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Posted: 5/1/2011 4:40:19 PM EDT
Nothing like a good disaster to make you realize your pants are down. Luckily, we received no damage, but the open layout of my house does not lend itself to a good hidey hole. Also, seeing homes removed to the slab, doesn't make the closet seem very safe.

My lot and location makes the in garage floor model of shelter the bet option. I understand the risk of debris, but it is a drawback I'm willing to accept.

I'm about to start getting estimates on installation. Any advice from those that own or owned one, or just generally knowledgeable people?
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 4:53:53 PM EDT
My mom had one installed a few years ago at her house. Unfortunately she didn't talk to me about it first.Hers is the only one I have any experiance with, based on it I would not get one. Hers is mounted with wedge type concrete anchors to her garage floor. It takes a hell of a lot less force to remove one of these anchors than it does to flip a mobile home. The sheer force on the anchors themselves is probably sufficent, however they are just to easy to pull out, when compared to tornado force winds.

If you have them cut the floor out and dig piers for the anchors and poor in J-bolts I would have a lot more faith in the thing staying put. But a wedge anchor in a 4" thick concrete floor is not strong enough for me to be comfortable with.
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 5:08:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/1/2011 5:30:25 PM EDT by molar]
Originally Posted By EXCATM76:
My mom had one installed a few years ago at her house. Unfortunately she didn't talk to me about it first.Hers is the only one I have any experiance with, based on it I would not get one. Hers is mounted with wedge type concrete anchors to her garage floor. It takes a hell of a lot less force to remove one of these anchors than it does to flip a mobile home. The sheer force on the anchors themselves is probably sufficent, however they are just to easy to pull out, when compared to tornado force winds.

If you have them cut the floor out and dig piers for the anchors and poor in J-bolts I would have a lot more faith in the thing staying put. But a wedge anchor in a 4" thick concrete floor is not strong enough for me to be comfortable with.


I am scheduled to have a 10 person steel shelter installed in a few weeks.  6200 total.  Fiberglass shelters are less.

From what I understand, when they dig out for the shelter, they leave 6 inches on all sides and backfill with concrete, which locks the shelter in place.(most of the shelters have a couple of v-crimps on both sides that allow the concrete to flow around and lock it in place)  I am sure the anchors are just additional reinforcement.
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 5:16:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/1/2011 5:17:23 PM EDT by snakeshooter1]
I have seen a tornado remove the pavement from a road.  The only place that is safe is 2 foot or more underground.  I forget where i read the two foot requirement. Might have been Utah Shelter Systems website.  But anything above ground is gone if hit by an ef5. Edit for spelling
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 5:23:51 PM EDT



Originally Posted By snakeshooter1:


I have seen a tornado remove the pavement from a road.








 
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 5:29:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TexasSheepdog:

Originally Posted By snakeshooter1:
I have seen a tornado remove the pavement from a road.



 


yeah about 1/4 mile wide strip gone where it crossed the highway. It just plowed through everything there.  Left a lasting impression on me.
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 5:33:05 PM EDT
since I live in the "low country" I was thinking about 3 ft in the dirt 4 ft above and covered with earth, filled block construction on a 3" pad and concrete top.
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 5:39:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By snakeshooter1:
I have seen a tornado remove the pavement from a road.  The only place that is safe is 2 foot or more underground.  I forget where i read the two foot requirement. Might have been Utah Shelter Systems website.  But anything above ground is gone if hit by an ef5. Edit for spelling


There have been hundreds, if not thousands, here that are partially exposed and survived just fine.  It's all about how it's anchored into the ground.  Most roads are not anchored well, if at all.

