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Old 12-08-2008, 11:36 AM
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Default Hurricane/Tornado Shelter



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Here is what a guy in my town did. He made a tornado shelter out of a fuel storage tank. I'm thinking about putting one on my property but I doubt I'll advertise it in the paper. I hope you can see the article, it was in our local paper adn I tried to scan it but it didn't scan very well. I'll try to go by and see if he minds if I take some pictures of it. If he doesn't mind I'll post them here.





I posted here not in the NBC section because this isn't a bomb shelter although I see most of the shelter talk in that section. Mods feel free to move if you want.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:37 PM
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Default Effective but simple

It would be great if all of had and extra acre or so to put one of these in. When I grew up we had a root cellar, it was so nice to go and sit in during the 100+ degree days of summer, not to mention the safety they would provide. Nice thread!! Are there others....
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:18 AM
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I went to see this guys bunker at the address listed in the article and he had moved. So I asked his neighbor and he told me where he moved to. I called him up and asked him if he would mind if I came over and took a look and he said sure. So I went and checked it out. Where he had moved to was not on a hill and he said he had a problem when it had rained one day that the tank had floated up out of the ground so he poured a 3 yard slab under it and sunk mobile home tie downs into the slab and secured the tank into the ground with straps over it. That will probably help hold it down in the event of a tornado also. He has a squirrel cage blower bringing air in and another fan exhausting air. It also has a landline phone, a televsion and a microwave oven. It's wired with 110 power but he also has a battery and 12 volts lights in it for when power goes out. He bought this tank for $500.00 so it's a pretty cheap shelter. I asked him why he didn't bury it all the way underground and he said he didn't want to have to climb down a ladder because of his age but he told me of another guy close by that has a tank completely buried so I'm gonna look him up and see what his setup looks like if he will let me come look at it. If so I'll post some pictures of his setup here also. Man I want to install one of these at my house. He mentioned fiberglass tanks might be a good choice also. Heres a couple of pictures I took.
Thats me in the bunker.




He can chain the door closed from the inside to keep it from flying open.



Four big sets of hinges hold the door on.





He has it right beside his house so he can run out and jump into it if he needs to but I would worry about getting trapped in it by debris. I'm gonna put mine out in the middle of a field but not too far from the house but far enough away from anything that could fall onto it and block the door. All in all it's a pretty nice setup for $500.00 and it gave me some ideas about what I want to do. Plus it motivated me to get mine done.

Last edited by Thedishdoc; 12-19-2008 at 08:42 PM..
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:32 PM
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That's a sweet setup.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:48 PM
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Thats cool. After seeing the outside pictures, I'd plant on top of the structure to hide it a bit more, but still leave it in plain site. Plus it would just look really nice.

Overall though, great job for the price!
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:29 PM
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Nice setup, but I would have an additional entrance/exit in any shelter. Never know what might cause one to fail to operate...
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:05 PM
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i myself wouldn't have told anyone about it, because in the end you will eventually have to turn people away. this could eventually get violent.
i love it how people just expect food and shelter during bad times, and they don't plan themselves. If the neighborhood wanted to chip in and make a community shelter, fine.
i cant remember the twilight zone episode where the neighbors got violent when they were turned away. wish i could remember. it was on youtube.

anyways, if it was me, i would bury it, and conceal it.
If anyone asked what i was doing, i would tell them i was putting in a water cistern or holding tank.

peace
al
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:22 PM
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That looks like maybe a 84" or 96" by 24' or 30' tank.Did you by chance measure it while looking at it? I like the entrance method,though I would opt for steel over wood stairs.The painted interior is a good idea,it keeps psychology in order.Cheerful colors.Dark or dull colors would have a negative effect on human psychology.It appears he used existing threaded pipe filling ports as his penetrations.These will be too small to move enough air for long periods of time.Okay for short duration. He would have been ahead to swap over to grooved type,or Victaulic fittings.Much easier to service and more rugged and flexible. You don't need big pipe wrenched to tighten,only hand tools. I'd like to see him install some conduit and junction boxes.Tiddy up that wire spaghetti.
Thank you very much for taking the time to scope this thing out.Very informative.
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:32 PM
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Check out this site WWW.americansaferoom.com they have some sheltersand equipment to build them. there is another site that has underground shelters like this but i can't rember the web address.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almac View Post
i cant remember the twilight zone episode where the neighbors got violent when they were turned away. wish i could remember. it was on youtube.

peace
al
I just posted this episode of the Twilight Zone in a new thread.

http://www.imdb.com/video/cbs/vi994377753
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:06 PM
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Just a suggestion but if the shelter is too far away from your house, you may not make it in time.

