The DuPont(TM) StormRoom(TM) with Kevlar(R) is a residential storm shelter that features the incredible strength of DuPont(TM) Kevlar(R) sheathing built inside reinforced wall panels.When properly installed, the shelter literally acts as a safety net, helping to stop and deflect wind-borne debris -- the greatest threat from tornadoes. From the moment a tornado touches down, its circulation begins to pick up and throw out all kinds of debris. A two-by-four building timber from a damaged or destroyed structure, accelerated at more than 100 miles per hour, is one of the most common and deadly threats, according to tornado experts. The first DuPont(TM) StormRoom(TM) with Kevlar(R) was installed last week in a newly constructed home in the Dallas- Fort Worth, Tex., area.
FEMA created a Mitigation Directorate in 1999 in cooperation with the Wind Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University for the design and construction of storm shelters, providing measurable and enforceable performance criteria for designing storm shelters. The DuPont(TM) StormRoom(TM) with Kevlar(R) complies with the performance criteria outlined in FEMA's National Performance Criteria for Tornado Shelters. In a series of tests conducted by an independent lab, the DuPont engineered panels built into the room were able to deflect a 12-foot, 15-pound two-by-four piece of wood shot out of a cannon at 100 miles per hour. The 100 miles per hour is the speed at which a 250-mile-per-hour wind generated by an F5-categorized tornado would propel the timber.
According to FEMA, tornado season is generally March through August, although tornadoes can occur at any time of year. They tend to occur in the afternoons and evenings with more than 80 percent of all tornadoes striking between noon and midnight.
Discovered by DuPont in 1965, Kevlar(R) is an organic fiber in the aromatic polyamid (aramid) family that combines high strength with lightweight protection. Kevlar(R) is five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis, providing reliable performance and solid strength. This unique combination of attributes also helps protect members of the military and law enforcement from harm that can come in many forms including bullets, shrapnel and knives.
"The DuPont(TM) StormRoom(TM) with Kevlar(R) uses the same molecular science and high-performance material found in the bullet-resistant vests that help protect military personnel and police around the world," said DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems Construction Technology Leader Jeff Hanks. "By capturing both the strength and flexibility of this advanced fiber and our safety knowledge, the DuPont(TM) StormRoom(TM) with Kevlar(R) helps provide an easily accessible safe haven from tornadoes and the wind-borne missiles they generate."
The DuPont(TM) StormRoom(TM) with Kevlar(R) looks like a small room inside a house or garage. Both the inside and outside of the storm shelter can be finished to match the walls of a home. The room is ventilated and electricity can be installed. It is ideal for existing residential and new home construction built on a concrete slab foundation. Installed by an authorized installation professional, the room can also be added to a new or existing garage with a concrete slab floor.
According to nationally known severe weather expert Warren Faidley, preparation and protection are the best plan for surviving when the weather gets unruly. "As a journalist, I've recorded how severe storms and tornadoes affect peoples lives," said Faidley. "In almost every survival story, the family had a plan and some type of shelter to protect themselves from the violent winds and debris. The lack of a quickly accessible protective shelter can make a difference in survival since the option of driving or running to a distant shelter is often unrealistic."
Faidley said over 1,000 tornadoes are officially recorded in the United States each year -- most in the central and east-central part of the United States known as "Tornado Alley." Yet, he said, most modern homes in this part of the country are not equipped to withstand a strong tornado, which can form and strike with little warning.