Why are these shaped like this? It's about strength and your cost. It turns out that the most efficient shape for use of materials in an above-ground steel safe room is the cylinder, capped with a dome. A perfect-circle allows the greatest floor space per outside surface area, and the dome provides the most strength and natural head room. The drag coefficient of such a shape is 0.63 or about half that of a similar squared structure, which becomes important when winds approach Mach 0.4!
I'm terrified of storms, how do I know this will be safe? It used to be that there was no sure way to know if a storm shelter was any good. But during this past decade, some very smart people have developed the “ICC 500-2008 ICC/NSSA Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters”. This safe room was designed in accordance with that Standard, and a third-party evaluation was performed by McDonald-Mehta Engineers, LLP of Lubbock, TX. This firm is one of the world's most experienced in Wind Engineering, and their documents affirm that the New Day structure complies with this Standard. (This firm was responsible in part for the development of the Enhanced Fujita Scale.)
Are these certified by FEMA? Actually, FEMA doesn’t certify storm shelters. However, these shelters are known to exceed the strength requirements of FEMA Publication 320, Taking Shelter from the Storm, which from 1998 has been FEMA’s primary construction criterion for residential storm shelters. Currently, the National Storm Shelter Association, (NSSA) Standard is becoming the measuring stick for shelters in America, and the document has been adopted by International Code Council. New Day is a Producer Member of NSSA.
Is NSSA membership a big deal? Here's what was said about it in the Tulsa World. Being a Member means that my company has promised to subscribe to and support the By-laws, Member Pledge and the Objectives of National Storm Shelter Association. As a Producer Member in good standing, no compliance issues are pending, according to the Chief Compliance Officer of the Association. Your shelter is sealed and certified, and your address and GPS coordinates are added to the storm shelter data base for use in case of a terrible storm.
What does the NSSA Standard actually cover? The Standard lays out criteria for structural resistance to combined wind and live loads affecting uplift, overturn and sliding, as well as debris penetration and "collapse, layover and rollover" hazards. It covers occupancy, access & egress, accessibility, locking, venting and labeling, as well as details about pressure and penetration testing. The Standard has several maps showing wind zones within the USA, and my product is engineered for them all.
What about just driving to safety? A traffic jam is no place to hide from a tornado. And highways clog as people scramble to find somewhere safer than their shelter-less houses. Far better to shelter-in-place in the one spot in your home designed to protect you. Better still if your own shelter is indoors and above-ground, high and dry.
Aren't you always safer underground? Accessibility is the key. Not everybody can run through a storm or climb steps. The most expensive and driest underground shelter is worthless if it is not quickly accessible when really needed. Years ago, below-ground was our only option, but now we have a choice.
Have above-ground shelters survived large tornados? Yes, many times. In the destruction in Moore, OK in May 2013, all 16 above-ground shelters of various types found to be in the path, did the job they were built to do. Please...know that you can indeed be safe above the ground, even if that wasn't the case one or two decades ago.
What people choose above-ground shelters? Many people remember the old-timey underground shelters that would flood or float or mildew or brood wildlife. Many have been injured struggling with the door or ladder during intense weather. During installation you will avoid the costs of unknown subterranean impediments, like limestone or utilities. When your shelter is above the garage floor it cannot collect heavier-than-air gasses like propane and gasoline vapors that would seek the lowest place,as could water from a broken pipe.
What about claustrophobia? Many people feel better above-ground. Someone uncomfortable in smaller spaces may dwell outside a safe room unless the storm actually gets serious. When it’s time to “seek shelter now”, no doubt the New Day will become occupied with gusto. The door could even be left open until it’s “scarier on the outside than it is on the inside!” It takes about four seconds to lock the storm out.
How big are these? The footprint in your garage will be just 42” (3' 6") in diameter and it is 80” (6’ 8”) tall. As long as you can get in it, the smaller size has huge benefits. You see, the smaller a shelter is designed, the stronger it gets automatically, the less garage space it covers and the less it costs to manufacture and deliver. Having said that, many have remarked that it feels roomier than they were expecting.
