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Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yard?

I'm toying with the idea of having one installed. I have not been inside of one but man looking at pictures these things look small and close ... real close. Like in claustrophobia!

Does anyone on the forum have one installed? Or has anyone actually been inside of one?

http://www.stormcraftshelters.com/index.html

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Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

In reply to: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yard?

Are you interested in these because you're in a tornado area? It looks like these are just a shelter when there is a tornado warning not something you would stay in for an extended period. I remember bomb shelters that were fairly large and elaborate.

One thing you might think about is your ground. There were very few basements in Tulsa because it had a base of granite and you had to blast to get a basement.

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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The ground would be no problem.

In reply to: Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

Not much tornado activity where I live but I wasn't thinking of my area for this shelter. About three or four years ago the town of Jarrel, Texas was just about wiped out by a tornado, these things sure would have been handy at that time. Most likely will be 75 years before the town is hit again, if ever. No way to predict tornados. Unless one lives in tornado alley I doubt Safe Rooms are practical.

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Before using that thing...

In reply to: The ground would be no problem.

...I'd go with a small, heavy concrete dome. They allow the wind to whip around them with little resistance, but give lots of protection. Even better they are above ground, but I guess a concrete round room with a flat concrete top and an access door could be done below ground for ultimate protection. I think I'd want the top about a foot above ground however, in case of minor flooding at the same time.

Here's the grandaddy site of dome building. A good place to find links for smaller shelters.
http://www.monolithicdome.com/

http://www.domecontractors.com/html/about_domes.html
http://www.domecontractors.com/html/projects.html
Information about domes. What it looks like to live in a manmade cave.

http://jarrellstormshelters.com/html/
Jarrell Storm Shelters in Texas, used by the President on his property.

http://www.texasshelters.com/
http://www.texasshelters.com/original.htm
http://www.texasshelters.com/flat.htm
Who would know more about storm shelters than people in Texas?

Ever wanted your very own space ship? These seem kinda weird, but if you have kids it sure would make a cool playhouse in the interim.
http://www.usbunkers.com/

Now this is the one for me. Run out there, toss all that junk you started storing in it, at least enough junk to make room for yourself, and lock it down. Paint it dark green, put some crabapples around it, let some vines grow over it, and it'll blend right in.


http://www.monolithicdome.com/gallery/homes/haiti/index.html
Anybody looking for a worthy cause?

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That bunker sure is eye catching, ain't it!?

In reply to: Before using that thing...

Didn't see any prices right off hand, bet one of them cost a small fortune.

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Re: "Most likely will be ....

In reply to: The ground would be no problem.

.. 75 years before the town is hit again, if ever."

Yep, a F5 tornado hitting Jarrel, TX in May 1997 killing 27 people was sort of a surprise. It was not considered in the tornado "Alley" like the April 1979 Wichita Falls, TX F5 that killed 42 and injured 1740.

I remember seeing the newspaper and TV reports of the unexpected 1953 F5 Waco,TX tornado that hit downtown and killed 114 people. It destroyed 200 businesses mostly downtown, had bricks stacked up to 5 feet high in the streets. Survivors were burried up to 14 hours.

The Wichita Falls tornado of 1979 sped up development of "Safe Rooms" and safety changes:

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/resources/safety/2004-04-09-wichita-falls-tornado_x.htm

Texas Tech University has done a lot of research on safe rooms/shelters with their Wind Science and Engineering Research Center:

http://www.wind.ttu.edu/

The 25 Deadliest US Tornadoes:
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/archive/tornadoes/t-deadly.html

The 10 Costliest Tornadoes in US
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/archive/tornadoes/t$damage.htm

F5 Tornadoes of the US:
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/archive/tornadoes/f5torns.htm

Websites dedicated to specific tornado events:
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/torpages.html

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Saferooms

In reply to: Re: "Most likely will be ....

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Re: Saferooms

In reply to: Saferooms

Using the Portamix insulating forms could be a little more expensive than just using the ready made concrete (cinder type) blocks for forms as used by tests of Texas Tech University http://www.wind.ttu.edu/inshelter/inshelte.asp

I recall seeing the University tests a couple years ago on one of the Discovery TV channels where they used a special compressed air cannon to fire long 2x4 board into the cinder block (filled with rebar and concrete) and they did not penetrate.

