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Old 05-07-2011, 10:58 PM
Ninjatastic Ninjatastic is offline
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Default Garage floor storm shelter



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After seeing the destruction left by the tornados in the south last week I have decided to invest in a storm shelter. Due to a small yard I cannot install an underground shelter away from the house. A "Saferoom" shelter is an option but I just don't trust a big metal box bolted into concrete. I have decided on the one installed in the garage floor with the sliding metal door.

http://www.takingshelter.com/garageshelters.html

It would have a vehicle parked over it however there is still room to get in without moving the vehicle. Best I can tell the vehicle acts like another measure of security in case of a roof collapse giving a small enough space to still crawl out of. I know that hazmat from vehicle fluid leaks is a possible problem. It has a come'along winch to open the door and I would keep a small hydraulic jack and a few short cut 4x4 pieces in it. What I was curious about is if anyone here has this type of shelter or is familiar with it and what are the pro's and con's.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:05 PM
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Interesting concept, thanks for sharing
Ned
Old 05-07-2011, 11:17 PM
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Not a bad idea but if you did get hit your exit could be blocked by debris. It's better then nothing and would work, but getting trapped inside would be my only worry.
Old 05-07-2011, 11:42 PM
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Our neighbor put one in a few years ago after the May 3rd tornado here. (It was a BIG one.) Oddly enough, they have not had a reason to use it since it was put in. I tease him that I wish he had spent that money years ago! lol However, I can tell you these things about it.

1. The stairs down into it are EXTREMELY steep. He wishes he had had them put a handrail on the outside edge of the stairs and made the steps a little wider. (The other edge is against the wall of the shelter.)

2. The "lid" has a raised lip that it fits over so there is no danger of water (or fluids from a vehicle) leaking into the shelter. Now I will admit that if there is flooding (more than a couple, three inches) that the lid is not watertight by any stretch of the imagination. However, the shelter itself is. We have a high water table here and he has had NO PROBLEMS at all with seepage.

3. I don't know how it works in other areas of the country but here it is not uncommon for people to register their shelters with their municipality so that law enforcement/rescue personnel will know where to look for you in the rubble.

I do not recall what he said he paid for it but I do remember that it didn't seem cost-prohibitive to me at all. It took the company less than a day to excavate and place the shelter. You would have never known they were there if you hadn't seen them working.

My neighbor on the other side has a dug-out cinderblock cellar that leaks like a sieve ... In fact he has to pump water out of it regularly and the door on it is ALWAYS open because they are "airing it out". It was put in the same time the house was built (at least that is what I was told) ... 1960-ish ...
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:42 AM
kingsman kingsman is offline
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Actually I never thougth of putting a shelter in the garage, but it could make a lot of sense. Either under the current garage, or even just build it on the slab if you have a 2 or 2 1/2 car garage. Only get one vehicle in the garage afterwards, but hey, safety first.

use concrete block, build an 8x20x6 room inside the garage. put a concrete slab on top, then build a cistern on top of it for water storage. storing water on top gives you added protection from radiation or falling debris. A shower in the entry behind a steel door. could be safe from storm, raiders, or radiation. Store supplies inside as long as it is above freezing or you can heat it during the winter.

What a wonderful idea! done correctly, this could even be used as my man cave year round. Emergency shelter during emergencies, food storage, and man cave!

Now where did I put the beer...
Old 05-25-2011, 05:21 PM
mccray mccray is offline
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I have been researching these exact ones for a while now. Have you gotten yours yet, and if so how do you like it. How is the quality etc... I have the contract and all and just havent sent it back yet. Any issues with the install or otherwise. Thanks alot...
Old 05-25-2011, 05:27 PM
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I would seriously look at this design and the specs/certs around it...it is not a box, but an egg/oval/dome, great wind resistance and load bearing strength...just sayin...

