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Does anyone have any ideas about turning a bedroom or any other room in an already existing home into a safe room. I live in a hurricane area!! Any thoughts?
 

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Just found that section, this site gets better and better!
Thanks, Kev
 

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Da BADDEST MoFo!!
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rip all the inner walls out of the room, put studs between the existing studs and get you a soild door, not an interior door. Also Running 1-2 outlets just for the room that connect to a diff breaker will let you back power that room off a Genny if/when you lose power. You could back power your whole house but you will burn 10x more gas if you do. a average genny will run what? 10-14hours at half load? Also get you a small dorm room fridge and a window unit. If you have a deep water well get you enought cord to reach it so you can plug it in when needed. You will be amazed what you can do with out as long as its cool and you have running water.
 

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Some thoughts off the top of my head (Disclaimer: not an expert on the subject - just a preparedness-minded fellow who has given the matter some thought and done a bit of reading):

pick an interior room (no outside walls) if above grade. A corner if in the basement. Consider adding additional joists and posts to keep the roof from falling in on your head. If your are still concerned about walls/roofs falling in consider adding some sort of arch you and can duck under.

Be sure to include some method of communication. If you get stuck in the room it'd be nice to be able to call for help.

Consider a 2nd exit in case something blocks the main one. A small strong portal opening can suffice and be added for less cost than a full size door. At least one of the doors should open in. This way you don't have a solid difficult to breach door jammed closed from debris on the other side. A shovel, pick and saw can be useful if you need to dig yourself out.

Fire and smoke is a real hazard. Keep an extinquisher and fresh air supply or breathing apparatus in the room
 

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"Be sure to include some method of communication. If you get stuck in the room it'd be nice to be able to call for help."

That is a is a good ideal Per.
I don't have a safe room as such, but an interior walk in closet, we use. In it, I keep a small 2ton jack, in case someone gets penned, couple of 4' 2x4's, small cordless saw and a crow bar, in addition to regular supplies.
 

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I've been very interested in this myself. However, since I live in an apartment, I can't really do much.

But I do have a small closet which is enough for two or three people. Inside the closet, I have a a couple of flashlights, knives, a 10liter jug of water, a CB, and a home made battering ram. (In case I'd have to break out into the next apartment or through the floor/roof.)

SOLIDUS
 

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High Plains Drifter
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here in kansas alot of houses have rooms in the basement that are all cement, mine is am 18x12 room thats under my front porch, its got 2 foot cement walls and the ceiling is 3 feet of cement under my all concrete front porch so its all together 4 or 5 feet of concrete
 

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Rogue Wave
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If nothing else, (1) make sure the room is quickly accessible, so you can get in fast at the first sign of trouble; (2) the door should be sturdy (preferably solid or metal), open out (inward opening doors are easier to kick in) and have security hinges; (3) have a cell phone, weapon, flashlight and water in the room or in your hand when going in the room.
 

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Get off my lawn
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Not that I will offer anything original (to those here, anyway) but I have a small plan that I use for basement survival of tornados and flat line winds. Since the basement contains the gas supply lines keep a fire extinguisher down there. In addition keep bottled water, a pry bar, a hatchet, large knife, safety glasses/goggles, blanket, flashlight, and two means of communication. If you are trapped dialing a cell phone may not be an option but sounding a horn (stadium type) might be.

Oh, I keep an old pair of steel toed boots down there just in case I'm dashing barefoot to the basement. Walking out over nails and broken glass.....
 

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first off ensure your house has proper hurricane bracing in the roof joists. second ensure you have a good quality garage door. the better heavier doors will resist wind damage. as soon as the garage door goes so goes the roof. if you have open ceiling in the garage close it off and finish it. this will help protect the roof.

after the above is done then take an interior room/ closet. remove the drywall on one side and start putting in 2x6's attached to the 2x4's both on the walls and roof joists.

then pour concrete in the walls with a half inch steel plate on the interior.

buy a solid fire door then install 2 vent pipes. one should be installed lower then the other. and preferably opposite sides of the room. make sure you store led light packs, battery's, radio, and alternitive mode of communications. dont rely on land line or cellphones though sms will most likely work. since you would be in a steel encased room you may have to include a passive repeater antenna which would be a simple 2 antenna setup attached through proper coax. on on the outside and one on the inside. no power needed. you would need the proper antenna's same with the fm/am or any type of ham. consider adding a top hatch for escape.

extra nice would be a booster pack that you could keep charged and allow you 12volt power. best most dense battery for longer period of time. buy a ereader for entertainment like the kindle paperwhite.

btw this is more geared to tornado shelter and as was said before. the best safe room for hurricane is dont stay and make sure you have both flood and wind insurance.

most insurance denials is because of flood damage and not wind even though the wind may have damaged the roof.
 

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Well, having lived in FL for 20 years and seen a few named storms, a safe room is important. Since we are in FL basements do not exist for the most part. Our 2 story house is a fortress-concrete block exterior and interior walls. Our safe room is located under the stairwell.
When moving into the saferoom to ride out a storm forget the nicey stuff ie; fridge, stove, etc. Make sure you have something to sleep on, matress or sleeping bag, pillow, a small cooler for drinks and comfort foods. Remember, you are riding out a storm, not moving in!!
 

