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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!

Trying to compare the difference between the NSSA certification Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms has and the ATSA certification seen on other tornado shelters and storm shelters?

Trying to compare the difference between the NSSA certification Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms has and the ATSA certification seen on other tornado shelters and storm shelters?
 I'm trying to compare the difference between the NSSA - National Storm Shelter Association- certification you have and the ATSA - American Tornado Shelter Association- certification I have seen on other safe rooms. Can you explain the differences? The National Storm Shelter Association's Executive Director is Dr. Ernst Kiesling P.E., Ph.D, from Texas Tech University's Wind Science and Engineering Research Center. Dr. Kiesling is recognized as one of the premiere authorities in the world on wind energy research and safe room design protocols. Ernie and his staff at TTU worked extensively with FEMA in the late 90's to develop what is now FEMA's Publication 320, 360 & 361 guidelines for small group and community safe rooms for tornadoes, as well as hurricane shelters. Dr. Kiesling does not own an interest in any storm shelter company. His primary concern is for public safety and integrity in the storm shelter industry. As we understand it, there is no one associated with the ATSA executive committee who has anywhere near the reputation, professional training, knowledge or experience of Dr. Kiesling when it comes to wind energy and shelter design. The ATSA was formed primarily due to a new FEMA requirement for rebate participation. The new requirement was put in place due the large number of sub-standard manufacturers that were jumping into the business every time a major tornadic event would occur. They would start up a business, crank out storm shelters with little regard for FEMA's design recommendations and prey on the general lack of public knowledge of their design compliance.  FEMA's new requirement was intended to protect the public by mandating that for any purchaser to be eligible for a FEMA rebate reimbursement, the manufacturer of that shelter had to be a member of a professional association. The NSSA was the only association at the time,...
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Does a green sky mean that a tornado is coming?

Does a green sky mean that a tornado is coming?
Growing up in Oklahoma, I have seen a green sky more than a few times and there is normally a strong storm following. I never really knew why, but I always knew that when the sky turned green, it was time to go inside and turn on the weather channel. For hundreds of years, there have been reports of green skies, primarily before severe weather, but still today, scientists can’t seem to agree on exactly why it happens. Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University says, “The most popular theory is that thunderstorms contain a lot of water – often in the form of hail – and this water or ice tends to scatter green light during the strong updrafts that occur in severe storms…” This helps us understand the science behind what is causing the green sky, but it is still uncertain why, under the right circumstances, it isn’t always green. Scott Bachmeier, a research meteorologist, states that “green is significant, but not proof that a tornado is on the way.” He continues saying, ‘Green does indicate that the cloud is extremely tall, and since thunderclouds are the tallest clouds, green is a warning sign that large hail or a tornado may be present.” We may never know the real reason behind green skies because research for green thunderstorms is limited due to lack of funding, but Bachmeier offers some alternative folk wisdom for the color change: that tornadoes sucked frogs and grasshoppers into the sky.  
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When searching for Tornado Alley Armor use all 3 words in our name to pull up the correct website

When searching for Tornado Alley Armor use all 3 words in our name to pull up the correct website
Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms is a NSSA Verified 100% FEMA Compliant storm shelter company with proof of being 100% FEMA Compliant. Some will SAY they are FEMA compliant but not really be, and if you ask them for independent proof they won’t be able to provide it. The real reason is that they are NOT FEMA compliant but are deceiving the public by making false claims that they are.  There is a storm shelter company using part of our name that meets this description. Be careful when comparing tornado storm shelter companies on the internet. You may find a company that is using part of our name but not the entire name. Their customers have called us by mistake with complaints of leaking storm shelters and poorly made safe rooms. Don’t be fooled like these people were. Make sure you are pulling up THIS website: www.tornadoalleyarmor.com. Don’t accept anything less for the protection of your loved ones. Look for the entire 3 words in our name: Tornado Alley Armor. We’re honored to be entrusted with your family’s severe weather protection. We won’t let you down!
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NCTSR North Central Texas Safe Room Rebate Program Recipients Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms Can Help!