Is this big enough for us? According to NSSA, it’s meant for up to three persons. The New Day concept acknowledges the skill of today’s meteorologists and their fantastic array of equipment. These people literally save you money, since you don’t need such a large shelter for the few minutes you will actually inhabit it. Gone are the days of huddling down in a “fraidy hole” for hours just waiting and wondering.
Where do we get a safe room for a large family? Many families of four and five are purchasing these from me and one happy family of eight!. "It's all we need for the short time we'll be in it" is a typical thing I hear. If you do need a larger safe room, there are many good suppliers in this industry. Please contact me, and I will give you my personal recommendations
I'm not afraid, it's my daughter. Get it for her! The fear she feels is very real and her well-being is at stake. If you have the ability, you should protect her person and sense of security.
How are these fastened to the slab? I use only Hilti anchors for security to the slab, and in numbers which provide a safety factor well above the calculated requirements for resistance to uplift, sliding and overturn. Hilti is known as the very best at this kind of fastening, with their products being used in construction in most every country in the world. The exact anchor I use has been accepted by the Miami-Dade County Building Code Council.
How are the anchors installed? Once the shelter is positioned onto its sweet spot, a hole is drilled into the slab at each of the nine anchor points. These holes are cleaned out and the anchors driven into them. In a mulit-point star pattern, the bolts are tightened incrementally until the specified torque of 480 inch pounds is reached on all of them. The bolt pattern has significance because the forces acting against the bolts during a terrible storm are evenly spread out with none of what engineers call a “hinge line”. In other words, the stresses cannot line up on a series of points which make a straight line, thanks to this round pattern and distance between bolts.
How deep do the anchors go? We drill for the full thickness of a standard slab, without punching through.
Can you safely anchor to post-tension slabs? Yes. Because our shelters are above the grade, we have no need to sever the post-tension tendons to dig beneath the slab. Our Hilti drill bits do well in concrete but are blunt to steel. If we ever encounter steel we simply stop and insert a shorter anchor in that one position. We have redundancy built into our bolt pattern to accommodate such a scenario. Originally, the shelter was engineered with seven anchors. We produce them with nine so that in the case above, we'd effectively end up with 8 1/2 anchors rather than the approved seven.
What is on the inside of the shelter? Like the flesh side of football gear, half-inch foam padding wraps the circular wall. An anti-fatigue mat is cut round to fit just right on the floor.
So what's the padding all about? It’s like an assuring hug for the occupants inside. The interior design and colors are meant to help people feel welcomed, so they and their pets will enter gladly. The cushion effect makes for a user-friendly enclosure especially if it becomes "over-occupied". I believe mine is the only design on the market with this feature.
Is there a place to sit? Yes. With your shelter, you receive a small folding chair, especially selected for the unit. If you need a second chair for free, let me know. Seated, standing, sitting on a lap, as long as you’re inside, you’re good.
Will my dog go in there? In my experience, dogs and cats are usually glad to be with their owners during a storm. They seem to know by instinct what this is for, and if the door is ajar, they may even occupy the safe room before their humans get there.
What about ventilation? This is important, indeed. "Mugginess" is an ingredient in storm-making; the two go hand-in-hand. But any good shelter design does not have gaping openings where chunks of debris could enter. So, a narrow metered gap runs all the way around our door (a ten-foot circumference), providing nearly triple the ventilation required by the ICC Standard. Some of this air gap is down low and some higher, which is also significant. To enhance ventilation, a two-speed fan mounted on the door can be popped off to direct the air as you please. We have modified this small fan to produce greater airflow and white noise. Personally, I've found even the sound of the fan to be soothing while in use during tornado warnings.
Is there light inside? I feel that along with ventilation, interior lighting is also quite important when the sky is black. For 2014, we have enhanced the battery-powered lighting inside where a single switch illuminates three clusters of LED lights to really give a nice effect. The AA lithium batteries are easily accessible, and they have a shelf life of over nine years.
