MOORE — A new design in tornado-safe affordable homes made its first appearance in Oklahoma on Dec. 23 at 1601 Post Oak Lane in Moore.
An 85,000 pound monolithic two bedroom and one bath unit, transported from Florida by truck, was placed into a pre-formed channel designed as a keyway in the slab foundation of the new home which will be built in the Whispering Oaks addition, one of the hardest hit areas of Moore by the May 20 tornado.
The unit was engineered to withstand tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes while not having to give up living space or needing to build a separate structure for safety. Families will be able to live inside the shelter on a daily basis and simply close and secure a Federal Emergency Management Agency steel door in the event of an emergency.
Jay London Homes has partnered with Montenero US, a Florida-based company specializing in windstorm-resistant structures, to be a part of solving a problem not currently addressed in homebuilding.
“We are building a home where people don’t have to get in a hole to be safe from severe weather,” local builder Jay London said. “They can stay in the comfort of their home and know they are just as safe and except for the FEMA door, no one will be able to tell it is any different from a normal house.”
London hopes to see many more homes built in the area with the integrated shelters and is excited by the prospect of new designs and flexible options as well as the possibility of the shelters being built locally which he expects would reduce the price to the end consumer.
“The next unit will be a safety suite with the entire master suite being one shelter unit which could be placed anywhere in the (house) plan. Homes could be built with that on one side and this (the two bedroom unit) on the other with wood framing in between,” London said.