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 Be Prepared
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 tornado shelter
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Arvinator
Advanced Member

USA
5252 Posts

Posted - September 25 2016 :  10:38:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking at different shelter set ups. Seriously considering buying a in ground version with slant front to protect us from severe storms. Any suggestions?

Be honest, fair, and always prepared...

Vanman
Junior Member

USA
189 Posts

Posted - September 25 2016 :  10:58:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Make it accessible from inside the house. Otherwise most people wait until the weather is so bad they do not want to go outside to get into the shelter.
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Malcolm
Advanced Member

USA
4008 Posts

Posted - September 26 2016 :  01:27:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll ask my son, he put an in ground version in his basement for his large family, and a smaller one for their emergency water and food. I "think" his was an Internet order DIY kit, he loves the thing.

"The measure of a man's character, is how he treats someone who can do nothing for him." (unknown)
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Arvinator
Advanced Member

USA
5252 Posts

Posted - September 26 2016 :  05:04:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vanman I have a weather radio, police scanner, AND my gut feeling that will give me the urge and I will go and sit happily and listen to my am/fm radio. The wife is a strong supporter of this and we have a pair of Kevlar helmets & good external vest carriers with body armor if we get caught in hail storm. It will be maybe 30 ft from the covered patio, inside the privacy fence. even considering putting the camera/dvd system in it to watch from remote and have secure place to keep the recorder with underground wiring to the door of the shelter.

Be honest, fair, and always prepared...
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djwarner
Junior Member

USA
234 Posts

Posted - September 26 2016 :  09:01:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Arv, if that be your plan, practice, practice, practice.

When I was sent to Ton Son Nhut shortly before the Tet offensive, we were assigned a bunk in the second story of a barracks. We were told to select a bunker and plan an exit to the bunker incase of a mortar attack.

Night of third day into Tet, we were hit with 85mm mortars, 107mm rockets and 125mm rockets. This repeated nightly for sometime. It took three nights of bombardment before I actually executed my preplanned route.

NON NOBIS TANTUM NATI
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Dov
Advanced Member

USA
2638 Posts

Posted - September 26 2016 :  12:33:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Google "FEMA Safe Rooms" that should bring up their main page.

They have fair bit of info including PDF you can download.

Main paged mentioned above will link you to P-361 & P-320, which are PDF books.

P-361 is community or larger shelters.

P-320 is home & small business one.

I think helmet of some sort and body armor make a lot of sense.

Eye protection (think more goggles type ideally, protection from sand & etc) and good foot ware is also important IMO.

Leather or Kevlar (frisk gloves, cutting gloves) hand protection also worthwhile I think.

If you do get hit by storm there will be a lot of nails etc foot and tire hazard.

Post Katrinia being able to patch or plug tires was major issue in the recovery phase.

Having 2-4 spare tires on rims if possible is helpful as well.
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wolfgang2000
Advanced Member

USA
3742 Posts

Posted - September 26 2016 :  2:28:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did a fair amount of research on tornados before we moved to MO. I don't know if there is a actual stat for this, but I observed that a fair amount of people get killed or injured waiting till the last moment to enter the shelter. Even those shelters inside the home. Listening to the statement of those that survived and those that would go into their in home safe rooms I concluded that;

Most shelters are not comfortable places to be. A lot of that "comfort" is mental.

The outside shelters, if not maintained, are dank places and usually have creepy crawlers. Usually there is no power or ventilation, for both inside or outside shelters. Usually there are a few folding chairs or a bench to sit on.

The main mental comfort is that most times there is a total lack of information or contact with the outside world. Think about it. Prior to going into your shelter you had TV, computer, smart phone, all giving you information on the storm. The moment you enter the steal reinforced shelter all of that goes away. You're stuck in a small concrete/metal box using a flash light or lantern to watch the scared faces of your family.

If your home is already built, your options are limited. If you home is on a slab you could probably turn a bed room into a safe room, but it won't be cheap. An outside shelter is a viable option. Try to make it as comfortable as possible. Preplan access for, power (if you want) TV, radio, and or cell phone repeater antennas. Even if you run power to you shelter, you will need a backup power/light source.

