ef5 tornado damage dupont stormrooms kevlar tornado shelter

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it look like after it is installed? Can it be finished out as a room?

The inside and outside surfaces of the StormRoom made with Dupont Kevlar® walls/ceiling are plywood and are connected together with specially designed steel components, and this is what you will see when it is first installed.  The room can be finished-out with drywall, lights and wiring, plumbing, and heat and air.  If you desire to have it finished-out, it can look like any other room in your house.  It can function as a room of your home, such as a closet, bathroom, laundry room, pantry, office, or any other windowless room.  It is the easiest tornado shelter on the market to finish out.

Have any of your shelters ever been hit by an actual tornado?

We have had four of our StormRooms in the direct path of two different EF-5 tornadoes, two in Joplin, Missouri, and two in Piedmont, Oklahoma.  All four had people inside during the tornadoes.  There were no injuries to the occupants of the shelter in spite of the homes being destroyed, and all were able to easily exit the shelter on their own.

How long does is take to install? Can I install it myself? Can my builder install it for me?

Installation generally takes less than a day.  The StormRoom made with DuPont Kevlar® is only installed by certified installers who have been thoroughly factory-trained in the proper techniques for anchoring of the tornado shelter to your slab foundation.  The attachment of the shelter to the slab is the most critical part of any above-ground tornado shelter.  We believe that this single step is so important that we will not allow anyone who has not been trained to install the StormRoom.  Yes, this sometimes loses us a sale, but we would rather lose sales than lose lives in an improperly constructed and anchored shelter.

How much does it cost?

Even though the  StormRoom with DuPont Kevlar® is second to none in the features is offers,  it is still surprisingly affordable for most people.  As the manufacturer, we do not set retail pricing.  Our authorized dealers/installers are in the best position to advise you about what size of StormRoom you need, where to locate it, etc., and can give you exact price quotes.  Costs such as shipping, local taxes, and labor costs vary from area to area, but as a general rule, the StormRoom starts at around $6,000 for the smallest size.  We accept credit card payments, and have financing options available.

What are the sizes of the StormRoom made with DuPont Kevlar® ?

StormRoom made with Dupont Kevlar® ranges from 4’x4′ to 12’x12′ (interior dimensions).  While certain sizes are considered “standard sizes”, the tornado or hurricane shelter can also be custom-sized to almost any size within that range, subject to certain engineering parameters.

What is DuPont Kevlar® fiber? Where is the DuPont Kevlar® located? Is the StormRoom
bullet-proof?

DuPont Kevlar® is an aramid fiber made by DuPont. Versatile, resilient and five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis, it helps provide strength and protection in diverse applications, such as bullet-resistant vests and helmets worn by law enforcement and military, firefighter turn-out gear, and cut- & heat-resistant gloves.  The DuPont Kevlar® in the StormRoom is found behind the outside layer of plywood.  It helps stop debris from passing through the walls.  The StormRoom is the only tornado and hurricane shelter that contains DuPont Kevlar®.  While the  Kevlar® that is used in the walls of the StormRoom is intended to help stop wind-borne debris, it does not carry a ballistic rating.  We offer the option of adding ballistic-rated panels to the the StormRoom, if desired.

Are your shelters FEMA approved? Have they been tested?

“FEMA approved” is actually a misnomer.  FEMA does not approve (or disapprove) any tornado shelter.  FEMA has published guidelines for the construction and manufacture of above-ground shelters.  In order to comply with these guidelines, certain engineering criteria must be met and the shelter must be impact tested.  Most companies use the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University to do their impact testing.  Our tornado shelters passed the Texas Tech testing.  In addition, the  StormRoom has had numerous other types of testing performed by third-party testing facilities and has had numerous third-party engineering reviews.  To see which shelters have been tested at Texas Tech, click the “more info” button.

How do I find my local dealer?

Fill out the “Contact Us” form letting us know where you are located.  We will respond back to you with your local dealer’s contact

In what types of buildings can the StormRoom be installed?