NCTSR North Central Texas Safe Room Rebate Program Recipients Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms Can Help!
If you were lucky enough to sign up early and have been accepted into the program then congratulations! Tornado Alley Armor will be happy to help you through the details, and also with selecting which safe room is best for your family. As a Producer Member in the NSSA, or National Storm Shelter Association, Tornado Alley Armor is proud to participate in the North Central Texas Safe Room Rebate Program. The North Central Texas Safe Room Rebate Program offers residents living or developing in one of the sixteen counties in the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) region an opportunity to qualify for a safe room rebate.  For the year 2016 NCTCOG is awarding participants twice a year. The first notifications are sent out in January and then again in July. At this time the NCTSRRP waitlist has been closed and they aren't accepting any new applications. I wouldn't hold your breath on getting selected because the waitlist currently has over 10,000 people on it.  Each round of the program provides around 20-140 rebate opportunities for each county in the NCTCOG region. Contingent on program funding, eligible waitlisted applicants will be notified of the opportunity to submit documentation for acceptance into the program during July and January of each year.  We are happy to help you with selecting which safe room is best for your family. Give us a call toll free at 855-552-7667 or simply visit our Online Cart and build yourself a quote from the convenience of your own home. We do have a showroom in Richardson, TX at 630 South Central Expy where you can check out 5 of our different safe room sizes in person. Mark is our store manager there and would be happy to help you in person!   
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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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What if I am driving and I see a tornado coming, is a highway overpass really the safest place to take shelter?

What if I am driving and I see a tornado coming, is a highway overpass really the safest place to take shelter?
  Q: What if I am driving and I see a tornado coming, is a highway overpass really the safest place to take shelter?   A: If you are driving and see a tornado coming, the best thing you can do is evacuate your car and seek shelter. Do NOT try to outrun the tornado. Tornadoes are much quicker than you and more sporadic, giving them the ability to lift and/or roll your car with you inside. If there are no buildings nearby or there is not enough time to reach it safely, find a ditch or gully and lie down as low as you can using your arms to cover your head and neck. (Be sure to be aware of any rising water so you don’t risk drowning.) There are a lot of myths about seeking overpasses to find shelter, but this is NOT a good idea. Research meteorologist Dr. Harold Brooks says that “overpasses act like wind tunnels that accelerate the flow of the storm.” He continues to say that it could be compared to “taking a garden hose and putting your thumb over it, the water gets a lot stronger going out through that small opening. And that’s essentially what the tornado does going through that little area of the overpass.” Remember to keep an eye on the sky and an ear on the radio, look and listen for signs of a tornado coming. If there is a warning in your area, STAY home and seek shelter in an NSSA certified storm shelter, like ours at Tornado Alley Armor.  
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Tornadoes- Let's test your tornado knowledge with some amazing facts!

Tornadoes- Let's test your tornado knowledge with some amazing facts!
Even if you grew up in Tornado Alley I bet you could learn a thing or two about tornadoes. Here are some amazing facts about tornadoes: 1. A tornado is as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 mph. 2. Damage paths of tornadoes can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. 3. Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes once on land. It’s really important to be prepared for a tornado, so make sure you have a disaster plan for your pets too! Our space-efficient safe rooms offer enough room for you AND your pets! Be sure to check out why we’re THE BEST in the business! 4. Rotating thunderstorms are the best predictors of tornado activity. They are well defined thunderstorms on radar that may include hail, severe winds, lightning, or flash floods. 5. Tornadoes can occur when a warm front meets a cold front, forming a thunderstorm, which then can spawn one or more “twisters." 6. Most twisters or cyclones travel from southwest to northeast and can move in the opposite direction for short periods of time. A tornado can even backtrack if it is hit by winds from the eye of the thunderstorm. 7. Funnel clouds usually last less than 10 minutes before dissipating, and many only last several seconds. On rare occasion, cyclones can last for over an hour. 8. A tornado may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms within the funnel. 9. Twisters strike predominantly along Tornado Alley — a flat stretch of land from western Texas to North Dakota. This region is a hotspot for tornadoes because the dry polar air from Canada meets the warm moist tropical air from...
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I'm looking for a Safe Room Showroom in Dallas Texas to check out tornado storm shelters in person

