Obviously, as members of the National Storm Shelter Association for a number of years, we feel there's a value, or we wouldn't continue to pay the annual fee and follow the NSSA membership rules. But what does it mean to you, the consumer?
To find the value you first have to understand what the organization does. The NSSA was formed over 15 years ago by engineers and shelter manufacturers who saw the need to develop standards for storm shelter construction. Before that time, there were no FEMA publications or ICC standards that told the public what was required of a storm shelter to make it safe and life saving. In fact, several years after NSSA adopted its first set of engineering and construction standards in May of 2000, the ICC and FEMA used those same standards to create the ICC 500 and FEMA 320/361 documents that exist today.
In order to be a producer member of the NSSA, Safe Sheds is required to submit our shelter design plans for review by third-party (non-associated) engineers who are experts in the field of wind engineering. We also have to submit our shelter and doors to advanced testing to ensure that they meet the exacting standards of the NSSA, FEMA, and the ICC.
In addition, we assign each and every shelter we install an exclusive NSSA serial number and report that to the NSSA home office in Lubbock, Texas, so they can follow up with owners of shelters if they are in the path of a severe weather event. This follow-up isn't to verify that owners are safe but to add information about the storm, resulting damage, and survival rates to the large database of information they maintain.
So, is our membership in the NSSA valuable to you, the end user of our tornado shelter product? Well, since there is no government agency who oversees or licenses manufacturers or builders of tornado shelters, our NSSA membership assures you that someone somewhere who knows a lot about tornado shelters is keeping an eye on us to make sure we're selling you a product that can save your life.
And we think that's pretty darn valuable after all. : )