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Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms 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!

The Worst Week of the Year for Tornadoes

Historically speaking, this is one of the worst weeks of the year for severe weather. Experts say we shouldn't let these blue skies fool us; this is the time of year when moisture from the gulf starts meeting up with hot, dry air from the southwest. That’s when we become “Tornado Alley.” Now is the time to get prepared for tornado season by having an emergency kit that contains a battery-powered radio or TV, a flashlight, plenty of batteries and first-aid supplies. Who better to buy your storm shelter and emergency supplies from than Tornado Alley Safe Rooms? We KNOW tornadoes. The top 10 cities in order of ranking are: Huntsville, AL Jackson, MS Birmingham, AL Tuscaloosa, AL Little Rock, AR Tulsa, OK Oklahoma City, OK Atlanta, GA Wichita, KS Nashville, TN   Visit our website at www.tornadoalleyarmor.com for more information.    
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Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms on the ABC News!


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Looking for a Claustrophobia Free Above Ground Storm Shelter that is Entrapment Proof

I'm terrified of tornadoes and also claustrophobic. I need a tornado shelter that I can't get trapped in. I need more than one way out in case the door gets blocked! Tornado Alley Armor NSSA verified EF5 safe rooms bolt together and can be totally disassembled from the inside, rendering them entrapment-proof regardless of door swing. Our door swings outward so it's stronger than an inward swinging door. And no claustrophobia worries here since you can't get trapped inside our tornado shelter! We include two new wrenches (American made) with every storm shelter, zip tied inside for emergency egress. Plus Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms are totally re-locatable and fit entirely in a van or pickup bed. You’ll never have to buy another safe room… it’s truly Your Lifetime Tornado Defense. Call us at 855-55-ARMOR!  
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I Want to Buy an Above Ground Storm Shelter but am Moving Soon. Can I Take Yours With Me When I Move?

I'm looking for an above ground tornado shelter that I don't have to leave behind when I move. Can you help me?     Your storm shelter investment can travel when you do. With Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms EZ Armor, a wrench is all that’s needed to disassemble your safe room and take it with you. The individual panels are EZ to handle, EZ to move, and EZ to reassemble at your new home. No need for forklifts, contract labor or heavy duty trailers to move our tornado shelters. And underground units…you can kiss them goodbye when you leave. Make a life-long investment in your safe room...buy a Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room.   Call us at 855-55-ARMOR or visit www.tornadoalleyarmor.com for more info!
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Your Safe Room Door Swings Out. Is an Inward Swinging Door Better? What if Something Blocks the Door after a Tornado?

  Since you have an outward swinging door on your above ground storm shelters how will I get out if something gets up against the door? Thanks for the great question. We understand your concern. I get the willies myself thinking about being trapped and helpless in a tornado shelter. With virtually every other safe room on the market, the door swings inward. In theory it’s supposed to make it more difficult to have your egress blocked. But…that’s one, and only one door meaning one way in and one way out. If a car or wall or debris comes to rest against the door opening it doesn't matter which way it swings…you’re still trapped inside. Tornado Alley Armor doors swings outward, which means full contact door-to-frame protection around the entire door perimeter when debris missiles impact the door. An inward swinging door is only as strong as the hinge and latch points holding it to the frame and they must absorb the entire impact. I’ll take full perimeter impact protection any day over hinges and bolts only. With our safe room you have as many options for escape as you do panels. For instance, our Defender model 10030 has 8 panels and 1 door, giving you 9 potential escape routes. All you need to do is keep a couple of 9/16” end wrenches inside (which we provide, btw, zip tied neatly up high where little ones can’t reach them) and if the door gets blocked, you just pick any panel and it’s as simple as unbolting a few bolts to free yourself in a matter of minutes. It is absolutely entrapment proof! You can totally disassemble the entire safe room from the inside. No other safe room offers that kind of fool proof escape system. Our latch mechanism is also designed such that it...
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With an Underground Storm Shelter is there a Risk of Injury During a Tornado?