Where would we put this safe room? Because of its small footprint, the New Day shelter fits in most garages without any fuss. There, you could escape the storm without getting your socks wet. The Hilti anchors around the inside perimeter hold the shelter securely to an existing “code compliant” garage slab. If you have a substantial covered patio or carport, I will need to personally determine whether the concrete is of the mass and quality needed for this purpose.
Can it be placed on the step-up at the back of my garage floor? If the dimension of the step is at least 42", it's a piece of cake. If it is less than the 42", we often can anchor the shelter onto it with the addition of a custom, curved block to accommodate the overhang. The anchors over this block would be longer to penetrate it attaching into the slab beneath. This assures full integrity of the anchorage system retaining full tensile strength of each anchor bolt. There is a $200 upcharge for this type of anchorage, but it may make all the difference for space-efficiency in your garage.
Will this require a building permit? The majority of time no building permit is required for a prefabricated shelter such as mine, where no floorspace is added or subtracted from the dwelling, there is no demolition or construction on site, there is no electrical or HVAC and the unit itself is removable. If, however, your city requires a building permit, you the homeowner will need to get that squared away with your local authorities. I'll help with whatever info is asked of me.
What if I have no slab? Outdoors or under a covering, a slab can be poured to my specs, or we could employ an alternate, certified and tested anchorage system which holds directly to the earth. Please contact me for more information about that.
What gives this shelter such strength? The combination of the shape and material thickness give this structure its resistance to deformation and penetration, which are “off the charts”. Consider how commercial aircraft are shaped, which operate in a pressure differential of about 1,300 pounds per square foot. This thick shell structure has been tested to withstand forces of over 25,000 pounds per square foot. And the hemispherical dome is the optimal shape for the resistance to gross impacts from above.
What are they made of? The entire body is SA-455 carbon steel with a tensile strength of about 85,000 psi. This exceeds the strength of “normal” A36 steel by about 23%, and at 3/8" thick, is double the mass of the walls of many storm shelters on the market today. Coatings are durable, inert masonry-derivatives and non-atomized, low-VOC paints.
How much does it weigh? 1,085 pounds. That is actually light weight for an above-ground shelter, and this has a very important benefit. According to a NSSA-associated engineering firm, the New Day shelter may be attached to a qualified slab, whether or not it has steel reinforcement within. This is due to its weight, number and type of anchors and the circular orientation of the bolts. Mine is the only shelter that I am aware of that is known to be safe and effective on a quality slab which has unknown reinforcement.
Why will cars that weigh more be picked up by a tornado? Automobiles are meant to be mobile, not immobile. This unit is secured to several tons of concrete below giving the shelter system a very low center of gravity and no opportunity for the wind to get beneath it. When I was 19, I drove into an area of recent tornado activity. I clearly remember a large U-haul truck on its side and wrapped backward around a tall, gas station sign pole along the interstate. Clearly the truck lost that contest and the cylindrical steel structure had won it.
Is it better for a door to swing inward or outward? Each has advantages. In this case, the outward swinging door is larger than the door opening. The 3/8" thick steel door is braced against the shelter envelope itself, not against door hardware, making it very unlikely for a gross impact to force the door open toward the occupants.
Huge trees topple, so why shouldn't this? Wind speed in a storm is considered to be greatest at perhaps 30' above ground level. And fully-fledged trees have three things working against them which this shelter does not have: 1) Huge surface area (which equates to high drag), 2) Flexible center of gravity, and 3) High leverage, or "Mechanical Advantage". Interesting tidbit... The 3D surface area of a single leaf is much greater than it would appear due to its Fractal Geometry, yet the New Day shelter has the absolute minimal surface per volume.
Are they “bulletproof”? Yes, to IAC Level III or greater.
<---THIS did THIS--->
M4 Carbine at 30 yards did not penetrate wall sample.
Should we use it for a fire or flood? No.