Have you considered a door that swings in instead of out?

Debris would not keep the door from opening even though it would pile against it.

Not perfect, but you won't have to run as far to get protection.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:14 PM
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If you are building a new house, most new houses are framing the front porches with cinder block walls which automatically creates a very safe room underground. I've seen people actually not put doors and waste this valuable space. I plan on making a very large front porch

One more thing: A couple of years ago a rare tornado hit a local community. I actually saw pictures of a septic tank that had been sucked out of the ground. So, keep that in mind!!!
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:00 PM
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He poured a slab under his with anchors in the slab and has metal strapping running over it because when he moved the shelter to the new location the water table was too high and it was floating the shelter up. So the straps would help hold it in the ground in a Tornado as well I suspect.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:34 PM
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Default Caution

A word of caution to anyone wanting to bury a sea-can. They can and will colapse if too much is placed on top of them. Had a person I know buy one and bry it, worked for a while till.....

long story short he's down $2500 for the sea-can and his stuff inside.
The septic tank thing may be better since they're designed to be burried, but I've heard of them colapsing in as well.

Great Idea, but proceed with caution.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:52 PM
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That is like my tank I have underground. It is 8 ft tall and 16 ft long but I have water in it. If I can get another one I think I will also bury it to make a shelter out of. I paid $500.00 for the one I got and $250.00 to have it brought up and put in the ground. Mind is totaly undergound and it took a big track hoe to dig the hole and lift it into the hole. I could allways access it later and cut a door into the side and concrete a entrance into it. It has pipes to vent and fill it allready. I was inside it before I was finished and it was clean and lots of room to move around in. It is made of 3/16" steel and very strong. Mark
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:00 PM
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People never cease to amaze me with simple ideas turned into great things. This guy is Brilliant in my book.
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy-N View Post
That is like my tank I have underground. It is 8 ft tall and 16 ft long but I have water in it. If I can get another one I think I will also bury it to make a shelter out of. I paid $500.00 for the one I got and $250.00 to have it brought up and put in the ground. Mind is totaly undergound and it took a big track hoe to dig the hole and lift it into the hole. I could allways access it later and cut a door into the side and concrete a entrance into it. It has pipes to vent and fill it allready. I was inside it before I was finished and it was clean and lots of room to move around in. It is made of 3/16" steel and very strong. Mark
Are these tanks new or used for $500.00? Where do you buy them?

Thanks
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:25 PM
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A shelter with only one exit that opens outward is far from brilliant, it's very foolish.
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Old 02-20-2010, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedishdoc View Post
...but he told me of another guy close by that has a tank completely buried so I'm gonna look him up and see what his setup looks like if he will let me come look at it. If so I'll post some pictures of his setup here also.
Did you ever get a hold of the other guy?

With the exception of the entry door and the fact that it's not completely buried, the shelter seems to look pretty good. Sure beats a ratty old hole like a lot of them are.

I'm not sure I'd feel too safe in it in a tornado though, being halfway above ground. I've seen pictures of pieces of wood embedded in trees and such, so I'm not confident that a foot or two of dirt really provides much protection in that situation.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:26 AM
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I like it, only thing i would do is...... Bury it completely, attach an anode to keep it from corroding, triple coat it in protective spray, encase the entire thing in reinforced cement, give it an L hallway entrance and two emergency tunnels, attach a small pantry for provisions, lockers with firearms and ammo, a water tank, a dynamo bike generator for powering battery bank for lights/beer cooler , and put it atleast twice the height of your house/trees away from the house/trees. But then again i havent gotten my other 2 wishes either... wheres that damn genie?
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