You’ve spent the last few hours at work just as you have most days for the last several years. You’re about to file another report when you hear sirens off in the distance. The lights begin to flicker and you look out the window to see a large tornado coming your way. What do you do?
Storm shelters for businesses provide unparalleled protection against tornadoes and hurricanes, but many businesses don’t have them. If a tornado strikes, where are your employees going to go? Do they sit fearfully in a hallway, hoping the building doesn’t collapse or do they head to a shelter that they know can protect them?
Why Do Businesses Need Storm Shelters?
Your employees are more than just valuable assets. They’re your close friends and you want to keep them safe. By installing tornado shelters, you’re telling them you care about their safety.
If you’re in a tornado-prone area, then you likely hear sirens often and now you can give them peace of mind. Should a tornado hit, the employees know they’ll be safe. There are more than 1,000 tornados reported every year and sometimes there are injuries or deaths.
You’re also protecting your most valuable assets. Good employees are hard to find, so protect the ones you have. You don’t want their injury or death on your conscience when a storm shelter can provide total safety.
What is a Storm Shelter?
One of the questions commonly asked is what exactly constitutes a storm shelter? There are two basic types: above and below ground.
A below-ground shelter is usually concrete or steel rooms buried below the surface and surrounded by earth on all sides. This provides superior protection because debris caused by the tornado or other natural disaster can’t hit the sides only the top.
The biggest downside to a below-ground shelter is debris can block the only exit, leaving you safe, but temporarily trapped. If there is heavy rainfall, there is the chance of accumulating water in the shelter. The underground shelter must also be American with Disabilities Act Compliant, which can be difficult.
An above-ground shelter is called a safe room and is a steel box anchored to concrete. Although the sides are more are open to damage from debris, these shelters are easier to get to, and if the exit becomes blocked by debris, the panels can be unbolted from the inside to allow for easy escape.
Both provide superior protection from the elements.
How Big Should a Shelter Be?
The more people you need to house in the shelter the bigger it needs to be.
The type and size of the shelter also impact its overall cost. A shelter that accommodates 30 people will be more expensive than one that shelters five people. The average costs of shelters can range between $5,000 for a smaller room and can increase to more than $17,000 for a larger below-ground room.
It’s Worth it For Businesses
Many businesses balk at the price and the fact that there is no requirement that they have storm shelters even if they live in tornado alley. When disaster strikes, there may not be time to reach a safe place or shelter off the premises.
Businesses can face lawsuits, poor morale and more if someone is injured or dies on the property. Storm safe shelters can help mitigate that risk. For more information about shelters for your home or business, please explore our site.