It’s metal, what about lightning? Inside an all-steel safe room is the safest possible place to be in case of lightning. Something called the "Faraday Cage Effect" causes a car, plane or metal building to shield you from lightning, because “high voltage and high frequency electricity travel along the outward surface of a conductor” and to the ground. Inside a New Day shelter attached to the earth, you can know you are protected even from a direct lightning strike. And the interior padding on the wall serves as a further insulator from any such risk.
Do cell phones and radios work inside? Yes, unless the signal before entering is quite weak. The same Faraday Cage Effect may cause certain radio signals to be reduced. But “short wavelength” signals like digital cell phones might work better than longer wavelength signals like AM radio. Just try it out. Regardless, you can set a radio outside the door and you should be able to hear it inside just fine. Once again, one might just leave the door open while waiting for the brunt of the storm to arrive.
Will this thing withstand an EF-5 tornado? Yes is the short answer. My shelters are certified by third-party engineering to be in compliance with the ICC/NSSA Standard, thus complying with the requirements of many military and civilian jurisdictions, and with FEMA, ANSI, IBC, ASCE, ASTM, NIST, NFPA and the National Wind Institute (NWI) at TTU. That means it’s built for the big one. Still, I cannot say "100% safe" and no sensible engineer would. FEMA does not guarantee its own designs "because it is not possible to predict or test all conditions that may occur during severe windstorms..." But in such storms if anything will keep you safe, the New Day shelter will keep you safe.
Can I lock it from the outside to store valuables while away? I have purposely designed no lock on the outside of this safe room. However...it can be locked and unlocked from the outside, and it's a secret how (shhh). I'll explain when I deliver yours.
What are the chances that I will actually be in a tornado? Pretty slim, let's face it. If I were to offer a storm shelter based upon statistics alone, then nobody should buy one. (What?) Perhaps a hundred persons per year are killed in the storms compared to over 40,000 in car accidents. But the natural anxiety that blackened skies create is reason enough to acquire one of these, as a stress-reliever and if necessary, a life-saver.
Has one of these taken a direct tornado hit? Several close calls have been reported in TX, OK, AR and AL. I don't wish it upon any of my customers, but when it does happen, this shelter will surely perform as advertised, considering the thick curved steel structure and optimized anchor bolt pattern. Famously, the Jarrell, TX tornado of 1997 wiped dozens of homes off their slabs. But the slabs themselves did not move. The New Day shelter grabs like cat claws into your slab so that the shelter and its contents (you) also will not move in the extreme winds.
Will the door stay locked? Yes. The three large lock bolts have the classic "up-over-down" action to remain in the position where you place them.
I can't climb stairs anymore, could I get in this? I put a large, generous handle on the inside of the door so when the door is fully opened, and the door chain is tight, you have a sturdy grip as you get yourself inside. I have customers who already had a shelter underground. Now they have one shelter they can't use and one that they do use. If you are in a wheelchair, I can make a recommendation for another type of shelter.
What if debris keeps the door from opening? The raised threshold would allow the door to clear debris up to 10" deep. Otherwise, an emergency door-opening tool is ready to use, being attached to the inside of the door. The leverage built into this tool allows for easy use, without having to be a weight-lifter to remove the entire door, and get yourself out. Like the exit over the wing of an airplane, you just let the door drop and you're out.
What if a pickup truck is against the shelter? Fortunately, your life has been spared in a shelter that sticks out like a sore thumb. You are among the debris, not beneath it. And on the inside of the door is a label clearly stating your GPS coordinates. You could make a cell phone call for help, reciting the numbers printed on your door, and be located from anywhere in the world. You see, your coordinates don't go away like street signs go away. Any person skilled on a smart phone or Garmin could type in the numbers and end up at your side.
Will my shelter be registered? With your permission, I will register your shelter in the database of National Storm Shelter Association in Lubbock, TX. This is for scientific purposes. For first response, I encourage you to contact your local law enforcement or your County's Emergency Management Agency and let them know where your New Day Tornado Shelter is located, and give the coordinates found on the door.
