While not required by code, the proper installation of a safe room could provide “near-absolute protection” in extreme weather events, according to FEMA. For more instruction, refer to FEMA’s Taking Shelter From the Storm, Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business.

Pete Sucheski

1. Latches - FEMA advises three locking-pin, deadbolt, or slide bolt latches with minimum 1-inch throw surface—mounted with #8 x 3-inch wood deck screws. 

2. Hinges - On the hinge side, use three 4-inch heavy-duty 5-knuckle hinges with U.S.-manufactured full-head screws. Offset the hinges from the deadbolts. 

3. Construction - Use 2x4 framing; double-up each stud and sheath the wall with two layers of 3/4-inch plywood over a layer of 14-gauge steel sheathing.