Storm shelter?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Quiver0f10, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    We are looking at houses in NW AR and I notice a lot of them do not have basements, so what do I do @ storm shelter?

    I admit, I am a bit, well more than a bit, nervous about tornadoes. :eek: I have always lived in the north east and have never had to deal with this.
     
  2. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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    You learn where the nearest really sturdy building is, or make really good friends with someone with a storm shelter.

    You watch the weather radar VERY VERY much during storms that show where a probable, or seen tornado is....

    I live in a mobile home in the SE Tornado Alley, and do not have a shelter.... but I watch very carefully (hate those late at night storms), and I have two relatives close by that I go to their much sturdier houses if I think (from watching radar, the sky and listening to the trees and such) that the BAD part of the storm will come near me, I go over there.

    Inside closet with pillows and blankets around you, no outside wall hiding places.

    Angie
     

  3. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    there cheap enough to put in we have been looking into them double as a root cellar
     
  4. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How about burying a 20 ft container or one of those corrugated two hole yellow plastic septic tanks that Home Depot carries. If I used the septic tank I would bury it in a hillside with one end just poking out and a 4 inch pvc pipe for air exchange. You can see through the yellow plastic so you could see when the storm was over.

    Get a good NOAA radio.
     
  5. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    tornado winds i dont think i want my door screwed into plastic
     
  6. ericjeeper

    ericjeeper Well-Known Member

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    If you bury a plastic tank., you will need to makesure you have plenty of drainage away from the tank.via a tile and gravel or something similar
     
  7. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the ideas. I have looked around a little on the web and there are some plans available and DH did concrete for many years so that might be an option. Also, you can purchase one premade for not an unreasonable price. Not great, but with kids I'd feel safer having a shelter.
     
  8. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Many folks do just fine using a portion of their existing basement as a tornado shelter! I have one free-standing in my front yard and I'll go under the house first! It has electricity and a sump pump which keeps it dry, but more useful as a root celler for me.
     
  9. Old Vet

    Old Vet In Remembrance

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    In the mountains you don't need to worry about tornadoes as much as in the flat lands. I have been in 10 tornatoes in my life time and they are not fun. If you bury a Storm Shelter it will also become a root celler.. They are verry safe. Burry it close to the house so that you can get into it in about 2 minuits. That is about all the time you have. After you use it for about 3 times and nothing happens you get used to waiting it out.
     
  10. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    were in the mts. and they are more often then you think
     
  11. Old Vet

    Old Vet In Remembrance

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    I also live in the mountians (Sercy County, Ark). All the tornadoes that I have been in have been on flat land. I used to be in the National Guard and flew over many tornadoes in the past. The worst ones are on flat ground. The ones that are in the Mountians are only F0, F1, and F2. The ones on flat ground are F4 to F5.
    Mountians tend to have much less seveier ones that are on flat ground. Much of what you call a tornadoes in the mountians is straight winds that have a twist to them. All that I have seen in the mountians is a F0. That one broke over some trees but not much else. I have seen damaged houses and such but not the sever ones that are on flat land. They can kill you at anytime. But the ones on the mountians are less likely to do so than the ones on flat land.
     
  12. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Waited out our recent (missed me by 10-30 miles) tornado in DH's closet (mine has a window) with a few books, cell phone, and trying to convince cats and visiting neighbor dog in with me. Normal(?) house built into hill on concrete block foundation; DH thinks we should go in garage/basement under main floor but it has windows so I disagree. Have a pit under porch but open at top...

    This house hit by tornado 2 years ago.

    When we lived in TX we realised they don't have cellars for tornados because they'd all be full of water in tornado season, at least in the houses we lived in.
     
  13. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I have on several occasions after watching the radars both local and national see which way the Storm is headed and how big it is and if possible, which has been many times, I go on A Road Trip, And Drive Around the Storm even if it means driving for an hour or 2 and even if it IS IN the middle of the night~!!!!
     
  14. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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    I also have it on good authority (via my parents doing this 1973)
    that you can get motivated to get UNDER a bulldozer, and with the blade down facing the oncoming weather - you can make it.