Also, for those wondering about above ground rooms, take a look at oz safe rooms.  They have videos where they lift a car w/ a crane and drop it on the structure and it survives just fine.
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 5:45:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/1/2011 5:47:43 PM EDT by EXCATM76]
Originally Posted By molar:
Originally Posted By EXCATM76:
My mom had one installed a few years ago at her house. Unfortunately she didn't talk to me about it first.Hers is the only one I have any experiance with, based on it I would not get one. Hers is mounted with wedge type concrete anchors to her garage floor. It takes a hell of a lot less force to remove one of these anchors than it does to flip a mobile home. The sheer force on the anchors themselves is probably sufficent, however they are just to easy to pull out, when compared to tornado force winds.

If you have them cut the floor out and dig piers for the anchors and poor in J-bolts I would have a lot more faith in the thing staying put. But a wedge anchor in a 4" thick concrete floor is not strong enough for me to be comfortable with.


I am scheduled to have a 10 person steel shelter installed in a few weeks.  6200 total.  Fiberglass shelters are less.

From what I understand, when they dig out for the shelter, they leave 6 inches on all sides and backfill with concrete, which locks the shelter in place.(most of the shelters have a couple of v-crimps on both sides that allow the concrete to flow around and lock it in place)  I am sure the anchors are just additional reinforcement.


I don't know anythng about the shelter you are havng put in. However the one put into my mothers garage was placed on the floor and bolted down, thats it. As to a 6" backfill being enough to hold down a shelter during a tornado, not enoough weight in my opinion, unless the new concrete is tied into a foundation or existing slab via rebar. Even then I wouldn't feel comfortable. Have you ever seen the kind of weight thoose winds can pick up via suction? I'd persoannally prefer a 12"x24"deep footing tied into the concrete going around the shelter via rebar.

Link Posted: 5/1/2011 5:52:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cacinok:
Originally Posted By snakeshooter1:
I have seen a tornado remove the pavement from a road.  The only place that is safe is 2 foot or more underground.  I forget where i read the two foot requirement. Might have been Utah Shelter Systems website.  But anything above ground is gone if hit by an ef5. Edit for spelling


There have been hundreds, if not thousands, here that are partially exposed and survived just fine.  It's all about how it's anchored into the ground.  Most roads are not anchored well, if at all.

Also, for those wondering about above ground rooms, take a look at oz safe rooms.  They have videos where they lift a car w/ a crane and drop it on the structure and it survives just fine.
 You do realize there is a rating system for tornado's all of them are not the same in force.  But hey each person has to do what they feel is right.  If you trust an above ground shelter more power to you.  Twisted pieces of I beam and concrete  buildings gone to the slab just makes me want to be below ground.  I have also seen tornadoes not even blow away an unsecured single wide mobile home.  It was picked up turned 1/2 around and almost set back totally on the blocks.  But  I believe in over kill anyway. So I will be the mole underground .  I hope none of us here ever get hit by one anyway.

Link Posted: 5/1/2011 6:03:03 PM EDT
When we built a few years ago, we had an above-ground shelter built into the garage based on FEMA plans that came out of wind research done at Texas Tech.  It is rated for an EF-5, I hope I never have to test that rating.  Basically they dug about 6 feet or so DOWN when doing the slab and had a whole ton of rebar coming up, and cement in the whole.  Then they use cinder blocks and run rebar through all the vertical holes, and up across the roof of the shelter, then pour a thick concrete roof where the concrete also fills all the reinforced cavities in the cinder blocks.  Big ass heavy steel door with 4 big deadbolts to get in.  



It's only 4x6 or so, but it's big enough for the family and a couple of go bags.  




I want to say that added about 5k to the house costs, which I thought was reasonable.  We've actually been in it once when a moderate tornado passed overhead and did mild damage to the neighborhood... can't tell you how nice it was to KNOW the family was going to be ok.
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 6:05:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/1/2011 6:08:13 PM EDT by EXPY37]
Originally Posted By rusteerooster:
since I live in the "low country" I was thinking about 3 ft in the dirt 4 ft above and covered with earth, filled block construction on a 3" pad and concrete top.


