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Old 03-29-2012, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default Finally, a tornado shelter

After living in this house since 1987, I have finally got around to converting the space under the basement stairs into a workable tornado shelter.

I cleaned it out, installed an outlet and one of those bulb fixtures with a pull string. Now we can have lights and watch a little TV until the storm actually hits.

Some dry wall, some shelves and a couple of chairs from out on the deck and we're done.

We'll lay in some supplies in case we have to wait a day or two for someone to come dig us out.

About time, don't you think?
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:01 AM   #2
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We were visiting some old college buddies up in OK this past November and they had to show us their storm shelter. They had a company come in and put one in there garage.
it was a steel shelter with a sliding door. it was installed under the slab and you walked down into it. Probably 4' x 8' and about 5' deep. They had an emergency light/radio, a bench, a come-a-long (to open the door if something was against it) and some wine...

One of the things they did which impressed me was they registered it with the local authorities so they would not be stuck in there if the house collapsed around them during a storm.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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We don't really need a shelter here (not much in way of tornadoes). We just hook up the camper and head North when a hurricane comes our way...the ONLY good thing about a hurricane is that you have some warning when one comes.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:16 AM   #4
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One of the things they did which impressed me was they registered it with the local authorities so they would not be stuck in there if the house collapsed around them during a storm.
I don't know if the local authorities here would know what to do with a "storm shelter registration" but my brother, my mom, some friends down the street and at church all know about it. The friends down the street have no basement and have a standing invitation to join us should the need arise.

The thought occurred to me that a whistle or one of those portable horns might be a good thing to help rescuers find you under what's left of the house.

I'm setting it up to be comfortable (survivable?) in there for 3 days or better. Ready to eat food, water, radio, and.....a bucket with a lid.
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:49 PM   #5
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Wade, I hope that you never need it... When we were traveling up in north GA, AL and NC last summer, I saw an awful lot of the fiberglass ones or possibly metal also for sale. The type where you dig a hole, drop it in and cover it up in the back yard. Galen, we never seem to know where these things are going to hit anymore. There have been some huge ones in recent months where they had not been experienced before. Time and seasons are a changing. We get some smaller ones here, thankfully not too often. There were about 5 within a 125 mile radius of us a few weeks back. You are correct, they don't five you a lot of time to react. BTW Wade, did you put anything in the walls for re-enforcement?







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Old 03-31-2012, 08:18 PM   #6
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Wade, I hope that you never need it...

BTW Wade, did you put anything in the walls for re-enforcement?
I hope I don't either. The shelter is under the stairs that come from the first floor down into the basement. One wall is cinder block with earth fill behind it. The other is 2x4 with 1/2" plywood cover. There is no "ceiling" just the stairs, consisting of 4 stringers and the steps. The steps/stairs are "unfinshed" and made of 2x4 with plywood overlay. There is an open doorway from the furnace room into the space under the stairs.

So structurally were pretty good, and good from flying debris and projectile penetration. I am going to put some sheet rock in there, to help control the collection of dust and keep the place clean. Also if the house were taken out the sheet rock will help with dirt and insulation and so on raining down on us. And we can bust our way right through it if we needed to.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:03 AM   #7
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That sounds like it's constructed pretty well, especially under that stairway with 4 stringers. Good thinking on your part. Not bad for a self-described "Geek".

The Atlanta are, where you are, didn't used to get the number of tornadoes it's gotten in the past couple of years did it? It seems to me, what was once referred to as "Tornado Alley" (OK, north TX, KS, etc.) has taken a shift to the east and a little further south. Now covering parts of TN, north AL and north GA. I don't think AL and GA used to get those huge tornadoes that stayed on the ground so long as they do these days. Am I right? I wonder what the Wx Men attribute this to? The Gulf Stream? A lot of things changing in this old world.





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