Storm shelters are critically important in their role of saving lives in the event of a tornado or hurricane.

Solatube Storm Shelter Logos

The construction code ICC 500 and more stringent guideline FEMA P-361 have been put in place to ensure proper construction methods for building storm shelters and safe rooms requiring stringent testing of any building components used in the construction of these facilities.

As the inventor and industry leader of tubular daylighting devices (TDDs), Solatube believes thorough testing of our product allows us to make a better TDD. From Federal Blast Testing to Factory Mutual certification, and even hurricane coastal requirements in Florida and Texas, Solatube International has achieved more industry firsts and rigorous product test certifications than any other TDD on the market. So it is no surprise that once again, Solatube achieved another industry first when in early 2019, Solatube became the first roof-top daylighting product manufacturer to achieve ICC 500 and FEMA P-361 compliance for its 750 DS-O product. Even more eye opening is the fact that the 750 DS-O faired so well in the testing that additional costly and bulky penetration protection is not required with the Solatube 750 DS-O. This is a huge game changer for schools and entities as daylighting a shelter no longer has to level the budget, and following the testing and code means that occupants can be assured that Solatube’s tubular daylighting devices can stand up to the forces of nature.

Advantages of using Solatube Tubular Daylighting in Storm Shelters:

  • Daylighting a storm shelter is effective, efficient and now affordable
  • Connection to outdoor illuminance can help occupants determine if the sky has cleared and tornado has passed
  • Daylighting improves occupants’ well-being and performance year-round
  • Daylighting can help reduce the use of electricity by up to 60% – year-round
  • Solatube TDDs are maintenance free and come with a 10 year warranty

In order to meet the rigorous requirements for ICC 500/ FEMA P 361 testing, a 750 DS-O was utilized for testing. Please see our updated Product Cut Sheet for specific indicators that will show what products must be used to meet FEMA requirements.

At Rosewood Elementary School in Broken Arrow, OK the gym doubles as a FEMA safe room where the entire school population will be safely sheltered in case of a tornado or a disaster. Six Solatube 750 DS-O units were successfully installed and students benefit from natural lighting in the gym year round.