GOING OUTSIDE TO GET INTO AN UNDERGROUND TORNADO CELLAR DRAMATICALLY INCREASES YOUR RISK OF SEVERE INJURY OR DEATH Did you know that most injuries and fatalities from tornadoes occur while people are searching for a safe haven from the violent winds and flying debris? It's a fact. As severe weather approaches, warnings to “take shelter immediately” are often disregarded as homeowners remain inside their homes to monitor the path of the storm on live televised weather alerts. It is only when their “safety comfort zone” is exceeded that the decision is made to move to an emergency shelter. Unfortunately, many times this decision is delayed until the tornado is within striking distance with its extreme wind and airborne debris...not to mention high winds, driving rain and hail. Even FEMA says they now believe you are better off staying above ground and being closer to shelter than going underground. There are just too many risks with underground shelters. Although many homes located in the path of a tornado may be severely damaged or destroyed, they still offer a significant level of safety from flying debris and high winds as the storm approaches. An indoor safe room is much safer to access than an outdoor shelter. With an above ground Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room securely anchored inside your home or garage, you and your family remain safely indoors when the decision is made to “Take Shelter Immediately!” There is no need risk injury or death from flying debris while running to an outside storm shelter. Whether anchored in a closet or in the garage, you have the added safety and assurance of knowing your home is providing additional safety from flying debris while accessing your INDOOR safe room. www.tornadoalleyarmor.com  
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I'm Comparing Above Ground Storm Shelters- What Sets One Apart From Another?

Aren't all above ground tornado shelters pretty much the same, aside from the name?   Great question! The answer is no. Although most storm shelters are pretty comparable, Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms have lots of advantages you just don't find with other manufacturers. We are producer members of the prestigious National Storm Shelter Association, and of course are EF5 rated. One of the most important ways we differ from other manufacturers is that you absolutely CANNOT get trapped inside. Even if the door gets blocked all you have to do is take down the wrenches that we include with every safe room and start unbolting. It's that simple. Another great way we differ is that our safe rooms easily move when you do. You don't ever have to purchase another one. You can unbolt it and move it to your new home in the back of a pickup, van, trailer, etc. Check out our website for more comparisons of why Tornado Alley Armor really is Your Lifetime Tornado Defense!  
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Storm Shelter and Safe Room Concrete Slab Guidelines

In a previous blog we referred to a "standard reinforced concrete slab of adequate mass and geometry" for an acceptable anchoring location for safe rooms. So what the heck did we mean by that? "A STANDARD REINFORCED CONCRETE SLAB": As a general rule, if the slab you're considering is less than 40-50 years old or so, it's most likely a "standard reinforced concrete slab". The newer the slab, the higher the probability that it is of suitable construction for a safe room. That means a few things are most likely true: The slab has most likely been inspected by a building inspector during construction to ensure it meets local building codes The concrete mixture used is most likely classified as 3000# or greater test strength, which meets FEMA and NSSA recommendations The slab is most likely 4" thick or more. (Contractors often use 2x4's or 2x6's to frame in the area of a new slab pour and fill to the top of the boards) The slab most likely has rebar, 6x6 wire mesh (aka "hogwire") or post-tension cables present, which is inbedded in the slab during the slab pour At Tornado Alley Armor, we use electronic sensing devices designed specifically to detect steel embedded in concrete. It detects steel as deep as 6" below the surface of the concrete, and allows us to easily determine not only the presence of steel, but also which type of steel reinforcement was used in the slab and where it lies within the concrete. We also check the thickness of the slab. NOTE: We DO NOT do anything to compromise the integrity or warranty of post-tension cable slabs! "OF ADEQUATE MASS AND GEOMETRY": Even though the slab may qualify as "standard reinforced", it still needs to have an adequate mass, shape and configuration to effectively...
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I want to buy an above ground storm shelter but I’m scared to go inside because I'm claustrophobic

  Q: How will I know I’ll be able to breathe once I’m inside the safe room with the door shut?   A: .. The vent cover you see on the Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room door covers a perforated grid rated to provide enough continuous air supply for three people. The real air supply is hidden in the door design. We engineered in a ¼” gap around the entire perimeter of the door, with the air following an “S” path to enter the safe room around the door, then reversing around the door frame flange and into the safe room. Debris cannot follow that path but the air can, and believe it or not the gap is enough to provide 24 people with air indefinitely. That, along with the wrenches we hang inside, should set your claustrophobic mind at ease. Not only will you be able to breathe easily, you will also be able to get yourself out easily if something blocks access on the side of the tornado shelter that the door is on.  All you’ll need to do is pick a panel and start unbolting…. while breathing easily the entire time!
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Can a House or Car Falling on a Storm Shelter Because of a Tornado Crush it?

