STORM SHELTERS TULSA OK
Concrete Storm Shelters
Talk to anyone along the notorious "tornado alley" and they probably have some sort of opinion on whether tornado shelters are best when they're made of concrete or steel. Unfortunately, many of the people with the strongest opinions on the matter are not only on the internet, they're trying to sell you either a concrete or steel storm shelter, and they're perfectly happy to muddy the waters in order to make sure you purchase one and not the other. We here at Storm Shelters Tulsa, on the other hand, sell both kinds of shelters, and while that may not change some folks' opinions, it does mean that we don't have a dog in this fight. We can afford to tell you the plain facts.
To begin with, Texas Tech's National Wind Institute -- the leading tornado researchers in the meteorological field -- test both concrete and steel storm shelters in their labs, making sure that the safety standards set by FEMA for both steel AND concrete are met. That means even the government considers these two kinds of shelters equally protective. In fact, it was the researchers at Texas Tech who designed and perfected the above-ground storm shelter in the first place. As long as your shelter meets these rigorous standards, you can consider yourself well-protected.
No matter what that guy selling steel shelters tells you, in other words, the walls of your concrete shelter won't crumble overnight. Many of these walls actually come with self-sealing compounds in them, ones which act just as you think they would -- filling in any cracks as they occur (if they even do). As far as that goes, there are also a number of spray-on substances that will seal your concrete walls just fine before anything ever happens. Most of these modern developments come with 10 - year warranties. Some go as high as 30! And not only are concrete shelters as strong as steel, they're usually reinforced with steel rebar anyway. And since the 300 pound doors to both kinds are made of steel, that leaves you just as protected as you would be in a steel shelter.
In the same way, steel gets a bad rap from the concrete guy. Usually this takes the form of a big scare about electrical shock: if it's outside and made of metal, so this line of reasoning goes, it'll work as a giant lightning rod, pulling down bolts out of the sky while the storm is going on and conducting hot, broken power lines when the tornado has passed.
This is just silly. Electricians themselves know that a structure made entirely out of steel will leave whatever's inside it totally grounded and therefore safe. It's called the "Faraday Cage" effect, and it's why you often see a particularly important piece of electrical equipment, one located outside a building, covered in a steel cage, as if it had been locked away in jail. Any charge that passes through an all-steel structure has no choice but to pass around it and go out the other side. The expensive electrical equipment is perfectly safe in there, which means so are you and your loved ones. The other bugaboo you often hear about is rust, but science has made a number of advances in that area, and there are any number of ways we can rustproof your new storm shelter so that it can protect your family for years, if not decades.
So, steel or concrete? It's really just a matter of personal preference, although steel takes a hit from a bullet better, if you're also worried about what your city might be like after a storm. Then again, concrete has added mass, which definitely helps against debris. And the debate rages on...
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