Storm shelters

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by nealtw, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Mar 4, 2012 #1

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Again we see people being killed by storms, we always see where people are hudled in a bathroom while the roof is lifted off the house. There has to be cheap ways to give most homes a safe place to hide and I can't believe schools and shopping centers blown down. I know the building code trys to address this but really. How much does it cost to bolt down a shipping container in the parking lot? How many people could squeese into a 50 foot container, safe from flying debre?
    I think we need a new forum dedicated to storm shelters.
    Neal :confused:
     
  2. Mar 5, 2012 #2

    paul52446m

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    That might come up with a lot of good reading and good ideas. There is really a need for storm shelters. I think it like a lot of other things, you think it will never happen to you.
    I know i look at that big oak tree in my back yard and i wounder if my floor would stop it if i was in my basement. Paul
     
  3. Mar 5, 2012 #3

    Dionysia

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    I often wonder why people don't still build the old-style storm cellars out in the yard. You can see them all over the place around here (NE Kansas) wherever there used to be an old house. The wooden doors are rotted off, but the cellar itself is usually sound, even after decades of neglect. They may not be glamorous, but they sure did work!
     
  4. Mar 5, 2012 #4

    oldognewtrick

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    A lot of the new, custom homes we work on are being built with "safe" rooms. We had a bad storm come through here Friday nite and the tornado that was west of town lifted and went over the area where we live. Really makes you think when you are looking down the barrel of some really big winds. Thank goodness we didn't have the damage around here they did in some other states. Prayers for those who suffered loss of life and their homes.
     
  5. Mar 5, 2012 #5

    nealtw

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    Oldog: Sounds like you had a close call. What do you have for a shelter? I would bet those old dug out shelters were root cellers and refridgeraters did away with that.
    I want to here from people who can garrentee their families safety because they did A, B, or C and maybe we can get more people thinking that it is important.
     
  6. Mar 5, 2012 #6

    JoeD

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    The old fashion storm cellars were probably actually root cellars used for storing the vegetables for winter use or winter ice for summer use. Now that we have modern refrigeration they are no longer needed for their original use.
     
  7. Mar 5, 2012 #7

    oldognewtrick

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    Neal, we just have a full basement and we were about 30 seconds away from heading there. The Mrs. has been sick in bed with the flu and she said if she was going to the basement I'd have to carry her...so we stayed upstairs and watched it on the TV.
     
  8. Mar 5, 2012 #8

    mudmixer

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    Most tornado related deaths are from projectiles.

    There is a FEMA design for a "Safe Cell" concept (many details and suggestions) over the past 20 years and is based on history and testing. Basically, it is a concrete or reinforced concrete block room with a NECESSARY concrete roof that can be built in a basement, used as a closet or bathroom or as a separate structure above or below grade. Wood is really inadequate unless the 3/4" plywood sheets (closely spaced studs) are laminated with steel plate to eliminate projectile penetration. The acceptance test is to prevent any penetration through the wall or roof by a 12' long 2x4 fired by an air canon at about 150 mph, so that explains why it took so long to come up with an unbuildable wood/steel system.

    Dick

    The standard is very good and give suggestions on on doors, door swing direction (into the safe cell), acceptable hardware (hinges, latches and number of each)and ventilation.

    Most are built in basements or for a slab on grade home they become a multi-use room (closet, bath, gun storage, etc.). The are commonly built into new homes in tornado-prone areas. They are created to protect from tornado winds (up to 250) and much stronger than hurricane winds (125-135) once they a landed on shore.

    Even a basement is not absolute protection from a tornado because of the extremely high winds. There were 2 children in the basement about 10 miles from here and they were sucked out through the walk-out end 50 feet away (one was drowned in a lake). If there was a safe cell, they would be alive today, but that is hind sight.

    Tornadoes can occur in many places other than Kansas (Wizard of OZ) or Oklahoma as everyone has seen. Even in MN, we had the most tornadoes in the country 2010 (115). They are unpredictable, form quikly and are unbeleivable strom and not like hurricanes that are predictable, so a near by safe area
     
  9. Mar 5, 2012 #9

    nealtw

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    Dick: I read those codes too and looked at the tests, there all great reads for people with the money to retofit the house. It looks like every new house should be built with concrete stairs to the basement or a rated door on the coldroom under the front concrete stairs. I bet those kids would have been safe in a knack tool box bolted to the floor.
    I want suggestions for oldog to build for under $1000 that he could brag to his neigbours about and may be add to his business.
     
