Stay Safe With an Indoor Storm Shelter | Room Addition, Wichita

Room Addition in Wichita


If you reside in “Tornado Alley,” you probably have a pre-planned tornado safety plan to weather severe storms in your home, but does this plan include a designated storm shelter? According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), a storm shelter or safe room is defined as “a hardened structure designed to provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events.” With spring in full bloom and summer on the horizon, now is the right time to start planning your at-home storm shelter to protect your family from extreme weather this year. At Southwestern Remodeling, the area’s leading home remodeling company, we have compiled a list of the most important features to consider when constructing a safe and comfortable storm shelter room addition in Wichita, Kansas.

Select a Versatile Location

While an in-ground or basement shelter is considered the safest place to reside during a severe storm, residential safe rooms can offer the same protection. All storm shelters and safe rooms are engineered to provide a room completely independent of a home’s structure, and there are a variety of locations you can choose to convert within your home. No matter where you decide to build your storm shelter, its impact-resistant shell will also provide a safe and secure place to store personal items such as important documents, expensive equipment, and firearms. At Southwestern Remodeling, our team will help determine the best location to build a custom safe room addition that suits your specific needs. Some of the most common areas converted to safe rooms and storm shelters include:

  • Walk-in closets.
  • Interior bathrooms.
  • Extra bedrooms.
  • Kitchen pantries.
  • Outdoor sheds.

Determine Appropriate Dimensions

Before you start designing your storm shelter, determine how many people it will need to accommodate and any special accessibility features it might need to include. Storm shelters can be built in almost any size you choose, as long as they follow the construction specifications outlined by FEMA. If you decide to convert a space in your home, such as a walk-in closet, to double as your safe room, make sure the area is large enough to shelter all people in your home and any items usually stored there. Since severe storms are highly unpredictable, you will likely not have time to empty your closet or other safe room areas before taking shelter.

Choose Durable Materials

All safe rooms and storm shelters are designed to be adequately anchored to the foundation to resist potential uplift or overturning. These rooms are often built on concrete slabs, garage floors, or an interior room on the first floor of your home, with a tough, impact-resistant shell to protect occupants from flying debris. According to safety regulations and standards provided under federal law, all storm shelters should be able to withstand 250 mph winds and over 3,000 pounds of force. To follow these safety regulations and effectively protect occupants, the most common building materials for an effective safe room addition include the following:

  • Concrete
  • Steel
  • Plywood
  • Fiberglass

Hire Professional Remodeling Services

When contemplating an at-home storm shelter, it is essential to hire professional remodeling services to guide you through the entire process. At Southwestern Remodeling, we will help you navigate the design process and build a customized storm shelter to accommodate your specific room addition needs. Not only will we strictly follow all FEMA construction regulations, but we will also help create a functional multi-purpose space that can be used all year round.

Equip Your Shelter With Emergency Supplies

Once your storm shelter construction process is complete, remember to equip it with the appropriate emergency preparedness items so that you have a completely functional and safe storm shelter this season. Supplies such as flashlights, radios, batteries, blankets, jugs of water, and non-perishable food items can be easily packed away and will help your family remain comfortable while waiting out a severe storm. You may want to add additional survival items to ensure you can withstand a few days in your storm shelter if a more severe disaster affects your area.

Contact Southwestern Remodeling

As one of the most trusted home remodeling companies in the area, Southwestern Remodeling has the experience and capabilities to assist in any room addition in Wichita you may be contemplating. We offer free in-home consultations to all new customers, so we encourage you to contact us at (316) 263-1239 to schedule yours today!