Quality Verification for Commercial Shelters

What does this mean and why is it so important?

Missouri Storm Shelters, Inc. carries the largest selection of certified storm shelters in the world. A “certified” storm shelter simply means that the safe room has been properly tested and engineered to withstand an EF-5 tornado and meets all codes and guidelines set forth by the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA), the International Code Council (ICC), and Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) P320/P361 engineering standards.

FEMA recognizes the Wind Energy Science Department at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas as the official testing center for wind driven airborne objects hurled by tornadic winds and the damage they cause. The Debris Impact Test Center at Texas Tech shoots laser guided projectiles from an air cannon at a speed estimated to be 50 mph greater than an EF-5 tornado, at vulnerable impact points on shelters and doors. The purpose is to determine if these impacts will cause the structure to fail or not.

Upon successful debris impact testing, the engineered drawings are submitted to designated wind engineer specialists. We use the McDonald-Mehta firm, who are regarded as the most experienced and recognized wind engineers in the world. They are the same wind engineers the National Weather Service hired to re-vamp the Fujita scale for rating tornado intensity (formerly referred to as F-1, F-2, etc.) which they won national recognition for. Once completed, McDonald-Mehta gives the NSSA and us the results of their evaluation, and again, they must show that the shelter evaluated will withstand an EF-5 tornado. The shelters must also meet the code requirements of NSSA/ICC-500.

After all requirements have been met or exceeded, the National Storm Shelter Association provides Missouri Storm Shelters, Inc. with numbered seals of quality verification. The numbered seals are then issued to each shelter along with a certificate of installation, and the shelter and serial # is registered with the NSSA. All NSSA members must maintain certain standards and requirements set forth by NSSA, including selling only storm shelters that are certified as well as complying with any updated requirements issued by the NSSA/ICC-500.

Nearly all corporations and governmental agencies contacting us now require the seal provided by NSSA with their storm shelters purchases. It is really the only quality verification standard in existence.