http://www.newdaytornadoshelters.com/Work.php

good for you on whatever you do, looking out for the family....
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:29 PM
composter composter is offline
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Just thinking aloud here, what if a storm flipped the car(s) in your garage on top of the door?
Old 05-25-2011, 05:45 PM
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After looking at 12 or so rental houses before I moved to SW MO, the last house we looked at has one of these shelters (my deciding factor for taking house). I even asked the real estate lady if it was an oil change pit when I first saw it. She said "no, it's a tornado shelter". I love it. 3' x 7' x 5' deep. Sure, I would love a giant garage sized bunker, but to have this in a rental home is awsome. Plenty of room for my girlfriend, her daughter, me, some of my "storage" supplies, and will save our lives if hit by what hit Joplin (we are only 45 min west).
Company is Flatsafe, ef5+ rated, ours is the galvanized model. Google company, videos, ect. Tested at Texas Tech, and used by the USAF in on base housing in OK. I give it 2 thumbs up.
Friend at work bought an outside bolt down shelter, backlogged and won't be in for at least a month.
I like the idea of being below ground under concrete garage floor.
Hope this helps. I will post some pictures later.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by composter View Post
Just thinking aloud here, what if a storm flipped the car(s) in your garage on top of the door?
Company website shows over 2 tons of bricks piled on door, easily opened with comalong inside. Door is 200lb. one piece steel on solid rollers. Seems roller bearing rollers failed during impact testing at Texas Tech. I feel confidant with this product.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:54 PM
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I don't think having a vehicle over the shelter adds any protection. You should have a couple of floor jacks stored in the shelter in case you need to lift the structure. I have a hand crank GMRS radio that can take an external antenna. A long coax to a stubby (or two) might be prudent if you have one too.
Old 05-25-2011, 06:53 PM
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well, i imagine everything mother sends at you can create a what if. All these are good points, but the major thing is that even if your house is gone, or your car ends up on top your shelter, your alive. A combination of prior planning, and friends knowing where your at help to increase your chances of walking out of that shelter. Better than being impaled on some object 15 miles down the road. I dont know. Im just trying to figure out the best thing for survival in the event of a tornado here. And an interior room just doesnt cut it. Interior rooms when your left with a slab cant save your a$$. More of a chance underground with crap piled on top, a hammer or anything for signaling on the door etc...
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:02 PM
Tampagt07 Tampagt07 is offline
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That's pretty cool..I'm just trying to figure out why this guy has five young boys inside his...I'm thinking more in the line of me and the Swedish Bikini Team..But hey, thats' just me...
Old 05-25-2011, 07:04 PM
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What about going deeper under the house instead?
Old 05-25-2011, 07:34 PM
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Can't wait to see those pics. I hand built mine in back yard. Not done with it yet. Still working on it and it has taken a while. Would have loved to go the route where it was put in a day or so. That would rock.
Old 05-25-2011, 07:49 PM
Sedoy Sedoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSYOP Soldier View Post
I would seriously look at this design and the specs/certs around it...it is not a box, but an egg/oval/dome, great wind resistance and load bearing strength...just sayin...

http://www.newdaytornadoshelters.com/Work.php

good for you on whatever you do, looking out for the family....
From that portable shelter site:

“If you are a Veteran of World War One, 95% discount!” Now that is funny! How much discount for Veterans of Civil War?
Old 05-25-2011, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
3. I don't know how it works in other areas of the country but here it is not uncommon for people to register their shelters with their municipality so that law enforcement/rescue personnel will know where to look for you in the rubble.
Looked into one while living in OK.... it was actually a requirement/rule/law there to report it to the local authorities. Sold the place and moved, so I can't say for sure that's the case, but what I was told by the company that provided the quote.

Of note, the install included a 3(if I recall)-ton jack built in to force the door open should it be covered by debris.
Old 05-25-2011, 10:08 PM
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Several of my neighbors have these installed. My thinking is that when you see a witch on a bicycle fly by your window you'll be happy to have one. The only drawback IMO is that it's effin clausterphobic. Because they're installed in your garage, the backhoe they use can only dig down so far. Even the biggest one is still just 5 ft tall inside. It may SAY seats 6-8 but that's 3 facing each other, knees to crotch, sardine style. Personally I don't like my neighbors that much! That's why I went with a concrete in-ground one, set where we were about to pour a concrete slab. It's considerably larger, and once we get the garage extension completed it'll be about the same thing.

All of the companies I know of automatically register the shelter after installation, and I believe many now have GPS tracking on them.

Check around for FEMA grants for it. I know you can get one to cover half the total cost (up to 3k) in my neck of the woods. Usually the storm shelter companies can tell you where to go to apply.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:39 AM
Ikesiked Ikesiked is offline
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That is the ugliest thing and most awkward looking thing I have ever seen. It looks like half a capsule.
Old 05-26-2011, 10:54 AM
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Prairie Dog, that sounds like an awsome set up! Mine is in our rental house, and would do something along your lines when we buy/ build. Post some pics! In the old days, it was common to have a root/ storm shelter. Unfortunately, it fell out of style, and for years many thought you were coo coo for having/ thinking about one. I would think common sense and planning for your family's safety in certain high risk areas should always be in style....
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