About Us & FAQ

Learn about Tornado Safe Room and answers to your FAQ’s.

Since opening our doors in 1994, Floyd and Betty have been the front runners of providing many Americans with peace of mind when it comes to protection from the elements. For 27 years, they have worked hard to ensure that everyone can have a safe space to go in the event of a tornado and now they are passing the torch. Wayne is the current owner of The Original Tornado Saferoom and is continuing on the mission of giving America peace of mind.

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The Importance of a Safe Room

In past years, more than 1,000 twisters killed in excess of 120 people and created millions of dollars in property damage. The dollar figure for the tornadoes which struck Oklahoma City in May of 1999 has exceeded 90 million dollars.

The National Tornado Forum has announced an effort to encourage more people to build "safe rooms" The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stated, "When that tornado warning comes, people need to put their family in a safe place". In an effort to see that more people are protected FEMA, along with the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), have programs in place which assist families with financing for their "Safe Rooms". FEMA director, James Witt, said, "We know that safe rooms save lives". Responding to this call for saving lives, we designed a tornado-safe room (hence TORNADOSAFEROOM). Our units are manufactured from solid 10-gauge steel construction. The safe rooms may be installed in the interior of structures with concrete flooring or exterior of any type of structure, commercial or residential including pre-manufactured homes and mobile homes.

Knowledge and Protection Are the Keys to Saving Lives

The following explanations will help you when the weather alerts are sounded.

• Tornado Watch
This alert is issued when weather conditions are 'ripe' for the formation of a tornado. When these are issued, your preparations for safety should begin

• Tornado Warning
This means that a funnel cloud has actually been sighted or radar has indicated a tornado. Be ready.

Along with these definitions the Fujita Pearson Tornado Scale will give you an under-standing of the potential of the coming storm. Note the estimated damage done as the F rating goes up. The tornado which devastated Oklahoma City was an F-5.

Fujita Pearson Tornado Scale

  • F-0:40-72 mph, chimney damage, tree branches broken,
  • F-1:73-112 mph, mobile homes pushed off foundation or overturned.
  • F-2:113-I57 mph. considerable damage, mobile homes demolished, trees up-rooted.
  • F-3: 158-205 mph, roofs and walls torn down, trains overturned, cars thrown.
  • F-4:207-260 mph, well-constructed walls leveled.
  • F-5:261-318 mph, homes lifted off their foundations and carried considerable distances, auto  thrown as far as 328 feet.

Our safe rooms have been tested and certified by an independent construction material testing laboratory by putting them against a static wind load up to 450 MPH (100 MPH stronger than the highest known twister).

Tornados can and do occur, anywhere when weather conditions create the right formula. Some tornadoes have been recorded with wind speeds over 300 MPH and staying on the ground for more than an hour. Due to the high winds, flying debris presents itself as one of the greatest dangers during tornadoes.

Our Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can I pay, and do you accept credit cards for payment?

A. We accept cash, check or money orders. No deposit or down payment required. and, yes, we accept all major credit cards. There is a 3% additional charge for credit cards as that is what we are charged.

Q. Does your TornadoSafeRoom™ meet FEMA 320 standards?

A. Yes, all of our units have been tested and certified to meet and exceed the FEMA 320. View test results below:

Q. Have any of your clients received FEMA grants or FEMA rebate monies?

A. Yes, several of our clients have successfully received FEMA grants/rebates. Your local County Emergency Management Office will have the information and paperwork needed for FEMA grants/rebates if your area has been awarded the grants. We will complete the paperwork for you at the time of installation.

Q. How is the TornadoSafeRoom™ ventilated?

A. There are ventilation spaces at the top and bottom comer of each panel as well as below and above the door. These areas conform to the FEMA requirements for ventilation.

Q. How is the TornadoSafeRoom™ anchored and do I need special concrete for anchoring?

A. The TornadoSafeRoom™ is anchored to your concrete slab using specialty concrete bolts that are 5" in length and 1/2" in diameter. These bolts are impacted into your concrete foundation. We do not use expansion bolts or epoxy type anchoring systems. The Standard Building Code requirement for concrete floors in homes and garages is a slab with a minimum thickness of 4". This is sufficient for installation inside your home, garage or basement. If you are pouring a separate slab just for the TornadoSafeRoom™, there are specific guidelines and requirements, and you will need to contact us for that information.

Q. Can I get a TornadoSafeRoom™ if I do not have a concrete foundation?

A. In the event your home is not built on a slab, and you do not have a garage, carport or patio; a separate concrete slab can be poured just outside one of your entry doors to accommodate the installation of the TornadoSafeRoom™. We do not do concrete work; however, we will supply you with the necessary requirements for that new slab. Please contact us via our number 615-631-5415 for that information.

