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Old 05-23-2013, 10:08 AM
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I worked in a steel mill, and had when we had to take the backup rolls out of the mill, we would have to bring up the rail tracks by crane.

Eventually we convinced them that if we got a hydraulic ram set below with a swivel attached to the tracks, then it would be easier, smoother, less prone to ripping something apart.

They installed two rams (one for each track) that opened them from flat horizontal to about 90 degrees. It reminded me of the way a missile silo would open.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Kin Jones View Post
I was in a friend's shelter that had a mural on the back wall. His wife felt a little cramped so she painted a mural of their back 40 on the wall. It was like looking out a picture window...very realistic. She had the barn, the mules, wagons & even the windmill.
Other than that, the jack is a very good idea, and practice using it.
If you have much ground water, a sump pump might be in order. Or even a low cost marine bilge pump. (12 volt)
That is what I am doing with my shelter, making it like a nice room with a curtained potty. I'm painting the walls inside white and putting pics of my family on the back wall. That would be cool to do a mural but I am crafty, not artsy
As far as ground water, I don't have any here. My well is 465 feet deep and I am on a hill with good drainage. Bad for having a pond tho, the water is leaking out, grrr
Old 05-23-2013, 07:31 PM
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OK, this is a must, and a great find IMO. It's going into my shelter! It is 10 inches, 2 speeds, 12v DC adapter, plus:
Product Description
Increase the ventilation in your tent with this lightweight tent fan from O2. This powerful 10" two-speed multi-position fan is quiet even at high speed. Strong magnetic plate attaches easily to tents and canopies. Adjustable height feature also makes this fan a great choice for desk use. 12V DC adapter connects to your vehicle or the included battery pack. This battery pack can also be used as a charging station for your electronics. Battery pack runs up to 24 hours on 8 D-cell batteries (not included).
Old 05-24-2013, 08:28 PM
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My plans are coming along swimmingly! 24" TV, Table, a curtain for potty area, 3 shelves for TP, soap, gallon of water, etc by the potty, and one of the most important, non slip strips for the steps and a rug at the end of the stairs in case our feet are wet or rain gets in when we raise the hatch. I just hope they get it here soon
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:58 PM
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I grew up and still live in a tornado prone area. I understand everyones needs to bring/store items in the shelter for use after a disaster.

That being said, the one thing people ALWAYS seem to leave off the list is a simple pair of shoes.

Shoes? Naw, stupid idea. That is until you are awoken at 3 AM with a tornado barreling down on you. You run to your shelter. Safe and sound!!! Your house is completely destroyed, but now you are stuck in the shelter because you are bare foot and completely surrounded by broken glass, rusty nails, wooden splinters, random ripped metal car parts/ street signs, etc. etc.

Get the idea?

Yeah, stick an old pair of tennis or boots in there.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by shooterm View Post
We have the same problems on the edge of bluff country. Either clay or rock. Clay we line the structure with course aggregate with no fines and tile. Rock is either dynamited or hammered. A sub-division is actually pretty cheap to dynamite. Only people that dont have basements is cheap townhomes or stick homes.

A big reason we don't dig basements down here is because honestly, we don't have to. There is no frost line that a foundation has to get below to avoid pitching. Slab on grade is cheaper than a basement by tons. One of the reasons that housing is cheaper down here than it is up north.

I live on the coast, and I hear people say all the time that you can't dig a basement because of the high water, but that's just not true, and a quick look around will tell people that. The office I work in has a basement, the convention center has a basement, the arena in town has a basement, several larger buildings have basements. It is simply a matter of economics *there may be some zoning considerations too), but a basement just isn't necessary to get below a frost line, because our frostline is like 3 or 4 inches deep.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeardedNut View Post
I grew up and still live in a tornado prone area. I understand everyones needs to bring/store items in the shelter for use after a disaster.

That being said, the one thing people ALWAYS seem to leave off the list is a simple pair of shoes.

Shoes? Naw, stupid idea. That is until you are awoken at 3 AM with a tornado barreling down on you. You run to your shelter. Safe and sound!!! Your house is completely destroyed, but now you are stuck in the shelter because you are bare foot and completely surrounded by broken glass, rusty nails, wooden splinters, random ripped metal car parts/ street signs, etc. etc.

Get the idea?

Yeah, stick an old pair of tennis or boots in there.
Yes, I have a new pair of hiking boots for the shelter
Old 05-25-2013, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcie View Post
I'm a bit claustrophobic too Grotius, but I'm more scared of this wind and storms every spring, especially when I am home alone. One of my questions is...What do I do if something is on top of the door and I can't get out. I have glow stick, etc. so maybe someone will see it, I can put one in the top where the air vent is, but I may have to wait for someone to find me if all services are down
Ms. Marcie,

Two thoughts. First, be sure to visit your local Fire Department or Sheriff's office and let them know the location of your storm shelter; so that should disaster strike, they'll know where to find you.

