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Tuesday, September 01, 2015
   
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Tornado Alley Armor LLC is a proud Producer Member of the elite National Storm Shelter Association

NSSA logo

Yeah, it's a really big deal, but why?

A: The safe room and storm shelter industry is completely unregulated!

 (Translation: There are no consequences for producers who misrepresent or do not follow FEMA guidelines) 

 

But they have a letter from Texas Tech so they're checked out, right?

 A: WRONG!! An impact test letter alone  FEMA compliance.

FEMA320 design compliance is NOT checked by the Texas Tech impact test facility. 

Only the impact testing part of the FEMA standard are conducted and documented.


 

So what does that mean to you and your family's severe weather safety if your safe room doesn't have the NSSA Seal?

While FEMA and other organizations offer recommendations for safe room designs and installation, manufacturers are not required by law to adhere to them. Some municipalities are starting to require minimal documentation, but it is typically limited to installation permits.

Depending on the knowledge, integrity, quality control and engineering expertise of your storm shelter manufacturer, you may or may not be adequately protected from the wind and debris from a tornado. Virtually anyone with a welder or cement mixer can start their own safe room company, build them virtually any way they choose, make any claims they want, and operate with no regulatory requirements, oversight or fear of non-compliance penalties.

Some shelter manufacturers take advantage of the public's misconception of TTU's role in FEMA compliance, using "Texas Tech Impact Tested" and "FEMA320 Compliant" claims interchangably...which they are not! So....who is verifying their "F5 certification"  or "FEMA compliant" claims, or their wind load or lift resistance calculations, or their anchoring systems, ventilation systems, quality control measures, installation procedures, hinge, latch and door design, documentation, etc., etc......you?

Earning Producer Member status in the NSSA is a difficult, costly and time-consuming process meant to ensure your safety. There is NO LEGITIMATE EXCUSE for any safe room manufacturer to not be a member the NSSA unless they are unable or unwilling to meet all NSSA compliance requirements. NSSA Membership is recommended, endorsed and encouraged by meteorologists and weather professionals everywhere because it is the trusted and established authority on severe weather safety. The professionals at the NSSA are the same folks who worked with FEMA to develop safe room and hurricane shelter design guidelines found in FEMA 320, FEMA 360 & FEMA 361, including the impact testing conducted at Texas Tech University's Wind Science and Engineering Research Center in Lubbock, TX. Why would you settle for anything less?

Did you know that at the time this article was written, out of the hundreds of safe room and tornado shelter manufactures in the US, only about 30 in the entire country had earned Producer Member status in the NSSA ? And...of those thirty, we were one of the first to meet the latest and most stringent verification requirements for SAFE ROOM Producer Members.

NSSA SEAL

If it's not NSSA sealed and verified, it's "certification" is only as good as the manufacturer's word.

Enter: National Storm Shelter Association

Membership in this elite association is voluntary, and Producer Member status is fairly difficult to attain. Only about 30 members nationwide have met all the requirements to attain membership, and Tornado Alley Armor is among them!

The primary purpose of the NSSA is to ensure the highest quality of manufactured and constructed storm shelters for protecting people from injury or loss of life from the effects of tornadoes, hurricanes and other devastating natural disasters. The association is self-policing to maintain public confidence and respect for the storm shelter industry.

The NSSA has set rigorous guidelines for production, manufacture, installation and erection of high quality storm shelters meeting the Association's Storm Shelter Performance Standards, the requirements of other federal, state, and local standards and regulations, and the requirements of other governing material standards and codes.

Individual manufacturers or "other" shelter associations have lower standards to ensure standards compliance and safety, period.

f5 Impact test

NSSA_documentation

The NSSA also administers testing and engineering evaluation programs conducted by certified, independent entities for the purpose of issuing labels to qualified storm shelter producers, verifying members' certification of compliance with the Association's Storm Shelter Performance Standards.

 

Shelters and Safe Rooms with the NSSA seal are the choice of weather professionals, and qualification for available FEMA funding is virtually assured if your safe room carries the NSSA seal.

 

 

 

 

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