Until recently, disaster-protection products and features were too expensive or not an option for homeowners and buyers to consider in their residential homes. However, the real estate industry is now seeing a shift and these types of features are becoming more obtainable. In these unsettling times and when Mother Nature has an ever-changing weather pattern up her sleeve, safe rooms are becoming more and more popular, and in fact, were featured recently at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.
These safe rooms are constructed of materials that will protect occupants from such things as tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, home invasion or terrorist attacks. There are a variety of safe rooms and intended purposes, whether for residential, commercial or community properties. Safe rooms can also be designed to protect valuable documents and collectables.
In residential circumstances, a safe room is often used for protection from weather related disasters. In fact, FEMA offers guidelines for the design and construction of such shelters seen here: www.fema.gov/safe-rooms. There is also a growing demand for safe rooms for personal protection from intruders or bomb attacks. Wealthy condo owners in New York City, for example, have incorporated elaborate safe rooms in their properties, as they are in fear of dirty bombs, kidnapping or even being taken hostage.
When considering a home with a safe room, some key features and options to think about include:
Common supplies needed in a safe room include non-perishable foods, a supply of water that will last multiple days, some type of bathroom facility, often a marine toilet can be used. Other supplies include all prescribed medications/prescriptions, flashlights, batteries and blankets. It is most important to have a plan in place for all family members to know how to access the safe room and how to remain in communication with those outside.
Approaching security needs in a way that matches both budget and likely scenarios is key when considering a safe room as a design feature.
Photo Credit: Global Security Experts