Is it guaranteed? Except for paint and peripherals, it are guaranteed to be built without defect for as long as you own it. When it comes to "durable goods"...what could be more durable? But know that like any life-saving device, (life preserver, helmet, flak jacket), storm shelters are not guaranteed to protect from every possible hazard while in use. The highest level of safety this industry has to offer has been designed into your New Day Tornado Shelter for a very high degree of protection from severe wind events. NSSA uses the term "near-absolute protection".
Where are these manufactured? New Day has created, (not just relocated) a few good jobs here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. For military and other governmental uses, the New Day shelters are made in accordance with the Buy American Act of 1933 (BAA -41 U.S.C. 10a-10d). Over 99% of their material is sourced in the USA.
What colors do they come in? The earth tones selected seem to blend with most any surroundings. The light blue, yellow and tan interior was also selected from among thousands of colors to contribute to a soothing effect for you. The appearance with the "sun" on the door was specifically meant to evoke anything but fear! You already have a healthy respect for the storms, and I make it a point not to add undue anxiety to my marketing, or to the appearance of the safe rooms. Have you noticed that you're viewing perhaps the only storm shelter website on the planet with no scary pictures? You've stumbled into an angst-free zone.
What if those colors clash with the surroundings? Paint over them! It’s easy to do with a high-quality latex paint. Or, someone really should paint on a smiley face! One in Texas was painted desert camo.
It's metal, could it rust? It could. Have you ever noticed a lamp post or even a bridge left with no paint or coating? That beautiful iron oxide coloring is just rust. It happens that ferrous metals, when left to the elements, develop a layer of oxidation which forms a barrier against deeper oxidation. (Not so with alloys of aluminum, magnesium or titanium which corrode deeper and deeper.) If we had an extra lifetime we would never observe rust causing a structural problem for a New Day shelter.
Is New Day an Oklahoma company? New Day is the DBA of “The SafeDome Company”, an S Corp. registered in the State of Oklahoma in 2008, EIN 26-3740372. We are debt-free, pay all our taxes and treat our employees well, (so they say).
Is your company accredited by the Better Business Bureau? A+ Rating. More importantly, please view dozens of Customer Reviews left on the local BBB website.
What is the background of you, the designer? Thousands of military and civilian homes have certified, above-ground shelters designed by me or with my help. My background in commercial aviation structures has been useful in the aerodynamic aspect of this safe room design. As well, the mindset of optimization so necessary in aviation transfers to the storm shelter industry. “An airplane is made of everything you need and nothing you don’t need to do the job.” An optimized safe room is the same in that way, giving added value to the end user. I was also the founding Treasurer of National Storm Shelter Association.
Are these patented? Yes. My pending patent has recently become Federal law. My brand name and logo are also US Registered Trademarks. Out of respect for my hard work, please don't look for a way around my intellectual property rights. I will not allow my design to be knocked off.
How much is it, anyway? $3500.00 in our home market of NE Oklahoma. No surprises. That amount includes not only the delivery and installation, but the anchors, anti-fatigue mat, special chair, lamp, fan, batteries, wall padding, exit tool, NSSA Seal, Certificate and registration and even OK sales tax, no matter what the tax rate in your city.
What if we live outside of northeastern Oklahoma? Your price is still just $3500.00, but we will need to add some for delivery. Here is a calculator so you will know the exact delivery cost, up to 350 miles. Simply enter your ZIP and read the driving miles from 74115, and that is how many dollars I add for delivery. One dollar per mile, one way. If it’s within 80 miles, zero dollars. If over 350, some will need to be added for overnight expenses. In states other than OK, it is possible that you the buyer may be responsible for Use Tax on your purchase.
Do you come all the way to my state? So far, we have families in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. If you live outside of these states, the answer is still "Yes". The distant deliveries are best carried out during the less-stormy seasons.
Did you say there were discounts? If you are a first-responder or a Veteran, I want to say “Thank you” with a discount. (If you are a Veteran of World War One, 95% discount!) Also, if you live in a mobile home, I remember watching the skies from one, and want to help you get a tornado shelter! If these don't apply, ask about my "high anxiety" discount. Through the "Contact Me" page your exact price after discounts can be determined.
