Let's talk about storm cellars/shelters

This is a discussion on Let's talk about storm cellars/shelters within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I live in Houston and am seriously considering something like this. Due to the fact we are a sea level, homes here to not have ...

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Thread: Let's talk about storm cellars/shelters

  1. #46
    Member Array PSLOwner's Avatar
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    I live in Houston and am seriously considering something like this. Due to the fact we are a sea level, homes here to not have basements, so I am guessing the in ground slap shelters have local issues to over come. Just not very comfortable with the "crawl in a bath tub" solution. We don't get a lot of tornados in Houston, but we do get a stray hurricane now and then.

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  3. #47
    Member Array RockBottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PSLOwner View Post
    I live in Houston and am seriously considering something like this. Due to the fact we are a sea level, homes here to not have basements, so I am guessing the in ground slap shelters have local issues to over come. Just not very comfortable with the "crawl in a bath tub" solution. We don't get a lot of tornados in Houston, but we do get a stray hurricane now and then.
    I lived in New Orleans. For hurricanes, your best option is to evacuate. An underground shelter in an area prone to flooting could be a watery tomb.

  4. #48
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpringerXD View Post
    First off, I'm glad you and your wife are okay.

    That's the very reason I won't even look at one of those "inside the house" shelters, also sold as "safe rooms" or "panic rooms." That's an appropriate name, though, because I'll guarantee you that if I were in one and a tornado was delivering it to a location three miles away, "panic" would be the word. For my money, you simply can't beat a hole in the ground.

    So they had one of those fiberglass pods inside the house? That sounds a bit strange. If nothing else, those things are ugly as sin and that's why they're to be buried in the ground.
    Improper or incomplete wording. The pod was in the ground but entrance was inside the house. They actually found them after they "graded" the rubble off the area. The shelter did keep the tornado from taking them but it also got buried in the rubble. Lousy consolation prize!
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

  5. #49
    Distinguished Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjh2657 View Post
    Improper or incomplete wording. The pod was in the ground but entrance was inside the house. They actually found them after they "graded" the rubble off the area. The shelter did keep the tornado from taking them but it also got buried in the rubble. Lousy consolation prize!
    Oh, okay. The only one I would consider having in the garage is all steel with some concrete around it.
    "I practice the ancient art of Klik Pao."

    -miklcolt45

  6. #50
    Distinguished Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockBottom View Post
    If you ever get a chance, take a look at some of those homes the government built on Outer Drive and around New York Avenue. Just about all of them were built with basements. The fallout shelters are mostly being used for extra storage or wine cellars now. I don't ever recall seeing one that was still stocked for its original purpose although I recall seeing one somewhere that still had an old container with Civil Defense markings in it.
    A lot of the ones from the 40's are the "Cembesto" houses, made of cement and asbestos. It makes sense that they would have fallout shelters, too, being built by the government.

    Thanks!
    "I practice the ancient art of Klik Pao."

    -miklcolt45

  7. #51
    Senior Member Array Mattmann's Avatar
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    Cool

    I just bought one of these and is the best investment ever. I live close to Memphis and while they are few and far between like others said, when it comes to my family I don't really care. I bought mine from tswstormshelters.com and for $6,000 I got a steel one installed under my carport. They do the sawcutting, demo, instal, and pour 3 yards of cement back in place. The door is almost flush to the slab and it holds 10 adults tight. I'm in construction myself so I knew it was a decent deal. Lifetime warranty amd my wife will be stocking it up as soon as they get done. Just to let you know...

    FYI,
    In Arkansas, where I live, I also get a $1000 rebate instant.

  8. #52
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    Living in the part of Missouri I do, I'm right in the heart of Tornado Alley. I've lived through several, and a couple have leveled homes or buildings just a few short blocks from where I have lived in the past.

    The house I just bought has no basement. Since I also have a 40 x 50 ft shop/garage with concrete floor the prior owners built to house an RV & boat, I have no real use for the two car attached garage in my house.

    My #1 priority is to renovate the two car garage and turn it into a 670 square foot master bedroom suite with master bath and walk-in closet. Part of that renovation will be installing a 7 x 14 ft combination gun vault/safe room. With 6 to 8 inch reinforced concrete walls and ceiling. It will also be a "certified" above ground storm shelter. My son-in-law who is a builder, has installed about 5 or 6 of those in new home constructions around Kansas City in recent years. He said no problem, with my garage renovation. Since he is also a master cabinet maker, and since it's going to also serve as a gun vault/safe room, we'll be installing a secret doorway for entry.

