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DuPont Provides In-Home Protection From Dangers of Tornadoes

  • Sunday, 23rd March 2003
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

DuPont will soon introduce its latest innovation — a residential storm shelter with Kevlar engineered to provide families protection from the dangers of tornadoes.

The DuPont StormRoom with Kevlar is an in-home storm shelter, available in several rectangular configurations, that features the incredible strength of DuPont Kevlar 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 DuPont StormRoom with Kevlar complies with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Standard 320 for a tornado shelter. In a series of tests conducted by an independent lab, the engineered panels built into the room were able to deflect a 12-foot, 15-pound two-by-four piece of wood shoot out of a cannon at 100 miles per hour. This represents the speed at which a 250-miles-per-hour wind would propel the timber.

Kevlar is an organic fiber in the aromatic polyamid (aramid) family that combines high strength with lightweight, and comfort with protection.

“”The DuPont StormRoom with Kevlar 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 technology leader Roger Siemionko. “”By capturing both the strength and flexibility of this advanced fiber and our safety knowledge, the DuPont StormRoom with Kevlar helps provide an easily accessible safe haven from tornadoes and the wind-borne missiles they generate.””

The DuPont StormRoom with Kevlar 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 and plumbing can be installed. It is ideal for new home construction with a concrete slab foundation. Installed by a certified building professional, the room can also be added to a new or existing garage with a slab concrete 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 people’s 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.

In April, the DuPont StormRoom with Kevlar will be available in select markets.

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