In late May a tornado tore through the town of Gaylord killing two people and injuring 44, according to the Lansing State Journal. The twister, which struck the busy downtown area near 4 p.m., may cost millions in repairs.

A safe room can give you and your family life-saving protection to shelter in place during extreme weather events like tornadoes, hurricanes, and damaging straight-line winds. If you choose to build a safe room on your property here are three important things to know.

Who Helps You Design and Build a Safe Room?

When planning the design and build of your safe room you should work with a safe room registered design professional (RDP), your local building officials, and a floodplain administrator.

Where Should You Build a Safe Room?

There are weather hazards that you need to take into account when deciding on the location and design of your safe room, since the weather characteristics of your locale can impact both. For instance, you may decide to build your safe room on an elevated foundation so that it’s raised above flood levels in your area. Doing so, however, could also result in an increased exposure to wind damage.

FEMA has online resources to help you determine whether or not the location where you plan to build your safe room is in an area that could be inundated by storm surge. You should consult an RDP, your local building officials, and a floodplain administrator to confirm those determinations, FEMA says, since these individuals will provide detailed knowledge about the natural hazards that impact your area and recommend the structural designs you need to compensate for those conditions.

How Much Does a Safe Room Cost?

If you want to build a safe room, funding is available. To see if your project is eligible for financial assistance you should reach out to your State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO) who can advise you about the information you need to provide in order to have your project considered for funding. The SHMO will also inform you about federal, state, and local design requirements, and give you info on funding sources.

Do You Need a Disaster Remediation Expert in Washtenaw County or Jackson County?

If your home has already been damaged, we can help. Check out our services and call 734-352-9183 for your free disaster remediation quote today. We offer: