Safe Room Protects Family

Dec 30, 2011

By Holly Anderson, Editor in Chief

An Alabama family survived the massive tornado strike that ripped through their Athens, Alabama neighborhood, killing nearly 250 people.

Kevin and Sarah Beth Harrison, with their two children, huddled inside a “safe room” Kevin and his father built inside the family detached garage. After the storm the garage was gone. The only thing left standing was the safe room.

The Harrisons were honored for their foresight this year by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, FLASH®.

Having a safe room built into your house can protect you and your family from the dangerous forces of nature.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed plans for a family shelter space for use in the event of a natural disaster. The safe room plans, researched by Texas Tech University, come in a variety of designs for rooms in the basement and rooms on the main floor for homes without basements.

The safe rooms are built out of reinforced concrete, reinforced concrete block, or wood-framed walls with plywood and steel sheathing. The room is covered with a similar structural ceiling/roof that is independent of the house structure. Everything is tied down to the foundation from the top of the safe room to resist the uplift forces generated during a tornado or hurricane. The exterior materials and structure of the safe room are impact resistant to protect the occupants from windborne debris.

For more information, download a free, complete copy of "Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business."

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