Will you take payments? I'd rather receive full payment after installation, but I'm here to help. If you want one but don't have all the money at once, I'm sure we can work something out. It would be "in-house" and without interest.
Can they be leased? What about Rent-to-Own? Yes and yes. Please contact me for terms. I want you to be taken care of even if you are in the region temporarily, such as a student or a company-sponsored professional might be.
Can we work the price into our new mortgage? Probably. Just introduce me to your banker and we’ll see if we can get you this without anything out of pocket. With regard to closing, the safe room can be delivered whenever is best, and interest on it will probably be tax-deductible.
What if we want to move? Whether indoors or outdoors, the New Day shelter can be moved to your next home. You may call me with the “to" and "from” zip codes and I will give you an exact, reasonable quote for this service. Yes, it will relocate when you relocate. Or sell it with the house and I’ll provide one “fresh out of the box” for your next home. In our own experience, the buyers of our house insisted on keeping the shelter.
Can I get a FEMA rebate? On this very website, I used to keep track of most of the rebate programs across the Country. Some were administered by states, some by counties, some by tribes or cities or planning commissions. Frankly, it was a little much for me! Please ask our friend Mr.Google about your location and whether there are rebate monies that might possibly be available to you. If you contact me perhaps I can help you individually. If there isn't a rebate, don't let that stop you from getting what you want and need!
Is New Day a “green” company? Very green. If you have a need to know, I can document details of our manufacturing and delivery processes which are very earth-friendly. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! If you view our shelter installed at the Silo-Eco Home at Greensburg, KS, $50.00 of your purchase price is directed as a donation to GreensburgGreentown.org.
Are these cheaper by the dozen? Yes. I can provide for Native American housing or military base neighborhoods. If you are a builder, landlord or non-profit charity, let’s talk.
I know someone else who could use one. I will give you a $100 “Thank You” for every family or friend you connect with me, who receive theirs within a year of your installation date. Please make your connection clear to me before the sale, and the gift will come after completion of the transaction. Show off your safe room over and over so I can say thank you over and over!
How much is the deposit? Zero. I don’t want a nickel of your money up front. Only after you’re completely happy with your new safe room, with the installation and with how you were treated, then, of course, I would like to be paid. But not before!
How long does the installation take? On site, the entire process takes perhaps 60 to 90 minutes, depending on dialog. If you want, we will show you every step. We make a little noise and a little dust, but it's not too bad. Then when finished, the whole family can come to hear the spiel and see the features. For further questions even months later, my own cell phone number is posted in the shelter door.
How long will it take to get one? We are smart enough to manufacturer these shelters all year 'round so that in the springtime, when most people want these, we have plenty on hand for quick delivery. My goal is get locals installed within 3 days of the order. Perhaps longer for trips, but still ASAP. Bad weather brings on sudden demand. Quick story: Man calls, storms are approaching. Dirk drops everything and delivers unit. Next morning, Dad sends Dirk a text..."The sirens sounded at 9:35. "Wife, two daughters, granddaughter and me in the shelter till 10:05. "All ok, fun time, thank you." That said, PLEASE don't wait until the last minute to order yours!
What do others think? Are there Reviews? It seems we've never had less than a "five-star" review, and we do not pick and choose or edit comments made about us. But let's let my customers speak for themselves. Look at several dozen Customer Reviews about New Day Tornado Shelters on BBB, Facebook, Google, Angie's List (Company #8533109) and other online sites you might find.
How should I pay? Although I can take cash, I prefer your personal check or bank draft made out to New Day Tornado Shelters…only after you are completely happy with the installed product. Sorry, I have decided not to take credit cards. If you need payments, we might work that out between us.
I want one, now what do I do? Go to the "Contact Us" button above, or you may call or email the info. I just need to know that you want one and I'll take good care of you.
Dirk DeRose - Owner
New Day Tornado Shelters
6040 E Tecumseh St
Tulsa, OK 74115