FEMA

Federal Emergency Management Agency

For your own safety, please read the below information.

No matter what storm shelter you decide is right for you, for safety purposes make sure your storm shelter has been tested by the Texas Tech University Wind Research Center and meets the safety requirements of FEMA.

Wind Engineering TTUAvoid manufacturers who claim to produce storm shelters/safe rooms tested by Texas Tech University but who alter the design of their storm shelters after testing. To meet safety requirements, storm shelters must be re-tested after any change to the door system of the shelter; including the locking and hinge system, peep-holes, and any major design change to the entire shelter.

Though customers often prefer to have a peep-hole added to the door of their storm shelter, the Texas Tech University Wind Research Center advises against peep-holes. During rigorous testing, peep-holes can become projectiles which could be life-threatening to storm shelter occupants. Despite this hazard, many manufacturers add peep-holes to their design to please customers.

Be cautious of storm shelter manufacturers who claim to be members of the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) but are no longer members. Many former members withdraw their membership because they refuse to re-test their product after design changes.

Beware of “copycat” storm shelters on the market. These companies imitate designs of tested shelter manufacturers but take various shortcuts in their own manufacturing process and produce an inferior product. Copycat storm shelters often have doors which fail to meet FEMA and Texas Tech University standards in general construction and/or in locking mechanisms, among other deficiencies. Without thorough research, the average customer cannot determine the difference. Copycat manufacturers put your life at risk by selling inferior products with no regard for your safety. Please consider your safety and make sure your storm shelter is tested and approved.

Texas Tech University

Engineers at Texas Tech University’s Wind Engineering Research Center and other wind engineering research facilities have been studying the effects of extreme winds on buildings for over 20 years. For information on their extensive research and a listing of storm shelter manufacturers who have had this testing performed on their products, please contact Texas Tech University by clicking here.

FEMA

FEMA, in cooperation with the Wind Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University, has developed specific performance criteria for tornado shelters. For more information on that performance criteria, please contact FEMA in Washington D.C. or via the FEMA web site.

F.E.M.A. DESIGN REQUIREMENTS FOR IN-GROUND TORNADO SHELTERS

Based on Criteria Listed in Federal Emergency Management Agency publication FEMA 320 /August 2008;
ICC 500-2008 ICC/NSSA Standard For The Design and Construction of Storm Shelters; ASTM E 1886-05 Standard Test Method for Protective Systems Impacted by Missiles NPCTS -National Performance Criteria for Tornado Shelters

ALL LIFESAVER STORM SHELTER MODELS MEET OR EXCEED THE REQUIREMENTS LISTED BELOW

ICC 500 Sect 502.2
Access Opening — Requires access opening minimum size 24″ wide x 30″ long. All LIFESAVER STORM SHELTERS exceed requirement

ICC 500 Sect
502.3.1
Vertical Access — Requires minimum tread depth 8″ and maximum riser height 9-9/16″ All LIFESAVER STORM SHELTERS exceed requirement

ICC 500 Sect
502.3.1
Vertical Access — Requires minimum Stair width 22″ and slip resistant surface. All LIFESAVER STORM SHELTERS exceed requirement

ICC 500 Sect
502.3.1
Overhead Clearance — Requires minimum overhead clearance 6′-8″ or 5′-0″ with signage. All LIFESAVER STORM SHELTERS exceed requirement

ICC 500 Sect
502.3.1.2
Handrail required on stairways having more than three stairs. All All LIFESAVER STORM SHELTERS have a continuous handrail on one side of stairway.

ICC 500 Sect
502.4
Occupant Density — Requires minimum 3 sq ft usable shelter area per occupant. All LIFESAVER STORM SHELTERS exceed requirement.

FEMA 320 & 361
NPCTS
Requires minimum 3 hinge attachment points and 3 positive latch points.
All LIFESAVER STORM SHELTERS have full length hinge with 3 point lock system.

NPCTS
Requires exterior key accessibility for post storm Emergency Entry by EMS personnel if needed when latches are engaged from the inside.
All LIFESAVER STORM SHELTERS exceed requirement. Emergency access can be made by removal of full length hinge from outside with 2- 7/16” wrenches.

ICC 500 Sect
302303/304
Loads and load combinations, Hydrostatic loads, wind loads, required for the construction of shelters All LIFESAVER STORM SHELTERS have been tested by a third party engineering firm for underground structural design. All models exceed the requirements.

ICC 500 Sect
305/306500 Sect
804
FEMA 320/361
NPCTS
ASTM E 1886
Windborne Debris Hazards — Requires tornado shelters exposed surfaces to be designed tested to emulate wind speeds of 250 mph. 15-lb sawn lumber 2×4 missiles impacting exposed surfaces less than 30 degrees from horizontal at 67 mph and exposed vertical surfaces at 100 mph.
DESIGN TESTED AND PASSED TESTING AT T.T.U. WIND ENGINEERING FACILITY DATA AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

ICC 500 Sect 702.1
Requires 2 sq. in. or 4 sq. in. of natural ventilation based on location of ventilation ports per occupant.
All LIFESAVER STORM SHELTERS manufactured to meet or exceed ventilation requirements.