StormRoom made with Dupont Kevlar® is ideal for buildings constructed on a concrete slab foundation that meets the design requirements found in FEMA 320 or ICC-500.  It is designed to be installed on the ground floor or basement slab.  The Simpson Strong-Tie® Anchor System is used to attach the steel tracks of the StormRoom to your concrete foundation.  A thickened footing is not required.  A standard 4″ thick slab with 3000 psi minimum concrete and reinforced with a minimum of 6×6 welded wire reinforcement is sufficient.  This anchoring system has been extensively tested by independent laboratories and has been proven to exceed FEMA requirements for anchoring storm shelters.

What is the door made of?

The door is made by ForceShield Tornado Doors and is designed to meet FEMA and ICC-500 standards.  It is made of 10 gauge steel and is faced with a “skin” that allows it to blend in with the other doors in your home.  The single-lever handle functions six one-inch diameter dead-bolts that latch securely into the steel door frame.  The door opens to the inside of the StormRoom so it won’t be inhibited by debris piled up against the outside of the tornado shelter.  There is an option of a lockable key-code door which allows the room to double as a safe room for storage of valuables.  In addition, the door can be locked from the inside for added security when occupied.

What are the advantages of an above-ground shelter versus an underground shelter?

Above-ground tornado shelters have many advantages over below-ground shelters:

First, is the advantage of easy entry.   There are many people who are physically incapable of climbing down steps or stairs to get below ground.  Getting small children and pets into a below-ground shelter can also be a problem.

Second, is the advantage of easy exit.  Our door opens inward so that it will not be affected by debris piled up outside the shelter.  Below ground shelter doors can be impossible to open from the inside if debris has fallen on the door.

Third, is the advantage of location.  An in-home tornado shelter allows you to quickly get in a safe place, without having to go outside in the storm.  This can mean the difference in survival, as there is often only minutes from the time the warning is sounded until the tornado is on the ground.

Fourth, is the advantage of communication.  You will still have cell phone signal, radio signal, etc., inside the StormRoom, allowing you to stay in touch with family and to know when it is safe to exit.

Often, people won’t go into their below-ground storm shelter unless they think a tornado is imminent.  With the easy, in-home access of the StormRoom made with DuPont Kevlar®, you will be more likely to heed the warnings and go into the tornado shelter.

If you have a shelter that is so unpleasant, difficult, or uncomfortable that you hestitate to go into it unless you think a tornado is about to hit, you have the wrong shelter.

What are the sizes of the StormRoom made with DuPont Kevlar® ?

StormRoom made with Dupont Kevlar® ranges from 4’x4′ to 12’x12′ (interior dimensions).  While certain sizes are considered “standard sizes”, the tornado or hurricane shelter can also be custom-sized to almost any size within that range, subject to certain engineering parameters.

What is DuPont Kevlar® fiber? Where is the DuPont Kevlar® located? Is the StormRoom bullet-proof?

DuPont Kevlar® is an aramid fiber made by DuPont. Versatile, resilient and five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis, it helps provide strength and protection in diverse applications, such as bullet-resistant vests and helmets worn by law enforcement and military, firefighter turn-out gear, and cut- & heat-resistant gloves.  The DuPont Kevlar® in the StormRoom™ is found behind the outside layer of plywood.  It helps stop debris from passing through the walls.  The StormRoom is the only tornado and hurricane shelter that contains DuPont™ Kevlar®.  While the  Kevlar® that is used in the walls of the StormRoom is intended to help stop wind-borne debris, it does not carry a ballistic rating.  We offer the option of adding ballistic-rated panels to the the StormRoom™, if

Are your shelters FEMA approved? Have they been tested?

“FEMA approved” is actually a misnomer.  FEMA does not approve (or disapprove) any tornado shelter.  FEMA has published guidelines for the construction and manufacture of above-ground shelters.  In order to comply with these guidelines, certain engineering criteria must be met and the shelter must be impact tested.  Most companies use the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University to do their impact testing.  Our tornado shelters passed the Texas Tech testing.  In addition, the  StormRoom has had numerous other types of testing performed by third-party testing facilities and has had numerous third-party engineering reviews.  To see which shelters have been tested at Texas Tech, click the “more info” button.

How do I find my local dealer?

Fill out the “Contact Us” form letting us know where you are located.  We will respond back to you with your local dealer’s contact