Storm Shelter ?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Sandhills, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. Sandhills

    Sandhills Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone here built their own storm cellar?
    We are considering building a storm cellar out of the foam foundation block that you pour full of cement. My biggest concern is pouring the footings and the concrete floor. My husband thought we could pour a slab with rebar and then move it into palce for a roof and then fill over it with a foot or two of dirt. Our biggest problem is figuring out how to make stairs and the stairwell. Anyway I would appreciate any suggestions or if you know of any good books on the subject.
    Thanks
     
  2. This is a good one if you can find a copy--"Survival Shelters Construction Manual", published by M&M Engineering,RR 1 Box 2630, Arlington, VT. 05250. 1-802-375-9484. Mine was published in 1994 & I don't know if it's still available, but it has several different plans & pretty good instructions.
     

  3. BeeFree

    BeeFree Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My DH built a storm shelter. The shelter is about 5 x 10. It is under the back part of the garage and the entrance has a slanted door that closes. It has steps leading down into it. After building it, he then poured the garage floor and built the garage. He then added a carport around the garage. So the shelter is covered from rain. We have went to it during 3 tornados. Lucky for us the major damage was done at the back of our place not at the house.

    Check into the new concrete shelters that are for sale. Some states are offering a rebate to buy them and have them installed. They are really neat and have metal doors that seal closed.
     
  4. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Get a old road culvert that is big enough to sit in and bury it. use treated lumber for the ends and entry. Clean out and restock each spring.

    mikell
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Lifting a slab that size is going to take some heavy equipment. $$$. Have you thought of doing ferrocement? Maybe a dome?

    Also, look at Mike and Nancy Bubel's rootcellar book. Those rootcellars can make great storm cellars. The old folk used to only have one dual purpose cellar.
     
  6. Sandhills

    Sandhills Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. I will be looking up the books mentioned. I also found out FEMA has free plans, so I figure we'll send off for them.
    Cyngbaeld we have a JD 4320 tractor so I'm assuming it will have the power to move a slab into place. If not we could probably borrow one of the neighbors larger tractors. I hope to get this started before the end of the month. We've already had numerous severe storms pass through our area this year. It's turning out to be a bad year for storms. Probably the worst since we moved into our house 4 years ago.
     
  7. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I've been worrying over storm cellars since i moved here (2 years ago). I really worried over them last year, as it seemed like every day or so, there was another tornado headed right for me! :eek:

    I've considered all kinds of different possibilities, including installing a real live FEMA approved storm shelter, but (as of this week) I'll probably go with a root cellar kind of thing. Although that will likely change next week.

    The biggest problem is that it will likely fill with water and snakes :rolleyes: --- so I haven't quite figured out exactly how it's going to work. I want something, though. I just haven't figured out what.
     
  8. Sandhills

    Sandhills Well-Known Member

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    I just ordered Mike and Nancy Bubel's rootcellar book from half.com. Thanks
     
  9. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of people modifying septic tanks for this purpose. (A NEW one, of course). You can buy a 1000 gallon tank for $500-600, add a heavier and possibly wider lid/door, maybe a vent for comfort and some custom stairs or ladder. An hour or two with a backhoe and a load of gravel in the bottom then insert and cover.