There are places that in some days would face tornadoes with winds under 100 mph strength resulting to flying debris that would threaten the safety of the people, so to provide life safety features from these natural calamities, a tornado room is designed and engineered to a strict standards of ICC 500 and FEMA P-361.
It is observed that tornadoes are more common in the United States compared to any other countries. The fact is that there are four times more tornadoes in the United States than all of Europe. It is also observed that over the years, not only has the frequency and number of reported tornadoes increased, there is an increased too of its intensity and strength.
As severe weather event happens, there is now more likely for more tornadoes to occur with higher winds for these stronger tornadoes. So whenever multiple tornadoes with winds over 200 mph would happen, there is also a soaring damage and loss of life accompanying these tragedies. In answer to these events, the International Code Council and the National Storm Shelter association created the first Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters and safe rooms. With this move, there is an increased safe rooms in schools, tornado safe rooms and buildings with their designed built-in tornado rooms.
There are several reasons why a building has to have a tornado safe room. An average home is usually built to withstand around 70 mph winds, and if your place is located in prone to tornadoes and hurricanes with over 200 mph winds, you can just imagine the damage and loss of lives that could happen when this event would occur.
On record is one of the most devastating tornadoes with wind speed at 318 mph, which not only caused damage and safety concerns but also created positive and negative wind pressure, with deadly flying projectiles. Imagine the wind forcing roofs to lift off and buildings separating from foundations, with the impact of flying debris that penetrated metals, considering those speeds.
Codes are thus created by associations and agencies as a result of the many destructions in areas that are prone to severe tornadoes and hurricanes, encouraging communities to build their homes under ICC 500 building code. Thus buildings with either a storm room or a tornado room, are said to have helped saved many lives.
A tornado room would involve building sturdier walls, roof structures, and tornado safe room doors. The roof should have the capability to transfer wind loads to the walls, and the walls to the foundation or ground.
Be aware that there are companies that would help you design tornado rooms with security in mind. They can design in sleek construction, with an open and airy appearance, of your safe room doors which can be hidden above your ceiling.