Rusty, I haven't thought this out well, but you might consider a big poly cistern of about 1200 gallons with 2 man holes and scoop out a base and backfill dirt as you described.

It would be cramped and uncomfortable but better than nothing and inexpensive.

You would definately want to keep one or two of the H-F long stroke hydraulic jacks and some blocking, etc inside in case debris landed on one or both of the entrances and blocked them.

Some RR ties with steel cables thru them would give added protection from something piercing the top.

Link Posted: 5/1/2011 6:09:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EXCATM76:
Have you ever seen the kind of weight thoose winds can pick up via suction?


I am more worried about the winds than the suction in a small structure like what you are talking about. Even a perfect suck is only 14.7 PSI and I doubt a tornado is more than a few psi at worst as far as suction goes. I might be wrong about the magnitude of the suck, but the winds are what would bother me.
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 6:21:17 PM EDT
I have similar concerns since it appears that we may move to Florida and will be in need of some sort of protection from hurricanes and other severe storms.  If all or most homes are built on concrete pads, what can you do beyond huddle in your bathroom and hope for the best????????
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 6:29:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EXPY37:
Originally Posted By rusteerooster:
since I live in the "low country" I was thinking about 3 ft in the dirt 4 ft above and covered with earth, filled block construction on a 3" pad and concrete top.


Rusty, I haven't thought this out well, but you might consider a big poly cistern of about 1200 gallons with 2 man holes and scoop out a base and backfill dirt as you described.

It would be cramped and uncomfortable but better than nothing and inexpensive.

You would definately want to keep one or two of the H-F long stroke hydraulic jacks and some blocking, etc inside in case debris landed on one or both of the entrances and blocked them.

Some RR ties with steel cables thru them would give added protection from something piercing the top.



I have 500 8" block and a neighbor has a track hoe and cement mixer, Other than the cost of the portland, sand and rock I think I can build the shelter on the cheap, also a "hatch" will be an issue since we have 5 dogs and an 84 yo MIL .
The only thing I haven't figured out is a door and ventilation.

BTW: water level here is pretty high, I would be concerned about a poly cistern floating up.
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 6:31:10 PM EDT



Originally Posted By EXCATM76:



Originally Posted By molar:


Originally Posted By EXCATM76:

My mom had one installed a few years ago at her house. Unfortunately she didn't talk to me about it first.Hers is the only one I have any experiance with, based on it I would not get one. Hers is mounted with wedge type concrete anchors to her garage floor. It takes a hell of a lot less force to remove one of these anchors than it does to flip a mobile home. The sheer force on the anchors themselves is probably sufficent, however they are just to easy to pull out, when compared to tornado force winds.



If you have them cut the floor out and dig piers for the anchors and poor in J-bolts I would have a lot more faith in the thing staying put. But a wedge anchor in a 4" thick concrete floor is not strong enough for me to be comfortable with.




I am scheduled to have a 10 person steel shelter installed in a few weeks.  6200 total.  Fiberglass shelters are less.



From what I understand, when they dig out for the shelter, they leave 6 inches on all sides and backfill with concrete, which locks the shelter in place.(most of the shelters have a couple of v-crimps on both sides that allow the concrete to flow around and lock it in place)  I am sure the anchors are just additional reinforcement.




I don't know anythng about the shelter you are havng put in. However the one put into my mothers garage was placed on the floor and bolted down, thats it. As to a 6" backfill being enough to hold down a shelter during a tornado, not enoough weight in my opinion, unless the new concrete is tied into a foundation or existing slab via rebar. Even then I wouldn't feel comfortable. Have you ever seen the kind of weight thoose winds can pick up via suction? I'd persoannally prefer a 12"x24"deep footing tied into the concrete going around the shelter via rebar.





I think you're getting confused.



I think Molar is having an underground shelter installed.  The installer will dig a hole 6" wider than the shelter and backfill that with concrete instead of dirt.



