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Old 02-07-2008, 03:18 PM
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
11,974 posts, read 25,486,476 times
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cellars are cheap to dig, and useful as storage space. An average one is probably 3 times the size of a closet. Unlike a basement, you don't have to worry about having debris (from upper floors) cave in on you. All of my family in rural Kentucky have one
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:18 PM
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,725 posts, read 10,137,749 times
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Default No matter what the cost, get a storm shelter.

Thanks, everybody, for this information. We live in a large brick home now in N GA built on a slab.

You would think that in a large house (too embarrassed to say how large...) that there would be someplace safe to be in a storm.

WRONGO! Every room has huge windows, every closet faces a large window. The only room without a window is a utility room with a gas water heater. Just where I want to be in a catastrophic storm - sitting on a gas bomb!

Our next house in TN will definitely have a storm shelter. This is the first house I have lived in without one and have never felt comfortable because of that.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:06 AM
Location: Tennessee
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We're looking into one made by Family Safe http://www.stormxshelters.com/home.html

Does anyone know which company makes the best?
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:10 AM
23,604 posts, read 70,446,439 times
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I've always been skeptical of those above ground shelters within a home, and one image I saw from this recent outbreak made me even more so. The steel underframe of a mobile home was shown tossed up and bent around itself. Those are made of 1/4" plate steel, formed into a girder shape strong enough for road transport and to serve as a structural support. The storm just bent it like a pretzel, just like it could bend steel formed into a safe room. Other photos from the storm show houses completely blown away, right down to the foundation, meaning, I guess, that even if it survived, the safe room could just go tumbling across the landscape once it was torn free.

My personal opinion of any above-ground "family safe" is that it might be better named a "family coffin." On the website you linked to, they show a 2 x 4 splintering against it to indicate strength. 2 x 4s are nothing. If you have ever worked with them you know how light they are and how easily they can split from even a large nail driven in near the end of the board. They do make a spectacular crash though... for those who forget that karate experts can break them and more with bare hands.

I wonder if the company would repeat the experiment with a more realistic 12" diameter, five hundred pound oak tree trunk flung sideways at 150mph? If it stood up to that, then I might reconsider.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:17 PM
28,803 posts, read 47,715,354 times
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Originally Posted by Suburban Family View Post
BUILD A SHELTER BELOW GROUND! Above ground shelters would probably fail in larger tornados. Most people are killed from the debris flying around. Will the above ground shelter be able to stop something heavy (large oak tree) moving at 200+ mph? It's just not worth the chance to find out.
Go below ground! Do it yourself or have a professional do it for you. Do not put it off. You need to protect yourself and your family. 2/5/08 should be a wake up call for everyone! Thank God that you're okay.
Not everyone can do this.

If you follow the guidelines as shown in the FEMA link posted you will be safe from flying debris. Personally, I believe in thick poured concrete walls and plenty of rebar tied to the basement floor.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:40 PM
Location: Cookeville, TN
129 posts, read 456,913 times
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Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
We are designing our retirement home for Fairfield Glade. Here is a portion of the basement.

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k315/Tek_Freek/SafeRoom.jpg (broken link)
Interesting design TekFreek...think I'd like to have wireless internet and a flat screen in it...just in case you have to be in it a while...A bath and a bed...very interesting....think I'll hang on to this for when we build our home.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:59 PM
28,803 posts, read 47,715,354 times
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Originally Posted by CookevilleWeatherGuy View Post
Interesting design TekFreek...think I'd like to have wireless internet and a flat screen in it...just in case you have to be in it a while...A bath and a bed...very interesting....think I'll hang on to this for when we build our home.
I'm still mulling over a couple of things: Since it's going to be a retirement home for us the doors should be (the main and bathroom doors are) wide enough for a wheelchair. Problem is the bathroom itself. No way a wheelchair will fit.

FEMA says to limit any stand-alone wall to 8'-0 max. I'm wondering if the wall that ties from the right to the left effectively breaks this wall into two eight foot segments. If not I'll need thicker concrete and more rebar. (Do you hear Tim the Tool Man in the background?)

Flat screen and wireless. Brilliant! Playing cards dice, board games, books, etc. Pantry is a must.

Been trying to figure out if the stool and sink should be a concern for flooding, and if so if it's possible to place a shut-off valve in the drain pipes for them. Stuffing rags in them doesn't work. I've known plenty that tried and no one made it work that I've seen.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 46Barb View Post
After having hid in a closet with 2 adults and 6 animals with tornado warnings, I need to do something. I've only been here 4 months from the new england and this is the worst kind of storm I've been through with fear of the unknown.

We are looking into buying a tornado shelter since we can't afford to move. does anyone have or know about these shelters?

Thank you for any info you can give us.
I have lived in tornado alley all my life. I have seen them up close and personal. I have seen the devastation, destruction and death that can come from one of these evils of nature. The very best experts in the field will tell you that below ground is the safest and the very best place to be. I would not waste the money nor place the safety of my friends, family and neighbors in harm's way by having something that is inadequate. I am not only alarmed, but extremely alarmed by the number of people in TN that think they could get by with something above ground. I do not say these things lightly. If you have an above ground shelter, you pray the finger of God does not touch your home. Take the money and take the time - an underground shelter is always the best. Don't forget to have a Weather Alert Radio.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:07 AM
Location: Beautiful East Tennessee
300 posts, read 1,456,225 times
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A friend of mine built a new house and had a basement dug because she had been in a tornado before and insisted a basement for that purpose be a part of their new home. Within a month of moving in, she out it to use. Her husband was at work, tornado warning came and she went to her basement. The house collapsed on top of her and she died.

Any place is about as safe or unsafe as any other in certain tornados. Basement steel shelters, etc. I have even seen the doors pulled off root cellars and the people sucked out. You just have to do what you can with what you have and hope for the best.

Tornados scare me to death since those that came through here in the early 70's. We had almost 50 strangers in our basement because we had the only basement in our neighborhood and we were all in there for several days.

As for me, if things go as hoped, we will be able to finish the root cellar we dig in the side of a hill. We are planning on a steel door and 90% of the cellar under ground. That will serve as our storm shelter. Like I said, IF things go as hoped.

I would think your chances in any of the shelters discussed so far are better than none. Just do what you can and pray.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:15 AM
16,177 posts, read 32,508,029 times
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This is a very interesting thread. It seems that an underground shelter might be the way to go. Although, I think to that one house in Florida that is still standing after the hurricane when all of the other homes around it were destroyed.

My parents house in Kingsport had an underground bomb shelter. It had an escape ladder in addition to the regular route of entrance and exit in case the main passageway was blocked. It was placed there in the early 60's; it had these two big pipes coming out of the ground for air to get below.

Today's things are so much more sophisticated, thank goodness.
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