I'm looking for a Safe Room Showroom in Dallas Texas to check out tornado storm shelters in person
Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms showroom is one of the very few tornado shelter showrooms in in the Dallas, TX Metro area. While we do have complete information along with pictures and pricing on our website, if you are in the North/East part of Texas you can take a short drive to our storm shelter showroom in Richardson, Texas, and check out our 5 most popular storm shelter sizes on display. We have from our smallest 3 adult safe room- the Champion, the Defender 5 adult safe room, the Rampart 7 adult safe room, the Guardian 10 adult safe room, and the Reliant 14 adult safe rooms all on display all the time. Our physical address is 630 S. Central Expressway in Richardson, TX. We're easy to find- across from Pappasito's on Hwy 75.  Our hours are 10:00 - 6:00 Monday through Friday, 10:00 - 2:00 Saturday, and we're available by appointment on Sunday and evenings. If you'd like to schedule a time after hours just give us a call at 469-429-7889 and we'd be happy to meet you here. www.tornadoalleyarmor.com. You can also call toll free 855-55-ARMOR. Phones are answered Sunday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. 
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Guest — Richard
Can the Champion be installed in the backyard up against the house on a properly poured slab?
Monday, 25 April 2016 9:09 PM
Leslie
Richard,Yes, it sure can. If it isn't going to have a cover over it we recommend adding on our weather control package. Just follo
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 1:01 AM
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What size tornado storm shelter should I buy?

What size tornado storm shelter should I buy?
What size storm shelter should I buy?Aside from the recommended 3 square feet of floor space per person set by FEMA, that is completely up to you (and the amount of space available.) You NEED room to stand in the storm shelter while you wait for the tornado to pass. However, you may WANT additional space for sitting, for pets, or for an emergency kit filled with all the essentials like food, water, flashlights, a radio, etc. Here at Tornado Alley Armor, we have many different sizes to choose from and if you are local you can stop by the show room and try out four of our most popular models (Champion, Defender, Rampart, and Guardian) for yourself. If you aren't nearby one of our locations, another option is to use tape to map out the size of the safe room on your floor and have everyone you plan to protect stand inside. This will give you an estimated idea of what size shelter you need for your family. The chart below has our standard models and their square footage, but the train doesn't stop there! We also build custom sized tornado shelters.  Happy Taping!
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Do tornadoes target mobile home parks?

Do tornadoes target mobile home parks?
Do tornadoes target mobile home parks? There are numerous rumors about tornadoes “targeting” mobile homes and trailer parks. This is NOT true. Tornadoes do not favor anything but weather conditions. They are more likely to form in certain parts of the country, but they do not target structures or specific locations. The reason this myth is so popular is probably because it does seem like mobile homes are hit more, but there are several reasons behind this; location of mobile homes, structural stability of mobile homes and popular news stories. Jillian MacMath, a staff writer for AccuWeather, says that “It is important… to consider where most mobile homes are located geographically and how susceptible that landscape is to severe weather.” Research shows that a high percentage of mobile homes in the country are located in tornado alley.  Mobile homes are not usually securely fastened to their foundations and are not as structurally stable as a normal house built on a concrete slab. A tornado that might barely dust over a structurally stable house might completely destroy and flip over a mobile home. This would give the appearance of the tornado “targeting” the mobile homes in the area. When a tornado strikes a well built house, it may or may not be completely destroyed, but when a tornado strikes a mobile home, it is most likely going to be catastrophic. Senior Vice President of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Mike Smith said, "The perception that mobile homes are struck disproportionately is due to the fact that media is attracted to photos of serious damage and/or serious injuries. Both are more common with mobile homes in tornadoes, especially if they are not tied down. So, people see reporters doing "standups" in front of mobile homes and it creates a perception that mobile homes are struck...
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Indian Nation Tornado Storm Shelter Rebate Programs