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aka Mental Avenger
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Here is a little rational advice.

1. A “safe room” is only going to be safe until it is breached or burned down. If you don’t have an exit, it can be a tomb. A good safe room should be able to keep out attackers for perhaps 20 minutes, giving you time to call the police, or friends, whichever is more appropriate.

2. If you have an exit, it must be undiscoverable.

3. A safe room should include gas masks and a chemical suit to protect against the most aggressive chemical attack possible.

A properly constructed safe room should be able to withstand any natural disaster. Think about that. Whether it is hurricane, tornado, flood, or layers of volcanic ash, the room should remain intact. Virtually always, people will be able to breach what nature cannot.
 

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...then pour concrete in the walls with a half inch steel plate on the interior....

btw this is more geared to tornado shelter and as was said before. the best safe room for hurricane is dont stay and make sure you have both flood and wind insurance.
And all the life insurance your heirs can afford. They will enjoy it when those 1/2" steel plated walls collapse on you during the storm...or the whole damn mess of concrete and steel plate falls through the supporting floor system, storm or no.

This is hands down the most ignorant, dangerous advice I've seen on this site.
 

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Would not be too hasty to say it is such bad advice. A bud has one lined with steel plating, 3" plated door, and three safes loaded with arms. He went into the crawl space and reinforced the floor to hold the extra weight. My floor is braced every three feet and you could drive a dozer over it. Weight is no problem if properly supported.
ETA: you seemed to miss his last sentence about not being there when a hurricane hits.
 

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Does anyone have any ideas about turning a bedroom or any other room in an already existing home into a safe room. I live in a hurricane area!! Any thoughts?
I typically think of "safe room" as being a place to go to lock yourself in and away from a home intruder. Since you mentioned hurricane, I'll assume you are interested in an interior shelter.

First, do you live near the coast? Storm surge could make almost any shelter useless if it fills with several feet of water. Best to evacuate as ordered. If away from the coast and in an existing home, your reasonable options may be limited, depending upon the construction of your home.

If I was designing a hurricane shelter in a new home, I would choose a closet and provide thicker concrete spread footings, supporting fully grouted and reinforced CMU (block) walls, supporting a reinforced concrete plate for the ceiling. One could leave steel studs (embedded in the CMU) around the inside perimeter of the door, and leave the heavy corrugated panels and wingnuts in the closet for quick installation from the inside.

The entire shelter 'box' would be designed to resist uplift, overturning, sliding, and impact for the wind speed chosen by the homeowner. You probably know that all new homes are already designed to resist the code expected hurricane wind load....about 135 mph ultimate in Central Florida. The new ASCE 7 varies this speed with the importance of the building.

Designing for a tornado is an entirely different animal. Wind speeds could easily double that expected during a hurricane, and therefore the cost and effort involved in building for this would go up substantially. It could be done, but would likely involve helical anchors or piles to anchor the foundations, 12" fully grouted CMU walls with #7 bars in every cell, (or just reinforced concrete walls), and a heavier concrete plate at the ceiling.

If resources are limited, the best thing to do would be to find a smaller room or closet with CMU on at least two sides. This would most likely be in the corner of the house. You could knock down the drywall covered metal or wood studs, and replace the other two walls with reinforced CMU. This would mean doweling a 36" rebar into the slab on grade at regular intervals...then filling those cells with a longer rebar that was continuous up the wall, and fully grouting the walls. In this case you would NOT have a proper foundation, but the weight of a 1 story grouted CMU wall alone is not likely to cause a settlement problem (cracking in the slab). It would miles ahead of a worthless drywall/stud wall for impact and wind protection.

Finally you would have to consider your ceiling/overhead protection. In order to avoid messing with the existing roof trusses/rafters, steel tubes placed at tight intervals (12"?) and bolted to the CMU at either side, and covered by at least one layer of securely fastened 3/4" CDX plywood would again be miles ahead of drywall over roof trusses. The tubes and plywood would brace the walls at the sides they are connected, just make sure the plywood (ceiling diaphragm) is securely fastened to the CMU walls at each end that are parallel with the tubes for the bracing of these walls.

Just a few ideas to think about. Not knowing your resources or existing home it is hard to offer more specific advice.
 

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Would not be too hasty to say it is such bad advice. A bud has one lined with steel plating, 3" plated door, and three safes loaded with arms. He went into the crawl space and reinforced the floor to hold the extra weight. My floor is braced every three feet and you could drive a dozer over it. Weight is no problem if properly supported.
ETA: you seemed to miss his last sentence about not being there when a hurricane hits.
With no idea of the supporting structure, it is idiocy to suggest adding multiple tons of concrete and steel plate. How is the plate secured at top and bottom? How would two (typical) 16d common nails (in end grain at that) support the lateral loading? Who fills the cavities between non treated studs with unreinforced? concrete? And if you're not there during a wind event, why build it in the first place?
 
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