Secondly, because like my wife, you have some claustrophia, if you haven't purchased the underground shelter already, consider one of the FamilySAFE Shelters that are anchored to your home's slab foundation. That's the approach I am taking because; a) my wife and I are older, and b) she's better equipped mentally to be in closet than she is in a "tomb".

Please note that I'm not trying advertise for this TX-based company, but just share why I thought this was a better option for me.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:31 PM
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Ok, I'm going to need some electrical help in this shelter. I have electricity with a box run to my shed that has been my hen house for years. So we don't use that at all. It comes off of the pole, is buried, and goes to the box in the shed (which needs replaced). So here is my question, should we hire an electrician, or could we do it ourselves? It has been buried for about 20 years, so do we start with new line? Also, we know where to drill into the turbine on top and put the wire in (in conduit) and then wire the box inside? Hubby thinks we should have a breaker box inside just in case. Now, then a few plugs, light, etc could come out of the box. Ideas? How hard would this be, or do we need an electrician to do the job for safety reasons?
Old 05-26-2013, 05:20 AM
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From your manufacturer's website;http://www.texasshelters.com/original.htm
"We recommend using a licensed professional electrician or telephone installer to handle these additions."
Go with a qualified electrician just make sure the leads are sealed and drilling does not compromise the integrity of the overall structure.
I would consider burying additional supplies nearby in sealed cached drums/pvc tubes etc. so as to have them readily on hand after a disaster but to leave your survival space more open.
The bed you have listed seems to take up a lot of the shelter's floor space; have you thought about fold down bunks/inflatable mattresses to save on space, maybe sink some eye bolt anchors in the walls or ceiling for hammocks/swing chairs that can be used then unclipped when not in use.
like this;
http://www.oism.org/nwss/nw120.jpg
or this
http://www.oism.org/nwss/nw119b.jpg

These are excerpted from Dr. Cresson Kearney's book "Nuclear War Survival Skills" chapter 14 which covers expedient shelter furnishings here;
http://www.oism.org/nwss/s73p925.htm

I realize your aim is to have a storm shelter and not a fallout shelter. Without significant additional shielding your shelter would not be useful as such. Perhaps though this may give you some ideas how to maximize your available floor space.

Good luck and i hope this helps.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:19 AM
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If you have to ask that question, than hire someone that knows electrical to do the work for you. If you really want to part of the process. I am sure the electrician will let you dig the ditch to your new underground shelter.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcie View Post
Ok, I'm going to need some electrical help in this shelter. I have electricity with a box run to my shed that has been my hen house for years. So we don't use that at all. It comes off of the pole, is buried, and goes to the box in the shed (which needs replaced). So here is my question, should we hire an electrician, or could we do it ourselves? It has been buried for about 20 years, so do we start with new line? Also, we know where to drill into the turbine on top and put the wire in (in conduit) and then wire the box inside? Hubby thinks we should have a breaker box inside just in case. Now, then a few plugs, light, etc could come out of the box. Ideas? How hard would this be, or do we need an electrician to do the job for safety reasons?
Old 05-26-2013, 08:14 AM
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I live in N.H., the GRANITE State. Here, most homes have cellars. The last I checked, the difference between a cellar and a slab was under $8,000. The difference in living quality is huge. In effect, you double the size of a ranchj style home. All your heating, plumbing and electrical are accessible. Storage? No problem. Heating and cooling are cheaper. Insurance might be cheaper also. I'd never live on a slab.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:24 AM
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You can do electrical work yourself. It probably makes sense to dismantle the shed first, build another one, do the electrics there and then branch out from the shed. On the other hand I would not wire the shelter at all - less risk from lightning, EMP, you name it.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:31 AM
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My mother had one like you are getting installed recently. My wife laughed at her area rug and picture. Of course, being she lives a block away, we intend to use it if necessary.
Old 05-26-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GG42 View Post
You can do electrical work yourself. It probably makes sense to dismantle the shed first, build another one, do the electrics there and then branch out from the shed. On the other hand I would not wire the shelter at all - less risk from lightning, EMP, you name it.
+1

While it may be unlikely, electrical fires are not unknown under some circumstances, and even the smell of a burned out box or fumes from smoke, etc. may make your shelter uncomfortable if not uninhabitable. I also recommend you don't locate a lot of electrical components and the box, etc. INSIDE the shelter. Possibly on an outside wall if you must, but personally I'd avoid having the electrical box inside with you...

Just a thought.
Old 05-26-2013, 11:21 AM
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I store a portable harddrive with all my family photos taken over the years. I can replace everything else that doesn't breath.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:59 AM
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Do you actually need electrical hookup?

