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What Is a Storm Room?

By C. Daw
Updated May 16, 2024
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A storm room is a stand-alone structure that can be built above ground and is used as a source of protection during a severe storm, like a tornado or hurricane. The storm room is built with Kevlar material which is the same material that bulletproof vests are made from. Once these storm rooms are installed correctly, they are able to withstand a Category 5 storm with wind speeds of up to two hundred and fifty miles per hour. These storm rooms vary in size from a 4 x 6 (1.22 x 1.82 m) to a 12 x 12 (3.65 x 3.65 m), and many sizes and shapes in between.

Many people, especially those who live in storm prone regions of the world, are looking for added protection for their family. Often basements and storage cellars are used for protection from the wind and the forces of dangerous storms, like tornadoes or hurricanes. Many homes are being built without basements or storm cellars, which leave the resident with limited options on where to turn for protection during a storm. They may select a small closet or bathroom to help protect them, but the force of the wind that a tornado can generate would very easily be able to penetrate a bathroom or closet. Even if storm doors and storm windows have been added to the home, it may not be enough protection. As an alternative to this, the installation of a storm room provides the protection that people are looking for.

The storm room can be installed as a separate structure of the home or they can be built into the basement or garage. The only requirement is that it should be a place in the home that is free from flooding. The storm room will have no windows so that there is no risk of flying debris through the room, allowing for even greater protection. It also needs to be built on a slab foundation which can be found in a garage or basement.

There are many great benefits of having a storm room installed. The most important benefit is that it gives the resident enough protection to withstand a category five storm, drastically increasing the chance of survival. These rooms are also big enough to store needed materials such as food, water or first aid supplies, which will enable the resident to better survive the storm and the after effects. When not being used, this room can easily be used as a storage room to place infrequently used items in, as long as they can be easily removed.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Lostnfound — On Dec 10, 2014

My concern about a storm room not attached to the house would be security. I'd want to see what one did in the face of a direct hit from an EF5 tornado.

I saw a Mythbusters episode where they were testing a portable shelter, and they got in behind the full back blasts of engines on a 747 jet. That's as close as they could get to simulating a tornado's wind speeds. I'd like to see a similar test. They would have to mimic a tornado's twisting winds, too, not just straight line winds. I think I'd rather be completely underground. I have heard of big tornadoes tearing up chunks of pavement and dirt, but never one that got under the ground.

By Grivusangel — On Dec 09, 2014

I've never heard of a free standing, above ground storm room. Separate, below ground storm shelters, yes, but not an above ground one that isn't attached to the house in some way.

I know several people who have had storm rooms added to their homes since the April 27, 2011 tornado super outbreak, but these have all been attached to their homes in some way. Many people built storm cellars, but the access was from inside the garage instead of outside. That way, they didn't have to go outside during a possible tornado. They could just go into the garage and access the cellar from there.

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