Above Ground vs In-Ground Tornado and Storm Shelters

Choosing Between Above and Underground Storm Shelters

If you live in Tornado Alley, you understand the importance of being prepared for major, damaging storms. Storm damage is often inevitable, but that doesn't mean you can't take steps to prevent the worst of it. At Ground Zero Shelters, we always recommend our customers invest in top-of-the-line storm shelters to protect themselves and their families.

However, the variety of storm shelters available can make choosing the right one more of a challenge than you might expect. If you're confused about whether to choose an above-ground safe room or a below-ground storm shelter, our Oklahoma City, OK team is here to help. Get the details on the two main types of storm shelter.

Are Underground Storm Shelters Safer?

Underground storm shelters are among the most popular options for residents of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Many people assume that underground structures provide better protection from the strong winds that come with a tornado. But the truth is that above-ground safe rooms are just as secure as their underground counterparts. Researchers from Texas Tech University claim that there is no evidence of above-ground safe room failures. While underground shelters are certainly an excellent way to protect yourself from a tornado, above-ground units are just as effective.

An Above-Ground Shelter Can Sit Almost Anywhere

One pro of choosing an above-ground safe room as a tornado shelter is the location. You can put these shelters nearly anywhere in your home, as long as there's negative space available. We recommend installing them in your basement or on the first floor. Many of our customers opt for these interior locations:

  • Garages
  • Pantries
  • Closets

The Best Place for an Underground Storm Shelter

above ground vs in ground tornado storm shelters in OKC and Tulsa

The best place to install an underground storm shelter is beneath your garage. No matter where you place your tornado shelter, you'll get the same protection from the structure. However, it's important to factor in how you'll get to the shelter in case of an emergency. If you install it outside, you and your family may have to walk through extreme winds, huge pieces of hail, and dangerous debris to get to safety. Installing these effective shelters beneath your garage means easy access for the whole family. Should you decide on the garage as your prime location, we will install your shelter flush with the ground and allow it to sick up about a half-inch to keep water from flooding inside.

Take Advantage of These Benefits

Investing in a tornado shelter can benefit you in more ways than one. While their express purpose is to protect you and your family during a storm, there are several other advantages that come with their installation. Whether you choose an above- or below-ground shelter, you'll enjoy these perks:

  • Added value to your home
  • Can keep you safe from intruders, in addition to storms
  • Can be located using GPS
  • Peace of mind that your shelter has been tested thoroughly by the Texas Tech Wind Science & Research Center

Is an Above- or Below-Ground Shelter Best for Me?

At the end of the day, above and underground shelters are equally safe during a storm. Which is best for you comes down to your specific circumstances and needs. Fortunately, Ground Zero Shelters is here to help make the decision easier. Here's what you'll need to factor in as you determine the best shelter for you and your family:

  • Accessibility: Does a member of your family use a wheelchair to get around? If so, be sure to opt for a handicap-accessible shelter. Many modern safe rooms are completely accessible for wheelchair users. There are no steps, and you can simply wheel right in!
  • Space Limitations: What type of space are you working with? Some home layouts may not lend themselves to an above-ground unit, while others may have plenty of space for the shelter. If you don't have enough indoor space in your home, we recommend going with an underground shelter.
  • Property Type: Do you rent or own your house? Renters may not have the liberty to install a storm shelter underground without their landlord's permission. Should a large installation project not be feasible, we may be able to install an above-ground safe room that meets your needs.
  • Price Point: You can't truly put a price on safety, but budget is a consideration when you're getting ready to install a storm shelter. Our team would be happy to explain the installation costs and find the unit best suited to your budget.

Above the ground v. In-ground shelter infographic

Meet With the Team at Ground Zero Shelters

Safety is never something you should take for granted, and it's always good to do your homework before investing in a tornado shelter. The good news, however, is that you can't choose wrong when it comes to above- and below-ground storm shelters. Both options have been proven to keep Oklahoma families safe, and the choice comes down to your personal preferences. No matter the case for you, Ground Zero Shelters is here to give you peace of mind that you and your family will be safe from raging tornados. Contact us today.

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