Featured diy-tornado safe room

Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by jimLE, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. jimLE

    jimLE Member

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    As others here, I not only live in tornado alley.but I also had one come to close for comfort.i finally ended up with the well needed materials needed to turn/convert the hall closet floor into a tornado safe room and stock it with a few items.only thing is, I didn't think of before and during pics. I'm using my smart phone. So I don't know if I can upload the after pictures or not.the closet walls are done with 1x6 or 1x8.the plywood is 3/4.i do need to go with a catchment for getting some of the item's out of there,just to make a lol more space in there IMG_20171030_090459.jpg IMG_20171030_090418.jpg IMG_20171030_090323.jpg

    IMG_20171030_090323.jpg IMG_20171030_090459.jpg
     
  2. Sentry18

    Sentry18 Moderator Staff Member

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    Good idea.

    I did something like that when we bought and remodeled our home some years back. Only I did it under the basement staircase. When the original owners built the house they placed a 6x6 post at each corner of the stair case set into the cement. I ran a sort of header to securely attach the posts together. I then used 2x6's to frame out the underside and to reinforce the steps then added numerous heavy duty foundation anchors. On the outside of the "room" I used 1x6's stacked tight and screwed into the studs, then I put up flat wire mesh before installing sheet-rock. On the inside I put in styrofoam insulation and then plywood. The door is a solid core exterior door with reinforced hinges and strike plate.
     

  3. RedBeard

    RedBeard aka. Red the Butcher

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    Thanks JimLE! Really cool. Is that built to a spec for tornadoes or did you just build what you knew would work?
     
  4. jimLE

    jimLE Member

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    Sounds like you did it up right sentry.

    Redbeard. I went with what I had on hand, and know what will work,up to a point. Seeing how my resources are limited.
     
  5. RedBeard

    RedBeard aka. Red the Butcher

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    Redness! Haha that's a first! I like it! Well it sounds like you will be safe in there. Thanks for posting it!
     
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  6. Sentry18

    Sentry18 Moderator Staff Member

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    I had the advantage of a clean slate (we gutted out the basement) and a brother in law that was just finishing his masters in engineering after being a architectural draftsman for several year. He advised that I needed something that would not fly away with the house if the blew away, would withstand the house collapsing on it and would withstand any flying debris circulating around the basement. We actually built it below his recommendations but I am still confident in it.
     
  7. jimLE

    jimLE Member

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    Any royal redness?lol
     
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  8. SheepdogPRS

    SheepdogPRS Newbie

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    Tornado safe rooms are built to stay even if the rest of the house gets completely blown away. They typically have deeper and thicker steel reinforced concrete foundations than the house and then steel reinforced concrete walls and ceiling. You can find the specs and reasons for them HERE.
    Wood frame and plywood is not strong enough to completely protect you.
     
  9. jimLE

    jimLE Member

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    That depends on the tornado,and how close gets to the home, buissnes or whatever.homes and other structures survived the tornado that touched down not to far from here. I do admit that was a EF2 tornado.and that it didn't go over each Structure.but yet each person must plan accordingly with their finacil situation.
     
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  10. TheLazyL

    TheLazyL Cowboy

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    Door swings into the room?
     
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  11. Sentry18

    Sentry18 Moderator Staff Member

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    It does. But it is also inside another small reinforced room which is both an entry way to the storm room under the stairs my man cave. It's all part of my overall safe space. ;)
     
  12. Sentry18

    Sentry18 Moderator Staff Member

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    That statement is dependent on where you live, what levels of Tornado you face, the geography of where you house sits, etc., etc. The local university's engineering department has built many storm shelters using reinforced wood that have proven themselves worthy of any weather we face. You don't need an MRAP if the bad guys are only shooting arrows at you and you don't need a $50,000 sub-basement shelter if you never get hit with EF5's.


    [​IMG]
     
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  13. jimLE

    jimLE Member

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    From the looks of the map. It looks like my hall closet is good as it needs to be until it comes to the door.its one of the older type doors.
     
  14. SheepdogPRS

    SheepdogPRS Newbie

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    How many EF5s does it take? Your map shows that they are possible over a large part of tornado alley and the eastern US. The question I ask is can it happen? Then you can build a shelter rated for EF5 within your budget. A below ground concrete block shelter with the walls and roof filled with concrete and steel reinforcing is much stronger in an EF5 than a closet with wood frame tied into the existing house.

    There has not been an earthquake larger than M7 in the Seattle area for over 200 years but 317 years ago the Cascadia Subduction Zone cause an M9+ earthquake that wiped out entire tribes of American Indians. Since that time we have built Concrete super highways, underground utilities and airports all over the area. When it lets loose over 1.5 million people will be trapped without transportation, water, food or sewers. It will take years to repair just the water and sewer lines so how many people will die? There is just no way to prepare for that disaster - which is why I left the area. There will be some effects where I am but those effects will only last days and not years.

    There is no reason to place yourself in danger, or remain in harms way unless you can protect yourself. Storm shelters have been used for centuries and we have learned how to make them work. You can lean from history or relive it.It is cheaper to learn from it.
     
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  15. Sentry18

    Sentry18 Moderator Staff Member

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    I could also have installed a long term nuclear fallout shelter built into a sub-basement, built an Arc in case it floods, hired a seismologist to determine my risk of tectonic plate shifts, installed a fire proof sprinkler system around my property, wear a parachute all day just in case, mount dual mini-guns in my attic with retractable gun ports in case of zombie attack, etc., etc., etc. but instead I opted to just use common sense in determining what my needs are and then took steps to meet then.
     
  16. jimLE

    jimLE Member

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    That ain't within my budget.and if it were. Then I'd already have what I'd consider to be a tornado safe home.instead of living in a rent home.
     
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  17. dademoss

    dademoss Supporting Member

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    If it's your time and God calls you home, nothing is going to stop that chain of events. In the meantime, we do what we can, and pray it's enough.
     
  18. Caribou

    Caribou Time Traveler Staff Member

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    I'm not worried about when God calls, I just want to avoid being put on speed dial.
     
  19. Sentry18

    Sentry18 Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay, I think I have my new shelter design figured out. ;)

    Screenshot-2017-10-30.png
     
  20. RedBeard

    RedBeard aka. Red the Butcher

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    Sounds good to me....
     
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