Storms are transient. Within 1-2 hours, most funnel producing fronts have moved on. Occasionally followed by another one. Even facing predicted tornado conditions, the longest you are likely to remain sheltered is for just a period of hours. Perhaps overnight in an extreme extended weather pattern.

The longest I've ever personally stayed in a shelter (or hunkered down in a basement) was 3 hours. Been through twisters in OK, KS, CO, TX, AR, FL, GA, AL, & OH.

All you need electrical wise inside the shelter are a lantern and a portable weather radio. Those will suffice for the event itself.

Installed and powered ventilation and lighting would of course be nice to have. But, for a few hours, you don't even actually need those. And your battery powered ventilation fan & LED lighting would do the job. You could also simply run an outdoor extension cord from a house outlet to the shelter.

Heating could be provided by a Little Buddy propane heater. But, heating is probably of limited importance anyway, as several bodies in a small tight shelter are going to heat it up nicely. And tornadoes rarely occur during winter temperatures.

With regard to electric service or phone lines, you also need to think in terms of what storm damage might do to your location. If the house takes a direct hit, the shelter will become a base of operations for securing & salvaging the site. However, a 6x8 shelter is not likely to be viable as a residence for the whole family for days or weeks. And if your house is gone...or there is widespread local damage...utility service to the shelter is probably gone as well.

Once the storm has passed...if the house is OK and power is still on...you'll go back to the house.

A small storm shelter is for temporary use, not for long term occupation. I'd skip running electric or phone lines that may not survive the storm anyway.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:33 PM
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Dunno.

Things don't always occur as anticipated.

I would like to have electricity in the shelter to do anything from lighting, to listening to music, messing around on a laptop, or making microwave popcorn during a large storm...

So long as you run a nomex cable underground in some sort of PVC pipe or other conduit, I would think that having an outlet or two and having the shelter wired would be a huge advantage (so long as the grid stays up).

The big lesson, however, is that whatever you do has to be below-grade. Lessons learned from past storms have basically taught that ANYTHING above grade is vulnerable to damage from wind-borne objects or particulate.

This is why I can't agree with above-ground "safe rooms" - yes, history shows they can certainly work, but a large enough piece of debris will go through a safe room like a bombing. There is only one certain method of avoiding blast waves, wind-borne debris, and kinetic destruction, and that is underground. Going underground DOES mean, however, that depending on how much debris may be piled up above your exit, you may be in there awhile until you can get out...
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grotius View Post
+1

While it may be unlikely, electrical fires are not unknown under some circumstances, and even the smell of a burned out box or fumes from smoke, etc. may make your shelter uncomfortable if not uninhabitable. I also recommend you don't locate a lot of electrical components and the box, etc. INSIDE the shelter. Possibly on an outside wall if you must, but personally I'd avoid having the electrical box inside with you...

Just a thought.
Thats exactly why I would have any and all electrical wired completely in metal conduit with plenum-rated outlets and switches. Nothing would be worse than dying in your shelter from toxic fumes from a pvc electrical fire.
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astronomy View Post
Do you actually need electrical hookup?

Storms are transient. Within 1-2 hours, most funnel producing fronts have moved on. Occasionally followed by another one. Even facing predicted tornado conditions, the longest you are likely to remain sheltered is for just a period of hours. Perhaps overnight in an extreme extended weather pattern.

The longest I've ever personally stayed in a shelter (or hunkered down in a basement) was 3 hours. Been through twisters in OK, KS, CO, TX, AR, FL, GA, AL, & OH.

All you need electrical wise inside the shelter are a lantern and a portable weather radio. Those will suffice for the event itself.

Installed and powered ventilation and lighting would of course be nice to have. But, for a few hours, you don't even actually need those. And your battery powered ventilation fan & LED lighting would do the job. You could also simply run an outdoor extension cord from a house outlet to the shelter.

Heating could be provided by a Little Buddy propane heater. But, heating is probably of limited importance anyway, as several bodies in a small tight shelter are going to heat it up nicely. And tornadoes rarely occur during winter temperatures.

With regard to electric service or phone lines, you also need to think in terms of what storm damage might do to your location. If the house takes a direct hit, the shelter will become a base of operations for securing & salvaging the site. However, a 6x8 shelter is not likely to be viable as a residence for the whole family for days or weeks. And if your house is gone...or there is widespread local damage...utility service to the shelter is probably gone as well.

Once the storm has passed...if the house is OK and power is still on...you'll go back to the house.

A small storm shelter is for temporary use, not for long term occupation. I'd skip running electric or phone lines that may not survive the storm anyway.
Those are great little survival heaters, but I would not use one in an underground shelter. They suck down O2 like an elephant and put off alot of CO2 and moisture vapor.
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