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Building a Safe Room Inside Your Home

Every year hurricanes, tornadoes and other extreme windstorms injure and kill people, and damage millions of dollars of property in the United States. Even so, each year more people build homes in hurricane and tornado prone areas, potentially putting themselves and their family in the path of these dangerous storms. Development along the Alabama Gulf Coast and across southern Alabama in recent years is no exception and the amount of property and lives threatened by a land falling hurricane has increased dramatically.


Extreme winds create stress on houses that frequently cause connections between building components to fail. For example, the roof or siding material can be pulled off and windows can be blown out. Once this type of wind damage occurs, additional (often more significant) damage may follow. In addition, damage can be caused by flying debris if winds become strong enough. Flying debris can be thrown at a building with enough force to penetrate the windows, walls and/or roof. In fact, most of the common materials used in building can be penetrated by flying debris.


For this reason, anyone living in areas where extreme winds associated with hurricanes or tornadoes can occur, should consider having a shelter or safe room built into their home to provide a place to seek shelter and protect themselves and their family from injury or death caused by the dangerous forces of extreme winds. It can also relieve some of the anxiety created by the threat of an incoming hurricane or tornado.


Extensive testing and design by several universities and wind engineering research facilities has resulted in the development of shelters constructed of materials that will withstand the forces imposed by extreme winds without failing and will resist penetration by wind blown flying debris. These safe rooms are easily built into new homes and some shelter designs can even be added to existing homes.



Regardless if you decide to build a shelter in your house, there are 2 important steps you can take to protect yourself and family during a hurricane or tornado...
: Prepare an emergency plan.
: Put together an emergency su
pply kit.


For more detailed information about building a shelter or safe room inside your house, contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Information courtesy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.