 
Link Posted: 5/1/2011 6:36:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By HuttoAg96:
When we built a few years ago, we had an above-ground shelter built into the garage based on FEMA plans that came out of wind research done at Texas Tech.  It is rated for an EF-5, I hope I never have to test that rating.  Basically they dug about 6 feet or so DOWN when doing the slab and had a whole ton of rebar coming up, and cement in the whole.  Then they use cinder blocks and run rebar through all the vertical holes, and up across the roof of the shelter, then pour a thick concrete roof where the concrete also fills all the reinforced cavities in the cinder blocks.  Big ass heavy steel door with 4 big deadbolts to get in.  

It's only 4x6 or so, but it's big enough for the family and a couple of go bags.  

I want to say that added about 5k to the house costs, which I thought was reasonable.  We've actually been in it once when a moderate tornado passed overhead and did mild damage to the neighborhood... can't tell you how nice it was to KNOW the family was going to be ok.
Now this might be an option for me.  It was poured at the same time as the slab?

Link Posted: 5/1/2011 6:48:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/1/2011 6:50:53 PM EDT by Cacinok]
Originally Posted By snakeshooter1:
Originally Posted By Cacinok:
Originally Posted By snakeshooter1:
I have seen a tornado remove the pavement from a road.  The only place that is safe is 2 foot or more underground.  I forget where i read the two foot requirement. Might have been Utah Shelter Systems website.  But anything above ground is gone if hit by an ef5. Edit for spelling


There have been hundreds, if not thousands, here that are partially exposed and survived just fine.  It's all about how it's anchored into the ground.  Most roads are not anchored well, if at all.

Also, for those wondering about above ground rooms, take a look at oz safe rooms.  They have videos where they lift a car w/ a crane and drop it on the structure and it survives just fine.
 You do realize there is a rating system for tornado's all of them are not the same in force.  But hey each person has to do what they feel is right.  If you trust an above ground shelter more power to you.  Twisted pieces of I beam and concrete  buildings gone to the slab just makes me want to be below ground.  I have also seen tornadoes not even blow away an unsecured single wide mobile home.  It was picked up turned 1/2 around and almost set back totally on the blocks.  But  I believe in over kill anyway. So I will be the mole underground .  I hope none of us here ever get hit by one anyway.



Oh no kidding.  Never heard of tornadoes or EF scales here in Oklahoma.  I don't post info about tornado shelters b/c I've read about them on the web.  I post b/c I've driven through neighborhoods after the devastation and seen what survives.  I also have friends who have survived the devastation in the types of shelters I've mentioned - they specifically survived the May 99 F5 that hit Oklahoma w/ 318 mph winds.

Link Posted: 5/1/2011 7:27:09 PM EDT
I think this is what molar and I are looking at putting in. Molar, thanks for putting a price on the unit.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 6:16:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By blwngazkit:

Originally Posted By EXCATM76:
Originally Posted By molar:
Originally Posted By EXCATM76:
My mom had one installed a few years ago at her house. Unfortunately she didn't talk to me about it first.Hers is the only one I have any experiance with, based on it I would not get one. Hers is mounted with wedge type concrete anchors to her garage floor. It takes a hell of a lot less force to remove one of these anchors than it does to flip a mobile home. The sheer force on the anchors themselves is probably sufficent, however they are just to easy to pull out, when compared to tornado force winds.

If you have them cut the floor out and dig piers for the anchors and poor in J-bolts I would have a lot more faith in the thing staying put. But a wedge anchor in a 4" thick concrete floor is not strong enough for me to be comfortable with.


I am scheduled to have a 10 person steel shelter installed in a few weeks.  6200 total.  Fiberglass shelters are less.

From what I understand, when they dig out for the shelter, they leave 6 inches on all sides and backfill with concrete, which locks the shelter in place.(most of the shelters have a couple of v-crimps on both sides that allow the concrete to flow around and lock it in place)  I am sure the anchors are just additional reinforcement.