We recently had a customer ask:I really like the idea of the panels allowing for alternate escape routes. I have seen other products that have dropped a car from 40 feet to demonstrate the resilience of their rooms. I am wondering how well your products would stand up if my house collapsed down onto the room. Any info will be greatly appreciated. How crush proof are your safe rooms? Thanks Chris   To which our reply was: Chris, Great question! The mechanics involved with a house falling on a steel safe room involves minimal energy spread over a large area. There is virtually no plausible scenario where a house could even create a slight deflection in a safe room wall or roof. Our steel safe room weighs less than 1/2 the steel of a conventional safe room, yet it endured an onslaught of nine F5 missile impacts when only four were required.The other five impacts, btw, were at our request to demonstrate the real-life safety of our shelter... No smoke, no mirrors, no showboating at your expense with unnecessary steel or concrete. I'm not even addressing our many other features that make us the premier safe room on the market today. Let us know if we can help you out. You can call us at 855-55-ARMOR or go through our website at www.tornadoalleyarmor.com.
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When do I need to order a Storm Shelter to have it Installed this Spring?

Q: I want to buy a safe room to protect my family from severe weather. When do I need to order to have it installed this spring?     A: While most above ground safe room companies take 7-8 weeks to manufacture a storm shelter, and even longer if you order during the months of March and April, Tornado Alley Armor can have your safe room ready for pick up or installation in 3-4 weeks. That’s a really fast turnaround time for storm shelters. If you’re thinking of buying a safe room to protect your family from this spring’s unpredictable storms gives us a call today! 855-55-ARMOR  
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Preparing a Tornado Emergency Supply Kit

  Tornado season is right around the corner. Be prepared by gathering items for a disaster supply kit. If you have a storm shelter keep these items in a tote or other container inside so that you are always prepared. With a Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room you won’t have to worry about getting out of your safe room after the storm, even if debris blocks your door, because you’ll have emergency wrenches hanging inside. Here are some other items to keep on hand: 3 day supply of water Portable Toilet and rolls of toilet paper Moist Towelettes Toilet Liners Sturdy shoes and work gloves Toilet Disinfectant AM Radio w/Batteries Alert horn Roll of duct tape Large Mylar Blanket Glow sticks Matches in a waterproof container   Remember to keep your kits in working order by changing the food and water every six months and replacing batteries as necessary. Keep items in airtight plastic bags. This will help protect them from damage or spoiling. Rethink your family needs once a year for example, diapers or formula, copies of prescriptions, hearing aid batteries, spare eyeglasses, or other physical needs. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to give us a call at 855-55-ARMOR or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..      
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Tornado Touches Down in Hattiesburg, MS

  Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms expresses its sympathy for the people that went through the Hattiesburg, MS tornado yesterday. Although it’s still winter tornadoes don’t seem to care. Hattiesburg, MS found that out first hand when a tornado ripped through their town damaging buildings and harming residents. Luckily, everyone survived this one.Tornado Ally Armor Safe Rooms ship and install nationwide. Hattiesburg, Purva, Columbia, Collins, Laurel, Elisville, and Poplarville- be prepared for the next severe weather outbreak by protecting your loved ones with a storm shelter from Tornado Alley Armor. Entrapment Proof, F5 Rated, NSSA, and you can take it with you if you move. Find more great features on our website.    
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Do Storm Shelter Companies Have To Follow Government Regulations?