I'm sure the Portamix company forms with the rebar and concret are also effective. The company is located about 35 miles from where I live but I only know what has been presented here. What I noticed from their site:

"The Safe Room Provides
Protection From Tornado
Force Winds as High
as 250 mph"

"Polysteel and its suppliers or representatives make no direct claims as to the strength, durability and/or performance minimums of the monolithic concrete walls in a safe room."

The photo shows a 'safe room' standing in the Oklahoma tornado, but is it the Portamix 'safe room'.

Cannot find any university test of the Portamix safe room.

I'm sure a lot of this could be cleared when contacting Portamix by someone interested in their product.

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I think you're right.

In reply to: Re: Saferooms

The impression I got from that site is the forms were more aimed at home building. It seems a lot easier to me to use standard blocks as you describe with rebar inside them. What do you think would be best? Fill blocks every 2nd, 3rd, or each half of room height? I'm thinking every 3 block layers would be easiest.

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Re: I think you're right.

In reply to: I think you're right.

I would follow the plans that you can get free from the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center and FEMA.

As I recall in the test I saw on TV the concrete was poured in all the spaces of the cinder blocks. Of course it may not be necessary for each to have concrete if making a below ground saferoom.

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Didn't realize it's been that many years.

In reply to: Re: "Most likely will be ....

Course the ideal solution would be to have a safe room built right into your home when it's being constructed, wouldn't it? For older homes it's probably more practical and economical to install an in-ground shelter, especially if tornado protection is the goal. I was thinking tornados and just wanted to help provide something for someone near and dear to me.

Some interesting links you have there.

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Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

First thought....interesting!

Further thoughts (unfortunately)

1. Entrepreneur's opportunity to cash in on some of our poorly founded fears.

2. Trial attorney's opportunity to cash in when such facilities are misused and result in accidents or properly used and fail to protect.

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Both thoughts crossed my mind also.

In reply to: Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

I think this type of structure (tomb?lol) is fairly new, at least to me. Reminds me of lightening rods. Also something that flashed across my mind is flash flooding and the darn thing filling up with water, although I think it's designed to prevent that.

Be a good place to hide from the wife though.:-)

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Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

In reply to: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yard?

I have a concrete block root cellar (above ground) that has one side (the back) buried into the side of one of my hills with huge Canadian Hemlocks immediately to the right side of it so that the branches actually cover the building completely. One side (the left) is exposed fully, with the front having a double door (inside and out not the width)and a very small window that is wire mesh imbedded into the 'glass'.

The interior is lined with shelves for canning jars but is approximately 8X8 inside....since I'm alone now, this is a good size for me, two dogs, and a cat to fit comfortably to wait out a hurricane (Hugo laid most of our trees down in this area even though we are close to the Kentucky/Tennessee corner) and the building has been in that spot for at least fifty years now. It appears to hold up very well and I wouldn't hesitate to use it....knowing it would be a temporary solution. Sure couldn't use it for a long haul.

TONI

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Now that sounds cozy.

In reply to: Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

You're fortunate to have a building like that, sound perfect for waiting out a hurricane. That small window would be a comfort to me. Wink

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Tape

I'd put a roll of clear packing tape in there to tape over that window during a storm, just in case. You might consider a window film covering over it instead for a more permanent solution against broken glass.

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Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

In the 60's I was in a neighbor's "bomb" shelter, when those were popular. And, of course, there were designated "bomb" shelters at designated areas, particularly in the downtown business area. I toured one. Those were stocked with food and water. I don't recall how many they held. As these were all bomb shelters, just the thought made seeing them unpleasant.

That was during the Cold War. And things got a little scary during the Cuban missile crisis.

As I live in an area prone to tornados, I, too, have checked out storm shelters on the internet, including those that convert exiting space indoors. I saw one with access through a garage floor. As I recall, the outdoor ones require some excavation.

Fortunately, I have a basement. Not as safe as a dedicated shelter, but good. The outside wall could be re-inforced, but that takes money.

Good luck!

Angeline
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

In reply to: Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

Yes, I have an N.B.C. Shelter in my back garden. It is there for myself, my family (wife and 4 kids) and upto four other adults and two more children. it is entirely self sufficient and always fully stocked and prepared

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Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

In reply to: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yard?

I'm toying with the idea of having one installed.

Why? Do you have a need for one?

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Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

In reply to: Re: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yar

If you are thinking about a shelter, a good site to check out:

http://www.wind.ttu.edu/ Texas Tech University has done an awful lot of research.

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People installed a lot of these for Y2K didn't they?

In reply to: Storm Shelters or Safe Rooms, anyone have one in the yard?

Looks like they'ld be useful in tornado country.

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