I don't know anythng about the shelter you are havng put in. However the one put into my mothers garage was placed on the floor and bolted down, thats it. As to a 6" backfill being enough to hold down a shelter during a tornado, not enoough weight in my opinion, unless the new concrete is tied into a foundation or existing slab via rebar. Even then I wouldn't feel comfortable. Have you ever seen the kind of weight thoose winds can pick up via suction? I'd persoannally prefer a 12"x24"deep footing tied into the concrete going around the shelter via rebar.


I think you're getting confused.

I think Molar is having an underground shelter installed.  The installer will dig a hole 6" wider than the shelter and backfill that with concrete instead of dirt.
 


Yes, it is an underground shelter.  Body is 10 gauge steel.  It has two doors, each 1/4" steel.  FEMA F5 rated and impact tested at Texas Tech.
Dimensiona are 7ft long, 5ft deep, and 5.5 ft wide.  They excavate below the garage floor, set and level the unit, backfill with 6 in of concrete.  After the concrete sets, additional anchors are driven into the concrete through the sides of the shelter.

I'm not too concerned with debris blocking exit from tjhe shelter.  For light debris, the hand winch that comes with the shelter will work.  If the whole house is sitting on top of the shelter, someone will dig me out at some point.  I will have enough supplies to last 3-5 days and a personal locator beacon.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 6:39:12 AM EDT
Molar, who makes that in ground shelter?    Website?  Thx  
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 7:33:10 AM EDT
I once built one under a garage, and poured 12" of reinforced crete on top as part of the garage floor.  Sides were filled concrete blocks with rebar, door is one hour fire rated steel security door with a bolt on the inside.  I butted one end of the underground shelter up against the basement wall and cut a door into the basement.

It's just about everything proof, with the exception of flooding.  The house was on top of a good sized hill, so i don't think that was an issue.

Rusty, run two 4" diameter PVC pipes for your ventilation, put a 180* ell on top of each one, and run one all the way to the floor, the other near the ceiling and have them about 10' or more apart where they break out of the ground.  Hook a bathroom exhaust fan inside the shelter to the high one, and control it with a humidistat.  You'll get a good flow thru the shelter and it will help with moisture/condensation.

Ops
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 8:00:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Evil_Donkey:
Molar, who makes that in ground shelter?    Website?  Thx  


www.groundzeroshelters.com

They make them in OK . Installers are listed on the site.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 9:27:22 AM EDT



Originally Posted By clivus:


I think this is what molar and I are looking at putting in. Molar, thanks for putting a price on the unit.

http://www.smartsafeshelters.com/img/frontShow/nfs02.jpg


Interesting. Would be handy to double-duty as an oil change pit.



 
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 10:14:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 11:04:39 AM EDT
You can also alert your local fire dept, and police. We have been given sketches and locations of shelters by home owners for the event of a total collapse or debris field we can locate the shelter and help remove those inside. My grandmother has one of those in her garage. I think she only paid around 3k installed. But that was about ten years ago. One thing to think about is how your utilities are ran. I happen to have  a sewer drain running below my side of the garage floor preventing me from putting one on that side.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 11:11:57 AM EDT
ARFCOM, get out of my head!!!! I was logging on to start a thread about this subject. I am moving to Tulsa, and an in garage model is basically the only option. Thanks for the info.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 12:41:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Just want to mention guys, there's a reason why the farmers built the old shelters out in the open away from structures.  It reduced the odds of you being buried by debris in your shelter.   Also worth mentioning, being able to use your shelter as a root cellar is always a good idea.  Something you use often helps with the cost of the project.

Tj


That is not entirely true.  The F4 that came through my county last Wednesday wiped several homes off their foundation.  The debris fileld was hundred of yards.  The only place that was free of debris was the concrete slab the house sat on.

