in your storm shelter FEMA grant programs - Where active FEMA grant programs are currently in place, what it takes to qualify Storm Shelter and Safe Room Certifications - What do they really mean? How do you really know certification claims are legit? Severe Weather in the News - Severe weather outbreaks, the aftermath, and stories of survival Storm Shelter Comparisons - What separates a GREAT storm shelter from the rest of the crowd Picking Your Safe Room Site - Things to consider when shopping for your storm shelter Tips From the Tornado Pros - Tips and tricks you can use to make your safe room installation a perfect one! Severe Weather Tips - How to know when a threatening weather is approaching, what to do, and where to go There's lots more to cover, but for AwesomeBlog! #000001.....for now....this oughta' do.Hope to see you back soon!Montywww.tornadoalleyarmor.com
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