    Hopefully, I'll have that project finished within the next 24 months. In the mean time, I keep my fingers crossed and hope the tornadoes keep missing us. However, where I live, not having protection from tornadoes isn't a wise option.

    There are many options out there these days for retrofitting storm shelters in homes without a basement and I recommend people seriously look into some sort of storm protection if they don't have any.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  9. #53
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpringerXD View Post
    I'm thinking about it. I helped my dad build ours as a teenager. I didn't do the actual block-laying, but I doubt that it's rocket science. Since it'll be for my two boys and me, I could go smaller than that, maybe more like five by six feet.
    I'd go with a minimum of 10'x20'...because you'll want to put some supplies down there...and 5'x6' won't cut it....you're underestimating your space. Especially when you include kids and their "stuff"
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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  10. #54
    New Member Array Afton's Avatar
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    storm shelters

    I build and sell storm shelters and concrete earth shelters. Basic 4'x4'x7' above ground shelter with 6"x6'x6' base are $2000 plus shipping from Ft. Worth Tx. Free in the metro plex

  11. #55
    Senior Member Array Mattmann's Avatar
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    Question

    Been to Joplin and got to say.... There was a lot of above ground "shelters" that didn't last in the f-5 that came through. A lot of also "safe rooms" have you, were leveled to the slab. Hell, there was even people who got in there basements and died from the house collapsing. According to FEMA I thought that you needed to be below grade to be safe?

  12. #56
    New Member Array Afton's Avatar
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    storm shelters

    The two by four shot into a wall is really not much of a test. I had my concrete concrete. Go to tested, 6000 lb with fiber mesh, and it was a 3rd stronger than slab concrete or regular construction concrete. Go to vaughnconcreteproducts.com and see their tests. Above ground is much safer than people thinl. In flash flooding, would not want to be under ground.

  13. #57
    Senior Member Array Mattmann's Avatar
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    Being in construction I do actualy know a lot of facts about concrete and mesh or fiber cement. It is ridiculously strong. I also agree about the 2x4 test, but when you have a F-5 with 300 + mph winds, if that throws a car or truck or boat into your walls, I'm sorry but it won't stand up. Like I said, they are great and way better than nothing but I saw rooms like this leveled out in Joplin. Also I agree about flash flooding but I am well above all the flooding zones. We have gotten tons of rain and water here lately by the Mississippi river, and thank god none of it got close to me.

  14. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post


    We can joke, but in all humor there is a bit of reality. This would work... although I would cover the roof and put in a couple of air vents.
    A buddy of mine did the samething with a shipping container, Ive been thinking about it also I think he paid something like 2000.00 dollars for it.
    good luck Shipping Containers for Sale : Portable Cabins For Sale : Site Cabins : Second Hand Portable Cabins : Used Portable Cabins : Flat Pack Buildings : Portable Toilet Blocks : Container Sales : Steel Staircases : Portable Office : Site Cabin Hire : Jackl

  15. #59
    Distinguished Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rson63 View Post
    Um...you do realize that the site you posted is in Great Britain, right? :)

    But on a more serious (but funny) note, some people I know back in Alabama have the rear end of an ambulance buried up into the bank across the highway from their house. I've also heard of people doing something similar with vans and even station wagons.
    "I practice the ancient art of Klik Pao."

    -miklcolt45

  16. #60
    Distinguished Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    I'd go with a minimum of 10'x20'...because you'll want to put some supplies down there...and 5'x6' won't cut it....you're underestimating your space. Especially when you include kids and their "stuff"
    Here's the kicker, though; if I still lived back in Alabama, or anywhere else where tornadoes are common, this would be the way to go, because when I was growing up there I spent several nights in one at various times. But here in East Tennessee, or at least in the Knoxville area, actual tornadoes are a rarity. So on the off chance that one actually were to be on the ground here, we would only need it for temporary safety. Plus, I could put my kids in it with the lid open and stand by in case something happened. I just don't really feel that the whole "night in the storm cellar" thing would be all that plausible around here.
    "I practice the ancient art of Klik Pao."

    -miklcolt45

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