Also, I want the shelter as close to my main liiving quarters as possible.  I don't want to have to track across the yard in a hailstorm and hope that I reach the shelter in time.  One of my employees had a tornado come through their backyard last Wed.  She said that from the time she heard the freight train sound, she had about 15-20 seconds to take cover.  She barely made it to their basement.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 1:36:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By molar:
Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Just want to mention guys, there's a reason why the farmers built the old shelters out in the open away from structures.  It reduced the odds of you being buried by debris in your shelter.   Also worth mentioning, being able to use your shelter as a root cellar is always a good idea.  Something you use often helps with the cost of the project.

Tj


That is not entirely true.  The F4 that came through my county last Wednesday wiped several homes off their foundation.  The debris fileld was hundred of yards.  The only place that was free of debris was the concrete slab the house sat on.

Also, I want the shelter as close to my main liiving quarters as possible.  I don't want to have to track across the yard in a hailstorm and hope that I reach the shelter in time.  One of my employees had a tornado come through their backyard last Wed.  She said that from the time she heard the freight train sound, she had about 15-20 seconds to take cover.  She barely made it to their basement.


Nothing is absolute. But most EF3 and below with a direct hit on a house is probably going to leave most of the structure to collapse upon itself. Being buried under house debris is a very real concern. Its why some shelters are build with a second escape hatch, some come with 6000lb jacks installed to open the doors, and a good number are built seperate from the house. It also why FEMA requires all above ground shelter doors to swing inwards rather than outwards to avoid debris.

Anyone interested in installing one of the flat panel garage door units should check with their city. Some municipalities have restricted installations of these due to potential for harmful liquids spilling and seeping down into the shelter. It would suck to be roasted alive in one
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 2:39:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Just want to mention guys, there's a reason why the farmers built the old shelters out in the open away from structures.  It reduced the odds of you being buried by debris in your shelter.  

Also worth mentioning, being able to use your shelter as a root cellar is always a good idea.  Something you use often helps with the cost of the project.

Tj


My parents had one by one of their homes in OK. It was one of the old Storm Cellars with a Wood Door. We always kept an axe in the cellar in case we needed to chop away at the door door to get out if it was covered by debris.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 4:46:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By blwngazkit:

Originally Posted By EXCATM76:
Originally Posted By molar:
Originally Posted By EXCATM76:
My mom had one installed a few years ago at her house. Unfortunately she didn't talk to me about it first.Hers is the only one I have any experiance with, based on it I would not get one. Hers is mounted with wedge type concrete anchors to her garage floor. It takes a hell of a lot less force to remove one of these anchors than it does to flip a mobile home. The sheer force on the anchors themselves is probably sufficent, however they are just to easy to pull out, when compared to tornado force winds.

If you have them cut the floor out and dig piers for the anchors and poor in J-bolts I would have a lot more faith in the thing staying put. But a wedge anchor in a 4" thick concrete floor is not strong enough for me to be comfortable with.


I am scheduled to have a 10 person steel shelter installed in a few weeks.  6200 total.  Fiberglass shelters are less.

From what I understand, when they dig out for the shelter, they leave 6 inches on all sides and backfill with concrete, which locks the shelter in place.(most of the shelters have a couple of v-crimps on both sides that allow the concrete to flow around and lock it in place)  I am sure the anchors are just additional reinforcement.


I don't know anythng about the shelter you are havng put in. However the one put into my mothers garage was placed on the floor and bolted down, thats it. As to a 6" backfill being enough to hold down a shelter during a tornado, not enoough weight in my opinion, unless the new concrete is tied into a foundation or existing slab via rebar. Even then I wouldn't feel comfortable. Have you ever seen the kind of weight thoose winds can pick up via suction? I'd persoannally prefer a 12"x24"deep footing tied into the concrete going around the shelter via rebar.


I think you're getting confused.

I think Molar is having an underground shelter installed.  The installer will dig a hole 6" wider than the shelter and backfill that with concrete instead of dirt.
 


