Severe Weather Season May Mean Thinking About Storm Shelters

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With severe weather season underway on the South Plains, some people may be thinking about adding a storm shelter if they don’t already have one.

Some of the testing and research is done in Lubbock through Texas Tech.

“All our shelters are engineered and they all meet or exceed FEMA’s standards, and then they’re tested, all of them are tested right here at Texas Tech,” Seth Stephens with Double S Service said.

So far this year, Stephens said they’ve already been receiving calls about getting either above ground or below ground shelters installed.

“Storm season’s when more people call, than when it’s not storm season,” Stephens said. “This year, we’ve had more people call this year before storm season has started.”

“We’re spending considerable time in the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) simply refining and improving designs, because it’s become a reasonably large commercial effort now,” Dr. Ernst Kiesling with the NSSA said.

The NSSA looks at the quality of storm shelters. “Not only do they protect lives and provide safety from extreme winds, but it gives you the peace of mind that’s with you 24/7 and 365 days a year that there’s a safe place available if you need it, and that’s very important I think,” Dr. Ernst Kiesling said.     

Dr. Kiesling is the executive director of the NSSA. 

“The National Storm Shelter Association has a very comprehensive program focused on the quality, requiring that the shelter be designed by a professional engineer or architect, having the design looked at by an independent third party, to make sure it’s compliant with the standards, then having the product impact debris tested,” Dr. Kielsing said.

“Now that’s not to say that there are not high-quality shelters outside the NSSA, but that’s the only organization that I know of that has an extensive and comprehensive compliance verification process,” he added.

Dr. Kiesling also said if you do not have a storm shelter, you should have a plan.

“Have a plan, locate what you feel is the safest part of the building, generally an interior, small room,” he said.

You can also register your storm shelter with your city or your county.

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