Q. Do you have dealers or distributors?

A. We manufacture, deliver and install the TornadoSafeRoom™ using our own personnel. To keep the cost to the consumers as low as possible, we do not use any dealers or distributors.

Q. Where can I see an installation?

A. Our plant is in Murfreesboro, TN. We welcome visitors and have units on display. If you are not near Murfreesboro, TN, we will be happy to locate an installation near you for you to see. We have satisfied clients in 27 states who are always happy to show their units to potential customers.

Q. Can the TornadoSafeRoom™ be installed inside my home?

A. Yes, so long as you have a concrete floor where you wish the unit to be installed. Our units are site assembled which allows us to install them in closets, utility rooms, dens, bedrooms, basements, etc. We are able to take the unit panels thru regular sized doors. The Two Person TornadoSafeRoom™ is a favorite to place in walk-in closets.

Q. How does the door swing and what is the size of the door opening?

A. Our doors swing outward. The units are stronger when this manner is used because we are able to place extra steel upright supports on both sides of the door. The size of the actual door opening is 27"

Q. What about debris blocking the door and trapping me inside?

A. In our 24 years of installations, we have never had anyone trapped inside their unit. We realize there is always that possibility with any shelter design no matter how the doors swings. In the storms of 2011, a family was trapped in their shelter under the garage floor, which by the way, we do not manufacture nor install. We always advise our clients to notify their local Fire Department, neighbors, friends and family of the location of their shelter. As soon as the storm has passed; your neighborhood will be covered with people checking on their neighbors. In some areas, cell phones work inside the TornadoSafeRoom™.

Q. Can I purchase the TornadoSafeRoom™ and install it myself?

A. Because we feel your safety and security are top priority and because the installation requires experience working with steel, we do not sell our products for self-installation. The cost of shipping the unit to you would override any savings as the installation costs are a very minor part of the total cost.

Q. Do you offer units that are wheelchair accessible or other custom sizes?

A. Yes. We do manufacture units that are wheelchair accessible by making them wider (40" wide instead of 30") and have a larger door (34" wide). There is an increased cost for these two changes per unit.

Q. What is the order to installation time frame and how long does the installation take?

A. The order to installation time frame is usually within 2 to 3 weeks. This can change if the season is a particularly busy one. We will be on the job site for approximately 4 hours for the installation.

Q. From what materials are the units manufactured and can they be painted to match my decor?

A. The wall panels and door are manufactured of 10-gauge, galvanized steel and we do not paint those pieces. The top is manufactured of 1/4" carbon steel plate and is prime painted with aluminum paint to match the walls and the door. We do not provide any different color painting, however many of our clients have painted their units and we can provide you with the instructions for this process.

Q. Do the units come with any wiring for lights and will my cell phone work inside the unit?

A. We provide just the basic unit. We can assist you with suggestions if you wish to add wiring for lights. Most clients simply purchase battery operated lights for their units since during a storm the power is often not operable. In some areas, depending on the nearness of the towers and the cell provider, you cell phone will operate. The same is true for weather radios.

Q. Can I attach tools to the top of this unit without damaging the integrity of the unit?

A. This unit is a favorite among our clients. You can attach tools to this top without harm to the unit. I like the idea of the WorkBench unit because I can use it all the time.

Q. Have any of your client's homes been hit by a tornado?

A. Yes. We know of 3 client's homes that have been hit. There may have been others of which we are unaware. In each of the cases, the homes were damaged (in two of the cases the entire rooms where the unit was sitting were destroyed with no damage to the safe room). In northern Alabama, our customer's home was damaged while she was in the safe room. Homes on both sides of her home were destroyed.

Q. If I decide to relocate, can the unit be taken apart and reassembled at my new residence

A. Yes, a part of our patent is that it is a “re-locatable” personal safety appliance. We move several each year for our customers who relocate. The cost for disassembling, transporting and reassembling at your new location starts at $1,500.00.

Q. Is there any issue with regard to lightening since the unit is made of steel?

A. The anchoring system acts as grounding since the bolts go thru the concrete.

Q. Did you provide a TornadoSafeRoom™ for the Extreme Makeover Show?

A. Yes. We donated and installed a unit for a family in Indiana for the Extreme Makeover Show.

Don’t see your question on our list?

Don’t worry, we can still answer any questions you may have! Fill out our contact form or for more immediate assistance, call us at 615-631-5415.