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Indoor in ground tornado shelters

Torshel’s underground storm shelters are designed to provide your family with maximum tornado protection. Such units can be installed right into your garage in an existing house or anywhere in a new house, regularly at a closet, where it also serves as a panic room safe vault.

Having the shelter installed in the garage or other covered area keeps it safe from the tornado’s climate. Underground installations allow residents to get into their shelter without having to run through wind, hail, rain or other dangerous weather conditions.

In-ground shelters are not recommended for people that live in flood-prone areas, near a river or lake, and / or in areas with high water tables. They are also not recommended for those who are on a wheelchair or for elderly customers.

Rocky areas: If you live in an area known for having lots of solid rocks, a safe room will be the best and cheapest option.
If you have limited space in your garage an in-ground storm shelter is a great option. Those who live in a mobile home, or do not have a garage, or maybe have a garage with post-tension cables, can use an outdoor in-ground shelter.

Prior to buying your in-ground shelter, you must call the 811 to ensure that no buried utilities are in the chosen area of installation.

Can This Be Installed In An Existing Garage?
Yes, exiting concrete slab is cut with a concrete saw; dirt and concrete debris is removed, and the unit is installed in a period of one or two days.

Does It Affect The Foundation Of My House?
No, the hole is relatively small compared to the house and it is filled back with concrete, rebar and the storm shelter.

Existing Houses
The shelter will be located within 15”-20” from the edge of your garage. The shelter is position in such a way that the tires of your car straddle the door. Ideally, you can enter your shelter without having to move your vehicle out in the storm.

New Houses
If you are building a house, and need a storm shelter; Torshel will work with your homebuilder. There are two methods to proceed with the installation:

  1. The builder is asked to leave a form without concrete for our team to install your shelter. The form will be 1’ bigger than the size of the shelter purchased. Storm shelter: 5’W x 7’ Land hole: 6’W x 8’L.
  2. Torshel’s installation team comes to the site before the concrete is poured; they dig the hole, put the shelter in place, and add 1 yard of concrete, and the company that will put the concrete will finish around the shelter.

In both scenarios, Torshel covers the unit with a tarp or plastic that should not be removed until the house is finished. It will keep water and dirt out of the unit. The benches, stairs and other items will be removed, and the homeowner can install them at a later date.

Will My Storm Shelter Float?
In order to stabilize and secure the underground shelter, Torshel anchors it along the pit with 10 or more rods. The team will drill 3” inch holes (10-30 depending on the size of the unit) on the side of the concrete, and insert 12” length pieces (10-30 depending on the size of the unit) of rebar, to ensure no movement. These rods also allow for some space between the ground and the cement used before inserting the shelter to prevent flooding during heavy rainy seasons. Rods are then added at the top, which will allow you to park your car on top of your shelter when it is not in use. However, Torshel does not recommend parking the wheels of the car on top of the shelter. Still, driving over the shelter or parking with the shelter in between the wheels is perfectly fine. Our anchoring technique is very different from many tornado installation services that don’t anchor shelters to stabilize them. At Torshel, safety is the number one priority. To ensure this, extra time is taken to anchor the shelter properly for added stability.

Corrosion Protection

First Protection
Torshel installs a Sacrificial Magnesium Anode. This technique is used to protect buried or submerged metal structures from corrosion. This means that the Magnesium Anode corrodes; it is consumed in preference to the shelter. Such anode can add between 5 to 20 years of life to steel underground storm shelters.

Second Protection
All of our steel underground storm shelters are leak-proof, seal-welded, inside and out. The exterior contains an epoxy that prevents corrosion for many years. The epoxy is used in underground pipelines and marinas to prevent corrosion. The interior is also primed and painted.

Built in ventilation (small holes on the lid), plus two-battery powered fans (provided) are able to function for a period of 15 hours.

Will I get trapped inside?
Underground shelters come with two lids to help you open the doors more easily if there is debris on top of your shelter after a storm. Our garage shelters come with a sliding door for easy access during a storm. All our in-ground shelters come with an 8-ton hydraulic jack with stand, just in case there is a car or some debris nor allowing you to get out. Torshel recommends the placement of whistles inside the units as part of your basic disaster preparedness.

There are removable stairs within the unit to help create more space when the unit is in use. Handrails are also included in the shelter. In addition, Torshel installs a carpet and a wooden bench; thus giving you a fully functional floor. Torshel can also custom build our shelters to accommodate tall sizes, and other needs as well. Please consult with us about the options available to you.

In-Ground Garage Shelter Specifications

  • Steel construction
  • 10 GA or 3/16” walls and 1/4″ steel plate doors
  • Easy sliding door design
  • Rust-resistant coating
  • Sacrificial magnesium anode
  • Commercial grade weatherproofing
  • Coal Tar Epoxy coating to prevent corrosion
  • Built-in steps and seating, removable stairs to make extra room
  • Built-in ventilation
  • Back door releases from inside
  • Exceeds FEMA guidelines
  • Battery powered fans (last 16 hours)
  • Battery powered LED light (last 16 hours)
  • 8 ton hydraulic jack with stand included
  • Shelter must be registered with local or state emergency agencies


Customers who want a shelter should also consider the geological makeup of the chosen site before deciding whether to purchase an underground shelter or safe room. A safe room is recommended for those who live in areas that are prone to flooding or for customers who have accessibility issues.

Pets may also enter the shelter during a storm, as they are also a part of the family. We recommend that people with small pets use a cage to help reduce stress. Those with larger pets can take them inside the shelter before a storm so they can get used to it, and feel more comfortable in the shelter in the event of a storm.

All of our underground shelters and safe rooms come with built-in ventilation, and an emergency crank radio/flashlight/fan.

After installation, Torshel will provide the customers with their respective GPS coordinates for the location of the shelters. The customer must register with local authorities and first responders so they can locate you in case of an emergency.