The thing about a natural weather calamity is that it is a silent predator, it can befall anywhere and at any time. At times, the weather department may even fail to pick the signs of an oncoming weather catastrophe, or it may pick them up only a couple of days before the impact.
The problem is natural disasters cannot be pushed to the backburner, and the most that a person can do is to prepare for such times of emergency. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) outlines that an average 1,000 tornadoes are reported in the US every year.
The same source also confirms that tornadoes have been responsible for 40% inflation-adjusted insured catastrophe losses between 1997 to 2016. In 2016, the insured losses from such weather calamities summed up to $14 billion, which was an increase from the $9.6 billion losses that occurred in 2015.
These numbers paint a horrific picture. The best that you can do is to ensure that loss of life doesn’t darken this picture any further. In this regard, storm shelters come in handy.
What are storm shelters?
Storm shelters are also known as storm cellars. As their names suggest, these shelters protect you from ferocious thunderstorms. They are sturdily built and designed to hold occupants safe.
So, do you need a tornado cellar? The answer to this question is pretty straightforward. If you are located in a State or area where tornadoes are common, then you need a storm shelter instantly.
Tornadoes are frequent in the Southeast and Midwest regions of the US. It is fairly easy to get underground shelters built in these areas owing to the low water table permits. Tornado cells may not be possible to construct in flood-prone and urbanized areas though.
Basements serve as a good location for setting up storm shelters too. However, they are vulnerable to debris collapsing from the above. It is also essential to note that a safe room is different from a storm shelter but offers similar advantages. Safe rooms are constructed to withstand over 3,000 pounds of force and 250 mph winds, which is more than an EF-5 tornado.
Benefits of having a storm shelter in your house
Now that the meaning of a storm shelter is out of the way, let’s see how these bunkers can be valuable for you:
- Protects you during weather calamities
As discussed above, tornadoes and other weather anomalies tend to be reasonably frequent, specifically, in certain areas. Since prevention is better than cure, it is wise to be prepared in advance by having a safe place to stay in while the tornado or storm lasts. Therefore, the primary benefit of having a storm shelter is protection from wreckage-causing weather.
- Increases the value of your property
Multiple people back down from getting a tornado cellar due to its cost. However, storm shelters fort worth is not as important as safeguarding lives. Moreover, recent evidence suggests that you can reap value from the investment you make in a storm cellar as it increases your property’s value.
Real estate agents in Oklahoma anticipate an increase in your home’s value between $1,000 to $2,000. Some agents go on to suggest that its value is akin to a kitchen renovation while others say that you can get a 2/3 return of your original installation cost. This makes investments in storm shelters a pretty good expenditure.
- Protects from a damaged house
At this point, you may be wondering why can’t you wait out the storm in your house. As right as this may sound, your home is susceptible to damage caused by natural disasters. Sciencing.com highlights that different intensities of tornadoes inflict varying damage.
F1 tornadoes can tear off windows, doors, and upend mobile homes. F2 tornadoes can rip off roofs and uproot large trees and cars. Moreover, a category F3 tornado can cause serious damage to malls and destroy home floors entirely.
Similarly, F4 tornados can use objects like missiles and hurtle them around at high speeds. Lastly, a level F5 tornado can severely damage well-built houses, destroy buildings, and so on. Therefore, getting a storm shelter is just an act of being on the safe side of such matters.
- Easy to install
Another reason that holds people back from getting a storm shelter is the installation. However, installation of tornado cellars does not take long. Especially, if you get it installed by a professional who has the know-how and access to the right tools.
- The storm shelter does not have to be underground
Lastly, storm shelters are also beneficial for those who don’t want an underground cellar. Joseph Dannemiller has put together 15 years of research at the Texas Tech University’s National Wind Institute and shown that above-ground storm shelters also provide excellent safety.
Moreover, a 2013 report from Oklahoma reads that an aboveground storm shelter survived the EF5 Moore tornado. This shows that storm cellars, whether underground or above it, are highly valuable.
A recent poll shows that a shocking 33% of the Americans do nothing to prepare themselves for a natural disaster. It is best not to be negligent as property loss, and human causalities are rising in the face of the increasing number of natural disasters.