Hurricane Harvey just pummeled Texas and Hurricane Irma is predicted to strike Florida in the next 24 hours as a Category 4 or 5 storm. This is just the beginning of what's shaping up to be the most costly and dangerous hurricane season the U.S. has seen in many years.
Here at Safe Sheds, we've seen a huge increase in the number of phone calls and e-mails asking about using Safe Sheds shelters for hurricane protection. Our shelters are engineered and built to withstand Category 5 winds and provide protection against the tornadoes that are frequently spawned as these monster storms advance. But there are a couple of things you need to know if you're considering adding a Safe Shed, or any other storm shelter, to your family's emergency plans.
1) While a Safe Shed will withstand Cat 5 hurricane force winds and EF5 tornadoes, it is not water tight. In order to provide adequate ventilation and air flow for human and animal occupants, air must be able to enter the shelter. Making the Safe Shed water tight would also make it air tight - not a good situation for anyone inside! Water can enter the shelter via the door threshold which is 6" above ground level.
2) We check FEMA flood maps for every Safe Shed buyer before we deliver. And we won't deliver if the shelter would be located in a flood prone or storm surge area. We also recommend that buyers contact their local agencies to make sure they're not placing their shelter in an unsafe location.
As long as your Safe Shed is safe from flooding and storm surges, it will provide excellent protection for your family from sustained hurricane winds. If you decide to evacuate your location, your Safe Shed becomes a great place to secure valuables left behind and disaster supplies you can use when you return. When no one will be sheltering in the Safe Shed, you can safely use expanding spray foam to seal the ventilation ducts and the door jamb and threshold to keep rising waters out of the building. Then padlock the door, and your property and supplies are protected by 4" of steel reinforced concrete.
If you're interested in finding out more about Safe Sheds shelters, please call one of our sales team members at 888-556-1531. We'd be happy to answer your questions and put you in touch with a current Safe Shed owner who can tell you more about how they stock and use their shelter.