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Discussion Starter #1
We moved into this house last year and now finally have a basement. Our last house was manufactured home on a crawl space, when a tornado warning was issued we had to rush down the road to the neighbors. My wife went through the Andover tornado near Wichita in 1991. Their house along with all their neighbors houses were destroyed. There were also fatalities in the neighbor hood. We decided to beef up the storage room under the stairs and turn it into a tornado shelter. This has helped give her and me a piece of mind, especially while Im at work. I have added a few pics of the buildup.

Doubled up the first 2 studs and cross braced all the studs


Beefed up the header with additional 2x4's and 3/4 ply


Added 2x4 foot plates to the bottom stud, drilled and anchored the room about 5" into the foundation.


Put up 3/4 ply walls to stop/slow down flying debris

I have since added tap lights, case of water, food, flashlights, and weather radio. One thing that came to mind that we didn't add was a land line. We will be adding a solid core door that opens inwards soon. Its not bomb proof but definitely a upgrade.
 

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My grand parents were from KS and spoke of tornadoes.

Good deal in beefing up the shelter.

My self I would line the walls with expanded metal (either steel of aluminum) to really tie it together and to add another layer of materials that can't be easily penetrated by debris moving at high speed.

Have fun and be safe

Snowy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We are hoping to get a solid core installed this weekend and get the hindges flipped around so the door will open inwards. I like the idea of adding the expanded metal so I will look and see we can incorparate into the walls. Thanks for the tips and ideas.
 

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Excellent!!!!!

This is the realistic kind of prep everyone can and should do. If you have a basement, no excuses.

If you keep enough concrete blocks/sand bags on hand to stack around and on top of it you have a basic fallout shelter capable of protecting you from fairly high levels of fallout radiation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Excellent!!!!!

This is the realistic kind of prep everyone can and should do. If you have a basement, no excuses.

If you keep enough concrete blocks/sand bags on hand to stack around and on top of it you have a basic fallout shelter capable of protecting you from fairly high levels of fallout radiation.
It really was pretty easy, my father in law and I did it in about 9 hours. A skilled carpenter could probably get it done much faster. The cost wasn't bad either, we got all the materials at Home Depot for less than $200. I love the idea of getting a little stockpile of blocks and sand bags. I will start looking around for some this week. Severe weather in the forecast for tomorrow evening, may have to try it out.:eek:
 

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Good job. I am putting a storm cellar in my back yard. It may be a BOL as well. It is not very big but solid concrete all around.
 

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Mom Walton
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Good Job! Also: If you have an out of town relative or close friend, be sure to tell them to have emergency crews exactly where to look if your home collapses in a storm and they can't get hold of you. Also remember to take your cell phone with pre programed numbers down with you. I would add a couple cases of water and a designated flashlight to that back corner, but you have probably already thought of that. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good Job! Also: If you have an out of town relative or close friend, be sure to tell them to have emergency crews exactly where to look if your home collapses in a storm and they can't get hold of you. Also remember to take your cell phone with pre programed numbers down with you. I would add a couple cases of water and a designated flashlight to that back corner, but you have probably already thought of that. :)
I have added the water and flashlights. I am a firefighter here and Im at the resuce station. One of the special teams at our station is structural collapse and search and rescue. Fortunatly most of the guys will know where to look and if Im on duty, well I will know where to look to find my family. :thumb:
 

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If you want the door to open in all the way then you will need a shorter door. You don't have enough height clearance because of the stairs going down. With a shorter door put up a shelf or two above the door to hold supplies and a small TV.
 

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looks like a great job. I was going to Wichita to visit my mother in the hospital and drove through Andover six hours after the 91 tornado, and saw the devestation. I can understand why your wife was worried having lived through that once.
 

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Nice job......Store as much food & water as you can in there...Keep a couple of whistles on lanyards hanging just in case you are buried to alert rescue workers...
I hope you never have to use it....:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If you want the door to open in all the way then you will need a shorter door. You don't have enough height clearance because of the stairs going down. With a shorter door put up a shelf or two above the door to hold supplies and a small TV.
That I had not thought about! I'm glad you posted it before I bought a expensive door!:eek:
 

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We are doing an add on master bedroom and bath, 1,000 sq. feet with a 12 x 12 closet. I insisted on 6 inch walls, plywood inside and out with metal straps to hold the roof to the walls. We have all 36 inch sliding pocket doors (plan now in case someone is ever in a wheel chair, etc). I do have a hard wired land line and will stock up with supplies, including something to cut my way out if needed. I am still looking for an way to shut off the propane at the tank by some sort of electronic valve.

Since the sliding pocket door does not offer much protection, so we have a roll up metal door on the inside. Looks ugly until you need it.
I am on the local VFD and my pond has a "dry hydrant" so I know the guys will be here quickly.

My wife was not too hot on the idea, but I told her I was not too hot on the idea of 30+ linear feet of new granite counter tops in the Kitchen.

HGTV is the bane of many husband's existence. My wife records it and watches for hours. Then shows me an episode and states "you can learn to do that, that looks easy". So I agreed to watch and learn only if next we got to flip to the adult channels and I could also say "you can learn to do that, that looks easy". GOT THE LOOK!
 

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As an Okie born and raised, good job on doing some tornado-proofing. Had a tornado tear through Tulsa when my family lived there while I was a little kid lift up over our neighborhood and touch down again only to level a big brick church and several houses a half mile from our house.

Our heavy cellar door also opens inward and can be barred. The littler children know to hide there if there is an intruder.
So, devil's advocate question. If you have an underground cellar, why did you reinforce the stairwell rather than just using your fraidy hole?
 
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