    This was during the 100 tornado night back then. Took part of the house, a big metal shed, and smoke house and an old barn... but they were okay and fortunately the house was only a little damaged.

    Angie
     
  15. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    You can use them as root cellars and cool storage when you are hiding in them shaking in your shoes.

    I am hoping that when we move to the homestead we can get one installed fairly soon. The area has no history of tornado action, but you can't be too careful, that's my motto.

    donsgal
     
  16. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I think they have more chance to get up to speed on flat land. Although in the mountains they can touch down "here and there" and bounce around causing some damage. But I think for the really awful ones, if you were to do some in-depth research, are all mostly on flat land.

    You might recall the one they had in Pierce City, MO in 2003 which all but destroyed the town. Now Pierce City is not what you would consider to be in a "flat" area, and it just so happened that the tornado just touched down there. (It touched down in Battlefield, MO, on the way and tore up some farms). But it was only on the ground for a matter of seconds and then gone. It did not cut a swath. Just touched down, and bounced back up again. The tornado they had in north of Nixa, MO, in 2005 cut a pretty clean swath for about 12 miles or so, and it is much flatter land there.

    donsgal
     
  17. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Know it is a long way to drive, but a guy in Camden, TN has two fiberglass tanks for sale for $400 each. Each is about 8' or so in diameter and perhaps 12' long. Can be rolled onto a low-boy trailer. One option for them would be to bury it about one-third in the ground (with drainage), use about three mobile home straps with anchors on each side and then push up dirt on the sides. Not a root cellar, but with a bit of work might make a dandy kids playhouse.

    I live in a mobile home in a shallow valley opening to the southwest. Some elderly neighbors have lived here all of their lives and don't remember a tornado (some wind shear damage though). About 50 yards away is a 3' diameter concrete pipe running under the road. That is my intended shelter if not heavily raining. If so, then my shelter would be strapped into my flatbed farm truck.

    Might an option be to acquire an old car, set on concrete blocks and use mobile home strapping and anchors in front of the windshield and behind the rear window?
     
  18. faithgoeson

    faithgoeson Active Member

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    Well, since Bentonville, Ark. got hit repeatedly last year--I'd be looking into one of those premade storm shelters if I could afford one. My sister survived all of the tornadoes there last year just holed up in her bathroom, but nearly got scared to death. If the tornadoes had made it to her street, they surely would not have survived. The doors and windows all blew out more than once on them. I'd seriously consider something better than that. I don't know why our homes in the Ozarks don't have basements. It is the strangest thing since we do have so much bad weather. My family holed up in the shower last spring when all our windows got blown out. I don't think we would have survived the tornado any closer than it was. We're moving to an old farm house with a cellar soon, praise God. No more showers for us!
     
  19. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    I have been wondering the same thing. It doesn't make sense to me to not have a basement in tornado alley LOL. We are hoping to buy an older farm
    (with basement) and acreage. Otherwise the plan is one of those saferoom storm shelters installed either inside the house or garage. We have a large family so we need something that will fit us all.
     
  20. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

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    Statistically speaking, the danger of tornaodoes is vanishingly small even in tornado alley. I grew up in tornado country, did tornado drills in school, know all about watches and warnings...spent some 30 years there, and never so much as saw one. Closest I came was when one went through Murfreesboro in '96, but it was still miles from where I was.

    Point is, don't let the fear of a tornado rule your life. the fear is more destructive than the event for 99.999% of people. Worry about hiting the lottery, the odds are better. Plan, yes, but don't obsess over such an unlikely possibility. An inside closet is a good option even if one goes straight over you.

    Consider this: some 40,000 Americans a year are killed in car accidents, about the same number by guns (don't quibble numbers, that is in the ballpark.) How many die in tornados? Less than a hundred (again, that's ballpark. Do we really need to argue decimal places? Don't make me start citing sources. I did the google thing and that's all good data.)

    So, how much time do you spend worrying about getting shot or run over? By the numbers, you should be 400 times as worried about each of those possibilities.

    Just something to think about.