Our team at Family Home Plans is located on the East Coast in Beaufort, SC. We worry more about hurricanes with flooding than we do about tornadoes, but the recent outbreak of tornadoes in the Midwest has us thinking about other types of violent storms. Home plans with abundant windows are always popular, but you may notice that many lack those traditional hidey holes for taking cover during high winds. We do receive tornado warnings on occasion, so we understand that it’s always best to be prepared. Experts suggest that the two safest places to be during a tornado warning are underground or in a safe room. Because our home plans are built all over the country, we encourage our customers, especially those in tornado and hurricane prone areas, to consider building a house with a safe room.
When the safety of family members is at stake, a reinforced room should never be something that you plan to add later- it should be designed right into your blueprints! In fact, a great deal of money can be saved by adding a safe room during the initial construction rather than waiting for a few years and then adding it into a finished house. According to one of our designers, the cost of a job site safe room is sometimes much less than a prefab unit, and your state may offer a tax credit and grant money. We know that nothing is guaranteed to be safe, but personally, I would prefer to hide in a room that is constructed with 8” of concrete on the top and sides and bolted into a slab foundation- above ground, a little farther from flood water. The 3 bolt metal door must open inward so you can escape if debris is piled up outside. Each of our featured plans is drawn with a FEMA certified residential safe room.