A tornado room is described to provide life safety features because of its design and engineering that adhere to stringent ICC 500 and FEMA P-361 standards, thereby protecting communities from tornadoes running at 100 mph plus winds and the resulting effects like flying debris and other dangers.
Compared to any other countries, the United States has more tornado occurrences. The fact is that there are four times more tornadoes in the United States than all of Europe. It is also observed that over the years, not only has the frequency and number of reported tornadoes increased, there is an increased too of its intensity and strength.
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. In answer to these events, the International Code Council and the National Storm Shelter association created the first Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters and safe rooms. With this move, there is an increased safe rooms in schools, tornado safe rooms and buildings with their designed built-in tornado rooms.
One may wonder about the importance of having tornado safe rooms in a building. It is typical for a house to be built withstanding around 70 mph winds, and note that a tornado with around 70 mph winds would create damage and possible loss of lives, especially if your place or location is prone to hurricanes and tornadoes.
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.
Associations and agencies then had to create codes in areas prone to severe tornadoes and hurricanes, especially with the destructions felt in those areas, leading communities to adopt ICC 500 as their 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. You can then have safe room doors that are hidden above your ceiling with the sleek construction of this firm, resulting to a more open and airy design.