Frequently Asked Questions
Review our list of the most frequently asked questions about our underground storm shelters.
Q. Can I access my shelter with my car parked in the garage?
Q. How many people will the shelter hold?
A. The shelter accommodates 6-8 depending on size and number of adults, children, pets, etc. FEMA requires 3 sq. ft. per person.
Q. Does driving over or parking on my storm shelter damage it?
Q. Is there room for my pets?
A. Yes. We suggest you work with your pets to familiarize them with entering and exiting the unit.
Q. Will my cell phone work inside the shelter?
A. Once your underground shelter is installed, we encourage you to test this to see what kind of service you have. The reception will depend on your cell phone carrier.
Q. How is the shelter ventilated?
A. The one-piece lid includes a NSSA/FEMA 320 Approved Standard vent. The shelter lid sits ¼ inch above the surface of the shelter and provides 360-degree ventilation.
Q. Will the shelter take in water?
A. It is possible for water to get in the unit. The shelter is not air tight. It is raised slightly and has a sloped finish to assist in preventing water runoff when washing out your garage. Simply wipe down the shelter if this should occur.
Q. Can the shelter be installed in my back yard?
A. No, the shelter’s lid is not water tight and needs to be installed in an enclosed area to prevent exposure of outside elements. The unit also needs to be installed with an existing slab in place.
Q. Can the shelter be installed in my carport?
A. Yes, with some modification on the install. If the carport is not enclosed, it is not possible to protect the shelter from outside elements, (i.e. water runoff, snow etc). This type of install does void the warranty.
Q. Can I get out of my shelter if the roof or fallen debris collapses on the lid?
A. Yes, the ‘come along winch’ enables you to manually slide the lid open with tons of debris on or around the shelter.
Q. What is a ‘come along winch’ or egress device?
A. The come along winch provides you a manual egress (exit) out of the shelter should fallen debris jam the lid bearings and prohibit you from easily sliding the lid open. Each below ground shelter includes a 4,000 lb. come along winch.
Q. Can I wire my shelter for electricity?
A. We do not suggest wiring for electricity in your below ground shelter. Battery operated lights are included and we suggest keeping a ‘severe weather preparedness kit’ in your shelter that should include extra flashlights and batteries.
Q. How long does it take to complete installation?
A. We allow 2 days for installation.
Q. Does the install leave a mess for us to clean up?
A. The install teams do an excellent job in keeping the work area clean and will be sure to leave the area better than they found it.
Q. Can my foundation be damaged during my install?
A. The install teams will not perform any action that would jeopardize the integrity of the foundation or structure.
Q. Is this shelter safe against severe storms and tornadoes?
A. Yes, all of our below ground shelters and safe rooms meet or exceed FEMA 320 Standard to withstand an F5 or greater tornados. It is in compliance with the applicable provisions of the ICC-500 Design Standard/NSSA criteria, and has been successfully tested at Texas Tech Wind Engineering Research Center.
Q. Were your storm shelters designed by a qualified engineer and tested?
A. Yes, our in-house engineer team developed and drew the plans for our units. A NSSA approved third party engineer evaluation was performed. Our unit was approved by the third party engineer and successfully tested at Texas Tech Wind Engineering Institute Impact Testing Facility as a pre-requisite to acceptance into NSSA approval.
Q. Are your underground shelters endorsed by FEMA and National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA)?
A. Yes, all of our underground shelters and safe rooms have been TESTED and APPROVED by National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) Lubbock TX & Texas Tech University (TTU) to meet or exceed all of the NSSA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “Standard” (FEMA 320/ICC 500). Our shelters have been tested by “Third Party” Engineering Group both in Texas and Alabama to meet and or exceed the same standard. Our shelters passed ALL testing on the first test with no reservations.