September 20, 2011
The tornado season of 2011 will go down as one of the most destructive and dangerous in U.S. history.
Look for shelters that carry a seal from organizations like the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA), which test and certify shelters, according to Ernst Kiesling, a professor of civil engineering at Texas Tech University who runs the storm shelter research arm of the University's Wind Science and Research Center.
There are two basic types of shelters, above- and below-ground. Above-grounds are usually made of steel and bolted to the concrete floor of a garage or basement. In-ground shelters are usually put in a trench.
Whichever type you purchase, it's vital that the doors can be opened from the outside so rescuers can get in, and that air vents are positioned so that they won't get clogged with debris.