Indian Nation Tornado Storm Shelter Rebate Programs
  Do you have a voucher from your tribe that will help pay for a tornado storm shelter? Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms is qualified to participate in all Indian Nation tornado storm shelter programs! Our membership in the National Storm Shelter Association verifies by 3rd party peer review that we meet or exceed all FEMA Compliance Qualifications 100%. Please see below for more details on some of the existing storm shelter programs. If you don't see your tribe listed please contact your housing authority for more information. There may be one even if it isn't listed here.   The Chickasaw Nation storm shelter program for Chickasaw citizens is paying up to $2500 for tornado safe rooms! Tornado Alley Armor participates in the Chickasaw Nation’s storm shelter rebate program.  This safe room rebate is valid for privately owned homes of Chickasaw citizens. For citizens at large, grants will be provided for up to $2,500 for installation of storm shelters. This service is available both inside and outside the Chickasaw Nation's boundaries.  An applicant can expect to find out within 10 business days if he/she qualifies to be placed on the waiting list. You can call 580-421-8800 for more information or simply click here to go to the online application. You Provide: CDIB/Citizenship Card for applicant, Social Security cards of all household members, Income verification of all household members, and a copy of warranty deed. Eligibility: Must be Chickasaw Citizen, No outstanding debt owed to the housing division or to the Chickasaw Nation, Home must be the applicant's primary residence, Storm shelters are awarded one time only to each family in order to meet the needs of all Chickasaws.   The Choctaw Nation Grant Program is offering a safe room grant of $4200 for qualified applicants! The program provides a grant for storm shelters...
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Guest — Dustin
I sure wish the Choctaw nation would come off the 65 years or older requirement! I'm gonna call tomorrow and see if that still sta
Thursday, 26 March 2015 12:12 AM
Guest — Stephanie Pigg
What about the Cherokees ???
Saturday, 04 April 2015 1:01 AM
Leslie
Dustin, That would be very helpful to a lot of people. If you find out anything new please pass it along to us. Thanks, Leslie
Sunday, 05 April 2015 1:01 AM
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I have a basement to hide in for protection if a tornado hits. Do I really need a tornado storm shelter since I have a basement?

I have a basement to hide in for protection if a tornado hits.  Do I really need a tornado storm shelter since I have a basement?
We recently had someone pose this question: I have a basement. Won't it keep me safe and protect me from getting hurt by a tornado? Do I really need a tornado storm shelter? Don't count on it. There are all kinds of risks involved with being below ground with a whole house sitting on top of you. You aren't protected from the house caving in and all the floors above falling down on top of you. Worse yet, if a tornado is strong enough it will simply pull your belongings out of the basement and could leave it empty. That means you could go flying out with everything else. The jury is out on what the safest corner of the basement is, for those that do not have a safe room to protect themselves.  A common belief is that since most tornadoes in the U.S. travel from west-southwest to east-northeast, the southwest side of the basement is the safest place to hide out. John Park Finley, one of the first serious meteorological researchers, who studied hundreds of tornadoes in a career spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries, said you should never take refuge in the east side of a basement, and specifically warned against the northeast corner — he reasoned that debris from the house would be blown in that direction. He was incorrect. In 1966 Joe Eagleman of the University of Kansas studied the wreckage of the EF-5 Topeka tornado of that year. He concluded that if you had a full basement, the northeast corner was the safest place to be and the south side was the most dangerous. Why? External debris knocked down southern walls and blew debris in through south-facing basement windows. When the tornadic winds shifted the whole house to the northeast, the southwest corner...
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Are tornado storm shelters a good investment?

Are tornado storm shelters a good investment?
Storm shelters are a very good investment if they are built correctly and follow FEMA'S (Federal Emergency Management Agency's) specifications. The specifications were created to give you and your loved ones near absolute protection from tornadoes, thunderstorms and other weather with severe, damaging winds. Storm Shelters are built to prevent injury and gives peace of mind knowing that you have a storm shelter to rely on for the safety of you and your loved ones during the months that tornadoes are touching down. You cannot always rely on delayed sirens, or even failing radio announcements. With Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms it is a great investment with our complete DIY bolt together system. Whether you plan on living at your residence for a lifetime or moving in a few years, our system allows you to unbolt and take with you to your new home. You could ask more for your house by adding in the price of the safe room. If buyer is not willing to give what you are asking for you can easily disassemble the the unit and take it with you to your new home. If you have any questions regarding our safe rooms or any other concerns call us at our toll free number 855-55-ARMOR.
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Do you have YOUR tornado emergency plan in place?

