Winds with 100 mph strength, tornadoes, and flying debris would threaten our safety, thus a tornado room with a design and engineering under ICC 500 and FEMA P-361 standards, has life safety features to protect us from these natural calamities.
Compared to any other countries, the United States has more tornado occurrences. We are also informed that there are four times more tornadoes in the United States than the occurrences of this natural event in the whole of Europe. Be informed too that the intensity, strength, frequency and amounts of reported tornadoes have increased over the years.
The current trend whenever a severe weather event happens, more tornadoes per event and stronger tornadoes with higher winds would also occur. So whenever multiple tornadoes with winds over 200 mph would happen, there is also a soaring damage and loss of life accompanying these tragedies. To solve and prevent these disasters, the International Code Council and the National Storm Shelter Association decided to create the first Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters and safe rooms. As a result, a built-in tornado room is designed to increase in schools, tornado safe rooms and buildings.
People have to know the importance of tornado safe rooms in their buildings. Imagine your house is built to withstand around 70 mph winds, but if you are located in a tornado and hurricane prone areas with over 200 mph winds, damage and loss of lives could possibly happen.
On record is one of the most devastating tornadoes with wind speed at 318 mph, which not only caused damage and safety concerns but also created positive and negative wind pressure, with deadly flying projectiles. With winds at those speeds, flying debris penetrated metals, roofs were lifted off, and buildings were separated from their foundations.
Codes are thus created by associations and agencies as a result of the many destructions in areas that are prone to severe tornadoes and hurricanes, encouraging communities to build their homes under ICC 500 building code. Numerous lives are said to be saved in buildings having either a tornado room or a storm room.
When you build a tornado room, sturdier walls, roof structures and tornado safe room doors would be involved. The roof should have the capability to transfer wind loads to the walls, and the walls to the foundation or ground.
Be aware that there are companies that would help you design tornado rooms with security in mind. They can design in sleek construction, with an open and airy appearance, of your safe room doors which can be hidden above your ceiling.