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Atlas Safe Rooms Blog

Above Ground vs In-Ground: What Storm Shelter Is the Better Option?

Posted by Emily Dunavent on Jul 27, 2018 9:37:00 AM

rare nighttime tornado recently rocked Pennsylvania. The tornado seriously injured 6 people as it created a destructive path nearly a mile long. It was so powerful that it sheared off structures at the foundation level and carried large debris for miles.

Tornadoes are a common occurrence, especially in the Midwest, and preparation is necessary. Despite a 13-year low, there were 362 tornadoes in the first six months of 2018.

In order to keep your family safe and secure, you need to invest in a storm shelter. Read on to learn more about above-ground and in-ground storm shelters. Here we will compare the two options and see which one is best for your needs.

Why Choose an In-Ground Storm Shelter?

In-ground shelters are typically found in the yard or underneath the garage. Despite the conceptual similarities, they are different than a traditional basement.

Underground shelters are designed with reinforced steel or concrete. Because they are underground, the shelter is safe from dangerous winds and flying debris.

Conventional wisdom used to say that in-ground shelters were best. However, modern research shows there are a number of risks associated with an underground shelter.

Flooding is the greatest concern for underground shelter owners. In fact, this is a potentially fatal risk. Some owners have drowned when heavy rain or flash flooding accompanies a storm.

Another significant risk is when debris blocks the shelter doors from opening. In these cases, the owners can be trapped underground for long periods of time.

Are Above-Ground Shelters a Better Option?

Technology has greatly improved the survivability of above-ground shelters. For starters, many designs include a sliding door that prevents you from being trapped.

Some shelters have multiple exits to mitigate the risk of being blocked in. In addition, above-ground units are designed to be modular.

This means they can be relocated or expanded in the event your living situation evolves. Modularity comes in handy during a storm event. If all the exits are blocked, inhabitants can use a provided wrench to remove panels and create a new exit.

Above-ground shelters are extensively tested to ensure they are waterproof. They also feature air flow filters that provide healthy levels of oxygen to reach the shelter. At the same time, these filters are also waterproof to keep the shelter's environmental seal.

Another great feature of above-ground shelters is that they can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Many people install these shelters in garages, basements, or closets.

In some cases, underground shelters are difficult to access at a moment's notice. When a tornado suddenly strikes, it is not easy to get underground in the yard. Above-ground shelters are installed in convenient locations that are easy to access.

Wrapping It Up

Unfortunately, tornadoes are common and you need to take action to protect your family. Both underground and above-ground storm shelters provide a degree of safety.

Technological advances like modular panels and waterproofing have made above-ground shelters a viable option for families. If you are interested in purchasing an above-ground shelter, please contact us for assistance.

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Topics: storm shelters, above ground shelter, below ground shelter

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