Storm Cellars?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Dreams30, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    Well, after this past wonderful weekend, we have decided that we seriously need a storm cellar.

    I did a seach on past topics on these forums and found that others were looking at do-it-yourself plans and such.

    Did anyone follow through and build your own?

    Or know of a reputable company in the NE Texas area to install one?

    Let's hear how you did it.....or your best ideas on this topic
     
  2. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    We just had some work done on the driveway, & Dh mentioned that the people that did the work also install storm cellars. He doesn't know much about what kind or how much they charge, but I can get a name for you, if you want me to.
    Did y'all make it through the storm OK?
     

  3. jeffreyc256

    jeffreyc256 Well-Known Member

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    Let me ralate a sad story first. A couple of years back in Alabama an elderly lady was killed when a tree fell on her while she was in her storm cellar. Her house was untouched.......... If I were going to build a storm shelter I would never consider one outside the house. It always seems it is night time, short notice and raining so people dont go as often. I have a basement but have considered the problem before. For a house on a crawl space I would find a space in a hallway or other out of the way space and cut in a trap door. You can then dig out a simple square space just big enough for your family. I would pour the floor with 4 inches of concrete with steel dowels going in to 8 inch concrete block walls and tied to a 4 inch concrete ceiling with a steel door. simple concrete benches, light bulb, spare bulbs, plug for radio, flashlight. Everything stored in a airtight plastic trash can. No execess junk to draw bugs and spiders. Also a 4 inch PVC pipe through roof with removable cap from inside for airflow. If you do not have problems with groundwater the inside could be simply painted white for better light and to see critters. With water other precautions will have to be taken, write for suggestions. I would think a family of four could get by with a pit with inside dimensions of 6 foot x 8 foot x 6foot eight inches high. You can build a ladder to gain access. The key to me is if it is not convienient you wont use it.
    You can also look in the back of magazines like progressive farmer which have had ads for fiberglass balls for shelters. I do not know if they are modular to allow installation in a tight place. Good luck
     
  4. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are several ways to build a storm shelter. An earthen berm over some blocks, just a hole in the ground. I Know some people dug a hole, and put an old van in the hole. SHipping containers or even a big drainage tile.

    You can get fancy with the precast shelters as well.
     
  5. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    what happens when you are in a storm celler and you get flooded with 8 feet of water that can be scary
     
  6. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    You should register your shelter with the local authorities. That way they know to come looking for you. If the shelter is in the house and the house collapses you would be in the same predicament. Let someone know you have a shelter and if a storm comes through they will know to come looking for you. Also would help to let friends and relatives know as well. If they don't hear from you after the storm they can call someone.
     
  7. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    The tree that fell out here hit our neighbors garage but, everyone is ok. It could easily have come the other way and flattened our mobile home.

    OD, please do PM me that info.

    Mtman...that is something to think about but, we are looking to put it in the side of a hill. It should drain ok. I think what worries me is the thought of having concrete above me head but, I bet I get over it quick when I see the trees whipping around...
     
  8. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Use plenty of rebar in your cage and you won't have a problem.
     
  9. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

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    I dunno; if you're in a hurry a basement shelter would be ok-I have problems with gas leaks and fires, myself. I definitely want one; would like one of the old fashioned ones you see around farmsteads but they don't make 'em like that anymore. Would like to expand mine for root cellar and storage. Problem with shipping containers is they aren't really strong enough; only corners bear any kind of weight and you would have to pour concrete all around them and re-inforce the devil out of it before you did THAT. If someone comes up with a roomy, safe idea please, please share. Our one-room basement doesn't near cut it for us and we've had 2 close calls this year alone. Not usual. I think changing weather patterns are going to make things a little dicey for a long time...
     
  10. HiouchiDump

    HiouchiDump Well-Known Member

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    I can highly recommend F-5 Storm Shelters in LA. They make prefabricated storm shelters that they can drop in the ground in a day.

    http://www.f-5stormshelters.com/

    Feel free to PM me if you want more details.
     
  11. nobs

    nobs Well-Known Member

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    We live in SE Indiana and we built ours. It is above ground. 10x10x8. 10 inch concrete floor, 7 inch concrete roof. Concrete block walls filled with rebar and concrete. Ceiling is full of rebar and is concrete. I don't know how deep the footers are or even if that matters. Steel door. It also has electric ran to it so we can use for storage. We did get a permit to build it and it was inspected. Building inspector says a tank couldn't budge it! Oh how I hope he is right. We have never had to use it and I hope we never do. We want to build exterior walls around it and backfill with dirt and put a roof on it. It is hotter than blue blazes in there.
     
  12. poppy

    poppy Guest

    I was researching them on the web awhile back, and they sell concrete steps made into a shelter. Very heave reinforced concrete with a door in the side to enter. The statistics on what they would withstand was impressive. Probably not too good for old folks to get down and crawl in, but looked pretty safe for young people.