New Videos from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® Meet Demand for Tornado Safe Room Information

Nonprofit releases “Which Tornado Safe Room is Right for You?” video series in conjunction with America’s PrepareAthon! national readiness campaign

(Tallahassee, FL)— According to tornado watch data from the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, nearly 90% of U.S. counties experienced tornado watches between 2004 and 2013, for an average of 27 watch hours per year. In response to increased interest in tornado safe rooms driven by this pattern, as well as recent, deadly outbreaks, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) today released new videos highlighting five of the most common tornado safe room choices.

FLASH, FEMA, and Portland Cement Association developed the video series in response to consumer desire to better understand their tornado safe room options. The series, “Which Tornado Safe Room is Right for You?”, provides comparative information on cast-in-place, concrete block masonry, insulated concrete forms, precast concrete, and wood-frame safe rooms.

“Today’s marketplace offers an unprecedented range of high-performing, affordable options to save lives and preserve peace of mind for the millions of families in the path of severe weather,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “These videos will help families understand their options for a properly built safe room that will deliver life safety when it counts.”

The new video series is offered in conjunction with America’s PrepareAthon!, an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to come together and prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions, and exercises. April 30 is National PrepareAthon! Day, a day to take action in advance of natural hazards, including tornadoes.

To find out more about tornado safe rooms visit

“Give an Ordinary Room an Extraordinary Purpose” to Protect from Deadly Night-Falling Tornadoes

The severe weather outbreak this past week reminds us that southeastern states have a deadly track record of night-falling tornadoes.  Recent studies indicate nocturnal tornadoes make up more than 41 percent of all tornado events in the region, and are they’re two-and-a-half times as deadly as tornadoes that occur during the daytime.

During the evening hours, visibility is lower, warning times alerting residents of the need to take shelter are reduced, and residents are more likely to be in vulnerable structures like private residences and mobile homes, without a designated safe haven.

With the tornado season just beginning, it’s important for families to think about their options for protecting themselves from a tornado. Having a nearby, safe space where a family can ride out a tornado can mean the difference between life and death. We use our closets and bathrooms every day, but one that is also designed to serve as a high-wind safe room is not just useful, it can literally save your life if disaster strikes.

That’s why FLASH is urging families, builders and emergency responders to visit, and“Give an Ordinary Room an Extraordinary Purpose” by building or retrofitting bathrooms, closets, wine cellars or other rooms with a tornado safe room. The website also provides a cost calculator, animation, and links to important safety and structural details.

For families currently rebuilding after a storm or are in the planning stages of a new build or renovation project of an appropriate room such as an interior bathroom or walk-in closet, it is a perfect time to consider the installation of a tornado safe room. Tornado safe rooms, or shelters, built using the International Code Council/National Storm Shelter Association 500 standard or FEMA 320/361 guidance, can provide the ultimate life safety protection from severe winds.

To watch a video on the proper construction and installation of a safe room, click here and then click “Tornadoes.”