  10. Mar 6, 2012 #10

    vette2020

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    I couldn't agree more. Especially with all the hurricanes the south east have faced within the past 7 years or so.
     
  11. Mar 6, 2012 #11

    nealtw

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    The Gulf must be hot this year so suspect it's going to be a bad year for storms. Code or not, I would be taking steps to protect the people in my house, anything is better than nothing.
     
  12. Mar 6, 2012 #12

    oldognewtrick

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    I keep forgetting that we have a spot under the front porch that I have stuffed with wheel barrows, an old air compressor, a tube we use to pull behind the boat, one of the big round coolers that you see in a convenience store, a refrigerator cart. Guess I just need to get rid of some junk and make a safe room. All I need is a door.
     
  13. Mar 6, 2012 #13

    nealtw

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    See how easy that way, all we had to do is talk about it. The door has specs. and don't forget the venting.
     
  14. Mar 16, 2012 #14

    nealtw

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    Oldog; Hows that door comming? I see more storms and houses lost with people hiding in basements.
     
  15. Mar 17, 2012 #15

    oldognewtrick

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    Been to busy working on other peoples storm damage lately to even begin to think about purging the stuff I have collected and am resistant to part with.
     
  16. Mar 17, 2012 #16

    mudmixer

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    neal -

    FEMA does not write codes, but the recommendations can be adopted by any authority. The most common use of the suggestions is for safe cells in a basement or a closet/bathroom because of the proximity to the living space.

    Apparently, you did not really look at the FEMA Safe Cell suggestions. It has nothing to do with with the minimum standard codes. It is for life safety and is well done according to the increasing number of homes now built with safe cells. It all depends what value you put on a life.

    I saw nothing it regarding concrete stairs or that it should be built below ground or under concrete stairs. The well founded details are very basic principals that can be applied to existing structures if the budget is limited. The details are very good and make sense. - For example, they say doors should open inward to allow people to get out because of debris and I have seen very few stairways where you can have room for an inward swing door under them unless you have a death wish. - Just a small detail.

    The important thing to consider is that most deaths from tornadoes are from projectiles and that is the reason to limit the construction to concrete or block reinforced at 8" on center or, after 10 year program and testing a wood wall (studs at 12" with 2 layers of 3/4" plywood and steel plate screwed to the studs for the walls and roof (or concrete roof) has finally been accepted. Many deaths come from vertical projectiles as a tornado ebbs, materials are dropped at the terminal velocity that can be as high as 250 mph.

    A tornado (up to 275 mph) is much stronger than a hurricane (about less than 120 mph after being on shore). Also, you never have time to run out for plywood for the windows.

    Dick
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  17. Mar 18, 2012 #17

    ibdribbles

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    Being from Florida, it's hard to get to the basement down here. They have conducted tests and improved building codes for NEW HOME for hurricane-proofing homes but the problem exists with retrofitting OLDER HOMES.
     
  18. Mar 19, 2012 #18

    nealtw

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    Dick; Thanks for the input and I wasn't triing to pick on Oldog, I was just triing to start a dicussion about these things, as I think somehow some of this stuff may be just as important as what colour carpet or how big crown molding. I get it that new houses have safe rooms and people with money can retro fit an older house. The problem I see is that DIYERS aren't asking what improvements they can make to protect their family.
    I think I can recall one posting a sizemic upgrades and none about huricane hangers or strap ties or anything for storm upgrades exept for windows.
     
  19. Apr 27, 2012 #19

    beckya

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    When all is said and done, Mother Nature is the only one who knows what is likely to happen and no matter the safety features we try to put into place, is she's gonna getcha, hang it up!
     
  20. Apr 27, 2012 #20

    CallMeVilla

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    Do you see the business opportunity here? A kit for retrofitting that meets specs could be licensed for local production by steel fabricators. (probably too expensive to ship) . . . OR, you could forget the profit motive and just make the design available online for free. What do you think?
     

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