Q: Is the safe room industry regulated by the government? A: No, it is not. There is no regulation or follow-up done by the government to verify a tornado shelter or safe room company’s claims are true. That being said, the National Storm Shelter Association is a voluntary organization that is very strict on following the guidelines set forth by FEMA. Tornado Alley Armor is a Producer Member in the prestigious National Storm Shelter Association…best of the best in the safe room industry. Our safe room design meets or exceeds the design standards found in FEMA 320/361, ICC-500 and NSSA publications, and the NSSA has verified that our design has been checked by 2 separate engineering firms for FEMA design compliance. We have been successfully tested with over 2x the required number of F5 debris impacts at Texas Tech University. We’re one of only 2-3 safe room companies in the US to have met the newest and most stringent requirements for Safe Room manufacturers. You should check out the NSSA for yourself. www.nssa.cc Of all the safe room companies out there, you can trust that members of the NSSA will have the most rigorous testing and documentation of their design over any of the competitors, and that when we say we meet or exceed FEMA design standards, our safe room design has been thoroughly checked for strength and code compliance by a certified Professional Engineer (FEMA 320/361 and ICC-500 Standards for Safe Room Design & Construction), and all calculations, drawings & quality control systems have been peer reviewed by a second, NSSA-approved certified Professional Engineer familiar with safe room design codes and requirements. You may accidentally run across another storm shelter association out there claiming to be on par with the NSSA...but, do you remember the USFL? The ABA? Same...
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I'm Afraid of Getting Trapped Inside a Storm Shelter

Q: I’m extremely claustrophobic and am scared to get in an above ground tornado shelter or underground shelter because I’m afraid I’ll get trapped inside. What do you suggest?   A: You don’t have to worry about getting trapped inside a Tornado Alley Armor Safe Room. Even if something blocks the door, our safe rooms can be totally disassembled from the inside, rendering them guaranteed entrapment-proof regardless of door swing. We include two wrenches with every safe room, zip tied inside for emergency egress. No hydraulic jacks, no hoists, no come-alongs. If you can use a wrench to loosen a nut you can get out. You won’t have to wonder if and when someone will come along to help you from the outside. With our safe rooms you can help yourself from the inside. Plus, since it bolts together it’s totally re-locatable if you decide to move. The disassembled unit fits easily in a van, small utility trailer or pickup bed.  
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Guest — Joann Lowis
That's comforting. These things are not easy for claustrophobic people, like me as well. W. Regards, Joann Lowis.
Friday, 10 January 2014 6:06 PM
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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, Louisville,...
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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

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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Which Way Should a Safe Room Door Swing?

  Question: Does it matter whether an above ground safe room door swings inward or outward?   Answer: With virtually every other safe room on the market, the door swings inward. In theory it’s supposed to make it more difficult to have your egress blocked. But…that’s one, and only one door meaning one way in and one way out. If a car or wall or debris comes to rest against the door opening it doesn’t matter which way it swings…you’re still trapped inside. Our door swings outward, which means full contact door-to-frame protection around the entire door perimeter when debris missiles impact the door. An inward swinging door is only as strong as the hinge and latch points holding it to the frame and they must absorb the entire impact. I’ll take full perimeter impact protection any day over hinges and bolts only. With a Tornado Alley Armor safe room you have as many options for escape as you do panels. For instance, our model 10030 has 8 panels and 1 door, giving you 9 potential escape routes. All you need to do is keep a couple of 9/16” end wrenches inside (which we provide, by the way, zip tied neatly up high where little ones can’t reach them) and if the door gets blocked, you just pick any panel and it’s as simple as unbolting a few bolts to free yourself in a matter of minutes. It is absolutely entrapment proof! You can totally disassemble the entire safe room from the inside. No other safe room offers that kind of fool proof escape system. Our latch mechanism is also designed such that it is impossible to get locked in by someone from the outside…intentionally or otherwise. Our interior latch mechanism works completely independent from the outside handle, so even...
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Guest — Patricia Clement
Just recently we were debating about the issue and an outward swinging safe room door makes total sense now. I too would prefer fu
Monday, 19 May 2014 11:11 AM
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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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