ABSTRACT

Best Practice: Residential Safe Room   [open pdf - 17KB]

"NEWCASTLE, OK -- One year after Ronda and Billy Johnson installed a safe room in their garage, their home was totally destroyed by a tornado. It proved a wise investment because that safe room saved their lives that day. A powerful EF-5 tornado ripped through Newcastle, Oklahoma, and nearby communities on May 20, 2013, destroying homes and taking 24 lives. Ronda and her daughters, Kylie and Raylee, plus two family dogs, took shelter from the storm in the safe room. 'We had always wanted a safe room and when my husband built an unattached garage on the property we decided that this was the perfect place and time to purchase a safe room,' said Ronda. The garage was just a few feet from the house and the safe room would be easy to access in an emergency. Rather than build underground, the Johnsons decided to purchase an above-ground safe room -- a six-by-eight foot concrete box anchored to the garage slab and accessed via a steel door with a triple latch system. The room is equipped with electricity and supplies including a flashlight in case the electricity goes out."

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