2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2, Page #24[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Above-Ground Tornado Shelter
Established in 1998 in Tulsa, Okla., FamilySAFE is a pioneer in above-ground steel shelters. The brand partnered with Texas Tech University and the HILTI Anchorage company to ensure every shelter built could withstand the world’s worst tornados, including F5s.
This shelter is meant to be set up directly inside your house or garage for a convenient escape when extreme weather is on the horizon.
“Our shelters are easier to get into than below-ground options, especially if you’re aging or have kids and pets,” says Vince Mims, FamilySAFE national manager. “According to FEMA.gov, 76 percent of all tornado fatalities and injuries occur due to people going outside to seek shelter. With FamilySAFE, there is no need to run out into the weather you are trying to get away from to seek shelter.”
Each structure is built with bracing every 2 ft. or less. Units come standard with one Grade 1 deadbolt lock, two large sliding pins, and three hinges to secure the door. They include an internal safety cage on the walls, roof, and around the top of the roof for extra reinforcement. The door contains two impenetrable skins secured with internal square tubing. As an additional safety feature for young families, the shelter’s patent-pending, no-pinch door design makes it easy to get in and almost impossible to get trapped inside.
Today, every FamilySAFE storm shelter is tested and certified for safety. They can only be installed by HILTI-trained and certified installers. The shelters are so trustworthy that FamilySAFE is the only tornado shelter company in the United States that has allowed a person inside one while under testing.
“Make sure you do your homework,” says Mims. “There are a lot of options out there now and a lot of people that think they know best rather than knowing the facts. When we designed the world’s first all-steel above-ground shelter with Texas Tech, there was nothing comparable available, so we had to do a lot of research. There is a reason why we do everything and reasons why we don’t do some things.”
FamilySAFE currently has dealers in all states in tornado alley and will travel approximately 300 miles from its dealers for installation. Pricing ranges from $5,500 to $12,000, with sizes starting as small as 4 ft. by 4 ft. and going up to 8 ft. by 12 ft. You can contact the company directly for a custom quote.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, FamilySAFE, P.O. Box 2188, Owasso, Okla. 74055 (ph 918-205-2839; www.familysafeshelters.com).
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