What Is a Safe Room?

Updated: Mar 30

FEMA defines: “A safe room is a professionally reinforced, specially designed to meet FEMA standards and provides excellent protection in extreme weather events including tornadoes and hurricanes.”


Risk assessment: Identify the types of hazards to be avoided, such as natural or man-made disasters.


Site selection: The construction of a safe room includes the basement and the ground. Do not build underground hurricane bunkers in areas prone to flooding. You will not be hurt by the wind but will be submerged in the water.


Structure: usually steel plate + concrete and other materials to build, modular assembly structure.


Building Code: Ensure compliance with FEMA P-361 and ICC 500.


Cost: The size, materials, configuration, etc. of the safe room to be built, ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars


A safe room is a refuge that can be either stand-alone or built into a building that is strong enough to withstand any catastrophic event. The type of security event you want to avoid (such as weather events, terrorist incidents), the number of people you use will determine the size of the safe room.


“A safe room is insurance against problems such as theft or natural disasters.” “Also known as the panic room, it is just a reinforced room that provides a safe haven.”


Anyone who has seen the movie "The Wizard of Oz" will remember Dorothy's tornado shelter in his home in Kansas. People born in the 1950s and 1960s may be more familiar with the shelters and emergency shelters that were built at the time. The Panic Room, starring (Jodie Foster), introduces the concept of a safe room into the new century.


In the Middle Ages, when the invaders attacked, the tall castle was on a hill surrounded by water. The fortress of the castle is stronger. The original version of the safe room has been around for thousands of years. Now, safe rooms have more technology and will be hidden.




Reasons for building a safe room

Due to the increasing frequency of extreme weather and tornadoes, FEMA encourages homeowners and communities to establish FEMA-compliant safe houses. For some time, strong winds have been the reason why people in the Midwestern United States built tornado safety rooms.

If the weather event is the primary purpose of ensuring safety, a safe room needs to be installed underground. If you build on the second floor of the house, the safe room will be thrown like a basketball. The secure rooms are reinforced and are usually built on the ground according to specifications and fixed on the required floor. For individuals and families, building in the basement is safer.


Professionals predict that extreme events will become more common as the Earth's climate continues to change. A tornado is an event that human beings cannot surpass. Therefore, everyone needs an emergency shelter.


What kind of harm do people want to be protected from? In the era of forced flooding, some people became very worried about bullets, missiles, bombs, and other weapons. People with huge wealth or social status may think that a well-equipped security room will protect them from the threat of kidnappers or family invasions. Well-built rooms protect the whole family from extreme events or other people



Risk assessment

A hazard assessment is required when anyone buys or builds a new home. Whenever you consider a situation that may be dangerous to yourself or your family, you are evaluating - a tornado? hurricane? Is the house too close to the river? Is it too close to the highway? In an environment that is prone to fire? Too close to the power plant?


“The right shelter depends on the location of your home, the number of families and the condition of the home.” “For example, if you are in a high-risk area, it is recommended to use a larger shelter because you may have to wait a few hours in the storm. The tornado is relatively fast."


How to build a safe room?

Safe rooms generally use steel and concrete; bulletproof materials; locking systems; large and heavy doors; air filtration; cameras, peepholes. The standard items stored in the shelter will depend on how long they are expected to be used - emergency food and fresh water. It is best to have an emergency toilet.


A safe room doesn't have to be big, it's not expensive, it doesn't even have to be permanent. FEMA recommends creating a simple but sturdy, safe room in the basement at home. Walls and doors should be strong enough to withstand strong winds and flying debris.




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