Handicap Accessible Storm Shelters
Tornadoes can strike with little or no warning. In some cases, the first sign that there’s a tornado is when it’s already touched down nearby. Warning systems are becoming more sophisticated but they still do not guarantee ample time to prepare for an impending tornado. Tornadoes are very unpredictable and can pop up anywhere. This means you could have only seconds to find shelter.
Being able to access a shelter conveniently, quickly, and easily is crucial. This is difficult for those with mobility issues. Having a handicap accessible storm shelter is very important to those who are confound to a wheelchair and the elderly.
An advantage of a safe room is that they can be handicap accessible. In-ground storm shelters require entry through a small staircase and are not as easily accessible. Also, safe rooms tend to be taller than storm shelters, which are designed for you to remain seated. This may not be a problem since you will most likely only be in a storm shelter for 10-15 minutes at a time but it may be a problem for people with certain health issues.
Safe rooms can be customized to be made wheelchair accessible. A 34" door can be fitted on safe rooms as small as 4'x6' making them a handicap accessible storm shelter. On a 4'x6' storm shelter the door is placed on the 6' side of the shelter. The door is also placed on either the left or right side of the shelter as opposed to the center allowing maximum available space inside the shelter. This is important to keep in mind when planning where you want to have your safe room installed. On larger safe rooms such as a 5'x8' or 6'x8' the door can be added to any wall of your choosing.
Many times tornado warnings can occur periodically for several hours during storms. Another benefit to having a handicap safe room installed in your home is you can COMFORTABLY stay in your safe room for as long as you wish. Safe rooms can be customized with all of the comforts of your living room. You can have a television with cable or satellite hookup, phone, and HVAC installed in your safe room. You can also have a back up battery powered system installed to power everything in the event your electricity goes out. With all of these comforts you could stay in your shelter safely throughout the duration of the entire storm.
Safe rooms are easy to access because there are no stairs to navigate. This provides a great option for a storm shelter for the elderly. Entering a safe room is just as easy as entering any other room in your house, just open the door and enter. When seconds count, a safe room may be the best option for you.
Handicap accessible storm shelters can be installed in a garage of an existing home or free standing outside your home. A concrete slab can be poured next to the home with a sidewalk providing access. The safe room is secured to the concrete slab with concrete anchor bolts.
Having a handicap accessible storm shelter in your home will give you peace of mind during the storm. You can rest easily knowing that in the event of a terrible storm you will have access to a safe place.
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