Do you have YOUR tornado emergency plan in place?
Unlike hurricanes, tornadoes don't give you days notice of when they will hit. It is critical that an emergency plan is developed between you and your family if a tornado strikes. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do when a tornado warning sounds. Always have an emergency kit ready-flash light, first aid kit, batteries, gloves, air horn, basic tools, etc. Also have a NOAA radio available that is specifically tuned to pick up warnings for your local area, this will minimize more frequent warnings that may not apply to you. Keep important documents in a box to carry with you to your shelter. If you have a tornado shelter always make sure that there is a clear pathway to it, and that it is easily accessible. If you don't have a storm shelter figure out the safest place in your home to hide and make sure everyone in your family knows where to meet. When the tornado has passed always exit your shelter (or other area) with caution, wear sturdy shoes or boots to protect your feet from the debris that is likely to be laying around. Watch for nails, loose drywall, and ceilings that could potentially fall. It is important to stay away from disaster areas which it may put you at further risk. When helping neighbors who may require assistance, give first aid where appropriate. If a person has stopped breathing begin CPR if you are trained to do so, if a person is bleeding apply direct pressure to the wound. Never move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger or further injury- call for help. And remember always cooperate fully with public safety officials.
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Are your tornado shelters pet friendly? What should I add to my emergency kit if I have pets?

Are your tornado shelters pet friendly? What should I add to my emergency kit if I have pets?
    While there is no telling what an animal will do when he/she is stressed from a storm, we feel there is a pretty good chance you can get your furry loved one into our storm shelters with you. The biggest issue people seem to have with getting their pets into their shelters with them is finding them and then coaxing them down the stairs to their below ground storm shelters, but with our above ground design, part of the problem is eliminated. If your pet won’t follow you into the storm shelter and you can’t safely carry them into the shelter with you, the humane society has some advice to help lure them into the safe room with you. The first thing they suggest is to crate smaller animals and carry them into the shelter with you. If this isn't feasible or your animal is too large to be crated, the humane society urges you to “Do your best to train your dog to go to the area on command or to come to you on command even when there are distractions.” To avoid confusion, try using a specific command and/or treat while getting into the storm shelter. This will take practice and training, but it will be worth it. You will also want to be aware of your pets’ favorite hiding places and learn how to safely remove them from those places as quickly as possible so that you can get them into your tornado shelter with you. As far as emergency kits go, aside from all the things we recommend you keep in them for you, such as a radio, water, flashlights, etc. you should also keep a collar, a leash, copies of vaccinations, pet food, water, treats, something to comfort them (like a favorite toy or blanket,) and...
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Are you protected from tornadoes because of where you live? Are you in a valley or next to water?

Are you protected from tornadoes because of where you live? Are you in a valley or next to water?
Recently we were told by a passerby that she has no need for a tornado shelter because she lives in a “protected” town and will never see a tornado strike her home. Her stubborn confidence intrigued us so we decided to do a little digging on the possible credibility of this statement. We didn’t really expect to find such a large number of people that feel the same way and were surprised to find that numerous people believe they will never encounter a tornado because of “protection.” The credit for this incredible “protection” is given to natural barriers, such as hillsides, valleys and large bodies of water. Although we wish there was something that could actually protect an entire town from the devastating destruction of a tornado, there is no scientific evidence to back up this myth. And a myth is exactly what it is. There are places that are more favorable than others for tornadoes, but there is nothing that can protect an entire town from being stuck by a tornado. Tornadoes can go up and down hillsides, across mountains, across water and even form on water (known as waterspouts.) Strong tornadoes have even crossed the Mississippi River. Just because your town may have not seen a tornado yet, it is not “protected.”   However, shielding your family in an NSSA certified storm shelter from Tornado Alley Armor is a guaranteed way to keep your family protected.
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Will opening windows in my house during a tornado equalize air pressure and help minimize the destruction caused by the storm?