Since he is quoting me referencing an above ground shelter, I'd say he is the one confused.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 4:51:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2011 4:53:16 PM EDT by ED_P]
If you don't have a nice gun safe, I would think you could make it a semi-hard gun vault as well, whether you go cheap and just get a steel door, or pricey and get a vault door.

And if you already have a safe, put it inside the shelter/vault during construction.

The only thing to consider is you want quick access for use as a shelter.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 4:58:28 PM EDT
Got two quotes today. This one from Ground Zero "The 6-8 person shelter is $5400 installed and the 10-12 person shelter is $6200 installed."
Smart Safe has a small 6 person for $4500 installed. I'll probably get that one.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 5:16:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By clivus:
Got two quotes today. This one from Ground Zero "The 6-8 person shelter is $5400 installed and the 10-12 person shelter is $6200 installed."
Smart Safe has a small 6 person for $4500 installed. I'll probably get that one.


If you can swing it, I would go with the larger shelter.  My wife and I were thinking of going with the smaller one, but then realized we would need to store lots of things in it.  A 3 day supply of water, MRE's, flashlight, lantern, weather radio, extra batteries, toys for the kids, formula, diapers, wipes, blankets and sleeping bags for every member of the family, first aid kit, small pistol safe with glock, ammo, and cash, etc. take up alot of room.  We also thought about the possibility of familly being over when severe weather hit and needing the additional space.

Link Posted: 5/2/2011 5:41:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EXCATM76:
My mom had one installed a few years ago at her house. Unfortunately she didn't talk to me about it first.Hers is the only one I have any experiance with, based on it I would not get one. Hers is mounted with wedge type concrete anchors to her garage floor. It takes a hell of a lot less force to remove one of these anchors than it does to flip a mobile home. The sheer force on the anchors themselves is probably sufficent, however they are just to easy to pull out, when compared to tornado force winds.

If you have them cut the floor out and dig piers for the anchors and poor in J-bolts I would have a lot more faith in the thing staying put. But a wedge anchor in a 4" thick concrete floor is not strong enough for me to be comfortable with.
Wedge anchors are hella stronger than you would ever think. A 1/2" W.A. with a minimum of 2.25" of embedment will hold 6400-9000LBS of tension each and the shear strength is about equal. A 3/4" W.A. nearly doubles that so placing even 4 of these into the floor would be more than acceptable but I'm sure they have more. You also have the house as a wind shield at least until it blows away. If the wind can't get under it, it's nearly impossible to more. I worked in the commercial fabrication field and we hung 10,000lbs steel canopies off tilt up concrete building with 3/4" wedge anchors.

Don't get me wrong, you could always core drill and do some 1" J-bolts into concrete and then bolt it down for quadruple the holding force but really think that would be over kill myself.

Link Posted: 5/3/2011 3:44:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By snakeshooter1:
Originally Posted By TexasSheepdog:

Originally Posted By snakeshooter1:
I have seen a tornado remove the pavement from a road.



 


yeah about 1/4 mile wide strip gone where it crossed the highway. It just plowed through everything there.  Left a lasting impression on me.


It didn't remove all that it crossed over however there are chunks of asphalt and tar and gravel missing from some of our roads up here right now.  Maybe I should add more chunks missing than normal for this area...
Link Posted: 5/3/2011 9:53:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By hero2three:
You can also alert your local fire dept, and police. We have been given sketches and locations of shelters by home owners for the event of a total collapse or debris field we can locate the shelter and help remove those inside. My grandmother has one of those in her garage. I think she only paid around 3k installed. But that was about ten years ago. One thing to think about is how your utilities are ran. I happen to have  a sewer drain running below my side of the garage floor preventing me from putting one on that side.


If your slab is built with tension cables im not sure i'd let anyone cut thru them.   Already enough foundation issues here in texas!
C
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