Above vs Below Ground Storm Shelters: Which One is Best?

Above vs Below Ground Storm Shelters

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Do you live in an area where tornados often whip through?

Strong winds can be dangerous. In fact, tornados can upend entire cities, cause massive building damage, and even kill. Because of this, it pays to be ready. Storm shelters can help you and your community survive even the worst of weather.

But which are better, above ground or below ground shelters? Read on to find out!

Above Ground

Let’s start with above ground storm shelters.

Many people have a misconception that above ground shelters are immediately inferior to below ground ones. This is because some think tornados might suck anything above ground into the air. This is not exactly true.

Tornados do cause massive damage above ground. However, their vortex centers do not provide suction. Instead, tornados wreak havoc via their strong, whipping winds. Generally, the winds need to get under something in order to lift it into the air. If a tornado breaks through a building, the wind can get underneath everything inside and lift it up.

Above ground shelters are the more wheelchair-accessible option, as anyone using a wheelchair will not need to climb in and out of the shelter.

In order to get a tornado-resistant safe room in your home, you’re going to need to have one installed. Make sure yours has been made by an NSSA Producer Member. This will ensure you are getting top-of-the-line safety.

Below Ground

Below ground shelters are an excellent choice for your family if you can put them in an accessible location. Ideally, these shelters should be placed inside of your home. They can also be placed outdoors, but this should only be done when necessary.

The reason for this is that when storms arrive, they can come with hail, strong winds, or other elements that may make it difficult for you to reach your shelter.

If you choose to install an outdoor shelter, make sure you keep on top of the weather trends. That way, you and your family can make your way to the shelter before the storm and avoid getting caught in a dangerous situation. In terms of accessibility, in-home underground shelters are much safer. You will be able to get to them from inside your home without having to risk your well-being. They are usually placed in garages.

Above ground shelters may also have some advantages over below ground ones. Often, tornados come with other inclement weather, such as torrential rain. In some cases, people have found themselves trapped in their underground shelters as the rains poured in. This is especially a concern if your shelter is outdoors.

Should you choose to use this type of shelter, make sure you and your family have a foolproof escape plan in case something goes wrong.

More on Home Improvement

Of course, you hope that you will never need to use your storm shelter. However, in an emergency, they can be the difference between life and death. As such, they are a smart and fantastic home upgrade, no matter which type you choose.

Want more on home improvement? Check out the rest of our article and make your home the best that it can be!