Everyone knows how chaotic the situation can become when a natural calamity strikes. But as the world advances, people have become smart enough to figure out places to escape when unpleasant things happen such as storm shelters. You must be wondering what exactly is a safe room?

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has set certain criteria to make hardened structures that are fit to provide almost absolute protection in cases of hurricanes, wars and unwanted events. These rooms keep the occupants safe under such situations. The basic guidelines for building a safe room are as follows.


There is no right or wrong location while building a safe room. It depends upon the potential risk that you may be exposed to, which decides whether your safe room location should be above or below the ground. According to FEMA standards, it is mandatory to keep the safe room entrance 150 feet away from the nearest entrance. Also, choose a location wisely since underground safe rooms are not favorable for flood prone areas whereas those above the ground are not favorable for war-struck areas and natural calamities. So choose your location wisely while building your storm shelters.


Size is of utmost importance because safe rooms are built for the protection of people and you want to make sure they are comfortable inside. While making the safe room, you should be careful that the people inside should have enough room for survival. The safe bet is at least 5 square feet per person for

a low-risk calamity and 7-10 square feet per person for a high-risk threat. For wheelchair bound people, FEAM recommends 20 square feet per person that is a standard size. These are rough estimates but you should build according to your needs.


While shopping for your home doors, you may have come across steel doors that are made of steel and additional locks for higher safety. FEMA recommended doors are designed in such a way that they can resist debris impact and wind pressures. From a safety point of view, they are tested with 15 pounds 2×4 square inch wooden board traveling at a speed of 100 mph and are made to hit the door for impact resistance testing. You can expect this as the minimum strength. Obviously, there are doors that can withstand higher impacts. While you buy these doors, you should verify that the door is agency tested and which agency has tested it. Once verified, you can be sure of the safety that door provides when in use.

So whenever you are looking for any storm shelters, keep all these things in mind and never ever compromise on safety standards.