WEATHERING THE STORM / STORM ROOMS

While some weather conditions are not predictable, there have been improvements in home construction regarding protection and the ways in which a storm room can be implemented into one’s home.

Depending on which part of the country you live in, and knowing the common weather patterns for that zone you may decide to better understand or choose options regarding safe rooms within your new home.

So what makes a safe room safe? Ultimately it is the fortitude of the structure itself.  If you are planning to incorporate a safe room within your home the first step would be to review your house plan with your building consultant to determine the best location within the structure to designate as a safe room.

Some things to discuss will include whether or not to use reinforced concrete, wind rated doors, proper ventilation and how the room will be tied into the structure.  Will you decide to use poured concrete walls with rebar situated and secured into the footings?  Maybe you will incorporate a secure system where the footings are connected to the walls and likewise the walls to the ceiling to offer additional strength to the structure.  In regards to wind rated doors,  the last thing you want  when adding a safe room is overlooking the door which could ultimately lead to failure in performance. If you are unsure of what options may be available, discuss your concerns with your builder or building consultant.

Most devastating tornados are known to scrape the house off of the foundation; a safe room secured with additional measures may prevent a portion of the home from being as badly affected.  Other options, where proper conditions exist may include utilizing basements as a safe room.

Just because a home has a basement does not automatically mean the entire basement is safer than other rooms within the home.  What makes most basements safe is the fact they are below the ground level.  If you have a walk out basement or a partially in ground basement these areas may not provide the safety you are looking to achieve during extreme weather conditions such as tornados.

Block walls or masonry walls with reinforced metal create a stable and sound structure with fewer fault points. This is an example of materials used to provide the safe room structure you are looking to achieve.

As with any emergency type scenario you want to assure the people within your home know where the safe room is located as well as how and when to properly use this area.  In the event you may need additional items stored within the safe room make sure to consider water, food and other emergency type kits you may want to incorporate within this area.  As you design and build your home, we hope you never have to use a safe room, but want to be sure you have the option to include this important component to your new custom home.

For more information about this topic and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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