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Steps you need to take before installing a storm shelter

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OKLAHOMA CITY – In Oklahoma, spring time is associated with showers and even a bit of a severe weather.

If you are looking to protect your family in the form of a storm shelter, experts say there are a few steps you need to take before installing a shelter.

Officials say residents need to apply for a building permit before installing a below-ground or above-ground safe room.

You will need the following documents:

  • Completed building permit application
  • Engineered specifications per FEMA 320/ ICC 500
  • Letter regarding floatation (in-ground and slope-top shelter)
  • Floor plan (for in-garage or in-house shelters)
  • Site plan (for outdoor shelters.) Many people use a mortgage survey or aerial photograph of the property, and indicate the shelter’s dimensions.

Experts say you should contact your contractor for a lot of the documents, and visit the Oklahoma County Assessor’s website for floor plans.

Applications may be submitted in person from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays at 420 W. Main St., on the eighth floor.

Applications are reviewed while you wait, but wait times are the longest from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To install an in-ground or slope-top shelter, a fee of $53.50 will be assessed.

To install an above-ground safe room, a fee of $70.50 will be assessed.

You are also encouraged to register your shelter to let emergency responders know where to find you during a disaster.

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