I know space will be limited, but having a comfortable place to sit and or lie down. Pre position things like a weather radio, water, something for the kids to do (if there are any), lanterns/flashlights batteries etc.


“The key is to hit them hard, hit them fast, and hit them repeatedly. The one shot stop is a unit of measurement not a tactical philosophy.” Evan Marshall
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Pop Pop
Senior Member

USA
682 Posts

Posted - September 26 2016 :  4:01:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My B-In-Lawput put in an outside, in the ground, shelter 3 years ago. His is semi under ground with a slight slanted semi under ground entrance door. What I mean by that is the very top and entrance door is exposed and sticks up about 12 inches with a vent. It is made of fiberglass and is 6.6 feet inside tall and has enough room to holds 6 people on a bench around the wall. Inside looks just like the inside of an old time spinning top, in its shape. He told me it cost him 3,900. installed and they had no blasting involved. blasting would have been more expensive.

My family and I rode out a tornado, in KY, several years ago and we had an old cellar on the farm we owned. We stored canned veggies, potatoes, and onions in that hand dug, rock lined cellar and it was about 8 feet under ground with a covered entrance door, with steps, like Dorothy's family went down into in the movie "The Wizard Of Oz." It also had a bolted on ground level slightly slanted wood roof over it. I watched the tornado come down a ridge and it got within 100 yards of us and lifted and went right over top of us and set back down about 300 yards beyond our farm. It laid waste to about 12 miles of everything in it's path. The Lord was with us and it spared us, our house, and all our out-buildings. It dropped trash all over our 40 acre farm. Wish I had one now.

Pop Pop
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carlojohn90
Junior Member

227 Posts

Posted - September 26 2016 :  5:59:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm in the process designing an in home shelter. It's not going to be cheap nor is going to be very big. I plan on putting mine beneath a staircase, directly on the slab. FEMA provides a lot of good information, but cost and size wise, their recommendations leave something to be desired. I would specifically check out youtube to see how others have solved this problem.
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Arvinator
Advanced Member

USA
5252 Posts

Posted - September 26 2016 :  8:58:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
House is already built but we have a am/fm radio, and a handcrank power radio in the bag along with spare batteries, flashlight and when the time comes stuff a few bottles of water & food/snack items. Since its near my brick out building, I am planning on running a radio speaker and small lamp if I can get it. I figure with a few items to try to make it comfortable, it will be better than hiding in a hallway. I'm known to have plans and practice them. A axe, small prybar, whistle, and anything I can think of that will not hog up space will be stored there.

Be honest, fair, and always prepared...
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wolfgang2000
Advanced Member

USA
3742 Posts

Posted - September 27 2016 :  7:15:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm sure you can make it comfortable enough for you and yours. You might consider a bug/weather proof container left into the shelter, with necessary items. Also a battery powered fan can help move the air some.

carlojohn90, My house has a U foot print. I slab roof one side of the U. It's basically a spare bedroom. There is also a full bath under that roof. Doing that wasn't cheap, but well worth it.

After I built someone came up with the idea of putting the shelter under the garage. You have to put a slab there anyway. Just food for thought.

“The key is to hit them hard, hit them fast, and hit them repeatedly. The one shot stop is a unit of measurement not a tactical philosophy.” Evan Marshall
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Arvinator
Advanced Member

USA
5252 Posts

Posted - October 05 2016 :  6:45:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ordered a concrete shelter. Looks like a small bunker. Will dress it up with comfy folding chairs, a small lamp and fan to use till the power goes out then the battery backups will be there in the grab bag set up with pet food, meds, first aid, insurance papers, etc. also told the guy installing it want a way to brace to it cannot be opened from the outside without much effort if we secure it, and a plan to get out if trapped.

Not the Hilton but it will be ours...

Be honest, fair, and always prepared...
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wolfgang2000
Advanced Member

USA
3742 Posts

Posted - October 06 2016 :  1:58:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds like a plan.

“The key is to hit them hard, hit them fast, and hit them repeatedly. The one shot stop is a unit of measurement not a tactical philosophy.” Evan Marshall
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