LAS VEGAS, Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In remarks delivered today at the International Builders Show, nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson discussed the growth in tornado safe room demand in light of updated NOAA Storm Prediction Center data indicating that nine out of ten (89.6%) continental U.S. counties have experienced a tornado watch since 2003. The counties include 42 states and the District of Columbia in an area that extends well beyond the ten states in so-called "tornado alley". Families in the affected counties spent an average of 27 hours per year under tornado watches.
Chapman-Henderson pointed to the proliferation of weather communication, deadly outbreaks in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Joplin, Missouri; and Moore, Oklahoma, and overall increased consumer awareness as key drivers of a steadily expanding market for tornado safe rooms. FLASH is at the show with partners FEMA, and the Portland Cement Association (PCA) featuring a safe room exhibition to raise awareness with homebuilders that safe rooms not only save lives, but will give their customers peace of mind whether they experience a tornado or not.
"With the advent of smartphone apps, alerts and social media, families are keenly aware of minute by minute changes in their weather— especially tornado watches and warnings," said Chapman-Henderson. "As a result, families are acting on their heightened awareness by investing in the safety and security of a tornado safe room."
According to Chapman-Henderson, growing demand is tracking closely with expanding consumer options, including new types of safe rooms, improved affordability, and the advent of online purchasing through large retailers, including The Home Depot.
Chapman-Henderson expects the growth trend to continue, "Tornado safe rooms are an ideal combination of protection for families and a market opportunity for homebuilders—one of our most critical partners in the disaster-resilience movement. In good weather and bad, everyone wins when it comes to tornado safe rooms."
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 120 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster-resilient nation including: BASF, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot®, International Code Council, Kohler® Generators, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, Simpson Strong-Tie®, State Farm™, and USAA® . In 2008, FLASH opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and gain access to its free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org or calling (877) 221- SAFE (7233).
SOURCE Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)