Will opening windows in my house during a tornado equalize air pressure and help minimize the destruction caused by the storm?
At Tornado Alley Armor Safe Rooms we occasionally get asked, "Will opening windows in my house during a tornado equalize air pressure and help minimize the destruction caused by the storm?" The answer is no. Opening windows during a tornado will do nothing for you but waste precious time that you should be using to seek shelter. Not only is there no scientific benefit to opening your windows, it allows debris to easily enter your home. Emergency procedure manuals used to recommend that people open their windows in order to help equalize the pressure in the house when the tornado hits. Before a thorough study was conducted by the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech, it was believed that homes “exploded” by the drop in air pressure when a tornado strikes a home, creating unequal pressure. This has since been proven WRONG. Houses are destroyed by the incredible wind speeds (over 250 mph) that a tornado can produce not by unequal air pressure. These winds can lift a roof off a house, causing the walls of the home to flatten, creating an illusion that the house is exploding. So, instead of wasting time opening windows use your valuable time to get into your Tornado Alley Armor Storm Shelter.
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Tornado Alley- Where is it?!

Tornado Alley- Where is it?!
Generally, Tornado Alley is a flat stretch of land from western Texas to North Dakota. Wikipedia describes it more accurately as “a colloquial term for the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. The term was first used in 1952 as the title of a research project to study severe weather in parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Although the boundaries of Tornado Alley are not clearly defined, its core is northern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. Some research has indicated that tornadoes are becoming more frequent in the northern parts of Tornado Alley where it reaches the Canadian prairies. There is also a secondary tornado alley in Ontario, Canada, which runs from the Great Lakes region to the upper St. Lawrence valley. It roughly follows the same route as Highway 401 from Windsor, Ontario to London, with a secondary path from Lake Huron to Barrie, Ontario and across to Ottawa, Ontario. After the U.S., Canada gets the most tornadoes in the world, and a third of those tornadoes strike Southwestern.” If you live in or near Tornado Alley and are considering a storm shelter/safe room then consider Tornado Alley Armor. We've done our homework when it comes to tornadoes and your safety. So come check out why WE’RE THE BEST! J  
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Why are tornado shelters being sold in big box stores & other home improvement stores?

Why are tornado shelters being sold in big box stores & other home improvement stores?
We recently had someone ask us, "Why are stores like Lowe's and Home Depot selling tornado shelters? Big box stores and other home improvement stores seem to be pushing them but are they good ones? Do these stores have knowledgeable sales people to help customers?" Tornado Alley Armor's answer: Some big box retail chains are starting to carry tornado storm shelters, but can you trust them? One would think that if you see something like a tornado shelter for sale in a big box store like Lowe's Home Improvement or Home Depot that you would be able to trust that it is strong and can withstand F-5 tornadoes, simply because it is for sale there. Well, we have found that in general, just because an item is for sale in a store it doesn't mean that it is a quality product or that it will live up to its claims. And getting knowledgeable help from a big box store employee? Are they trained specifically about that tornado shelter? Tornado shelter safety is a full time position itself. If the tornado safe room company is a member of the NSSA then you will know you’re on the right track. They have had an independent verification of their design checking for FEMA compliance. But, that doesn't mean the storm shelter will have all the features possible, or that you won’t get pummeled with debris when things start blowing around outside. We have noticed that there are a few safe rooms for sale in big box stores that have very large air gaps in and beside the doors which will allow debris to blow in and impale you while you are riding out the tornado. IF YOU CAN SEE OUTSIDE THE SAFE ROOM FROM THE INSIDE WITH THE DOOR CLOSED YOU ARE NOT FULLY...
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I can never remember the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch. Which one is worse and when should I seek shelter?

I can never remember the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch. Which one is worse and when should I seek shelter?
I can never remember the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch. Which one is worse and when should I seek shelter? This is an excellent question! A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms that are capable of producing tornadoes. This does not mean any tornadoes have been sighted yet and can cover large areas, even multiple states at a time. You can go about life as you normally do, just being more aware of the weather. This would be an excellent time to get your emergency supplies, such as candles, flashlights, radios, etc. nearby so that you have them in case it turns from a watch to a warning. A tornado warning means that a tornado is occurring or imminent and you should seek shelter as soon as possible. Warnings usually cover only one or two counties at a time. There is a third option that is rarely used called a tornado emergency. A tornado emergency is like an upgraded tornado warning. When you hear tornado emergency, you should expect a violent tornado that will cause severe destruction.  An easy way to remember is that during a tornado watch, they are just watching for the possibility of a tornado, but during a tornado warning, they are warning you that one may be headed towards you and to seek shelter immediately, preferably in your Tornado Alley Armor Storm Shelter. =)
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