Bomb shelter, storm shelter, safe room...does any one have one of these in their home?

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I'm looking for some thoughts on including some kind of safe room in my home I am about to build. It would probably serve as a safe room for storms since we get a lot of twisters here, but I would want it to be able to have offer protection so I will not have to tape over my doors and windows with plastic and duct tape.
I saw on the discovery channel where this guy built a "bomb shelter" under his home. He did it by hand and it was a work of genius. It took him 16 years to do it and several hundred tons of concrete. The guy had passed away by this point, but he must have had arms like steel pipes.
I also am searching the web for some info, but there is nothing like first hand information.
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If you do a google search for "safe room", you get 145,000 hits.
Most homes here in SW OK over $150K are being built with a safe room. Most are just poured concrete vaults somewhere in the house with a steel door and two deadbolts. With furring strips glued to the concrete you can hang drywall and except for the steel door, it looks like any other room. Most do double duty as a master bedroom closet or a pantry off the kitchen. Underground shelters are unusual, except for the old style "bomb shelter" type in the back yard. Our clay soil is not kind to basements, so they are rare in this part of the country.
Ours was built as an addition to our home and it's just 4'X 6' but it's more than adequate. It's built of filled concrete blocks with a poured concrete ceiling and a steel door. It needs a light and an electric outlet; some even have a tv cable, but the cable is usually the first thing to go in severe weather. Local contractors are adding them to existing homes by sawing a hole in the garage floor and dropping in a steel vault with a sliding door. The car just straddles the door.
Like anything else, it's just a matter of how much you are willing to spend.
John
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On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 15:53:03 GMT, John~

You are aware, are you not, that a simple concrete-filled block wall won't stop a tornado launched 2x4? Underground is the best bet, unless flooding is an issue. If you're actually seriously considering something adequate as a bomb/fallout shelter, then you want at least 3' of dirt over your head, a dogleg in the entryway, and air filtration. Personally, I recommend storing enough equipment so you can dig/chop your way out if someone drops a house on your shelter.
Try posting over in alt.survival, if you can get them to stop babbling politics long enough to notice the question.
--Goedjn
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Goedjn wrote:

....
You can start at http://www.fema.gov/txt/plan/prevent/bestpractices/resshelter_bkgrdr.txt ...

Where did you get that? Hollow block, no; filled, yes...
"The following are examples of wall and door materials that passed the debris impact test (further information is available on the Texas Tech University website at http://www.wind.ttu.edu/inshelter/inshelte.asp ):
* 6-inch to 12-inch concrete masonry unit walls, with vertical and horizontal reinforcement and all cells poured full with 3,000-psi concrete..."
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dpb wrote:

...
...
"Simple" isn't reinforced...ok, I gotcha'.
An 8" filled block wall would handle it from the impact standpoint alone, I'd think, but the lack of reinforcing might prevent it from staying intact in the extreme direct-hit Fujita F5. OKC/Midwest City 4 (or 5 now,maybe?) years ago, or Udall or Andover, KS, or Xenia, OH, type monsters. OKC/Midwest City actually lifted asphalt paving from highway roadbeds in places and scrubbed slab construction clean...F3/_maybe_F4 largest thing I've actually seen (in open country, thankfully) and they're impressive enough to not care about seeing worse. :(
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Do you want me to link a Florida wind code wall plan? I may be able to come up with one but basically it is a footer with #5 in it, stubbed up to an 8" block wall that gets a #5 every 4' plus every door and window opening. This gets tied to 4 #5s in a 16" deep tie beam across the top. (48x lap on rebar etc) Then you pour the dowelled cells and tie beam solid. The windows here have to stop that 130 MPH "shot out pof a cannon" 2x4. The wall ends up a lot tougher.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Who you responding to? The Texas Tech site has design data for tornado-hardened rooms and the links already provided OP to it thru the FEMA site have links to it as well as to hurricane designs as well.
I was just correcting/amplifying a comment that I had made regarding the simple filled block walls an earlier respondent made that I initially overlooked the significance of "simple" in. We just go to the basement on occasion and if it's stronger than that, guess we'll deal with it at the time. :(
(It's fully below grade, 8" poured walls w/ solid decking over. Is possible the whole house above the basement might fly away like Dorothy, though, as I don't know that it's ever had additional tiedowns installed and the interior was finished in the mid-70s by the folks before we returned. Coincidentally enough, my mother's name was Dorothy but while we kidded her over it, tornadoes didn't seem to actually be attracted. :) )
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http://www.polysteel.com/saferooms.htm
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On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 11:12:15 -0400, Bret Miller

Do you have a basement? How high is your water table, and how big is your yard? the cheapest, simplest, least disruptive storm shelter is a buried vault near the front or back door.
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On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 11:12:15 -0400, Bret Miller

You have to decide what you are protectring against first. If flooding is a possibility, down is not good. You can build a very substantial wind code room by simply using concrete block, reinforced with doweled cells and a tie beam around the top. (typical Florida coastal wind code building) Metal deck that and pour a concrete ceiling with steel in it and a F-5 tornado won't hurt you. It might be the only part standing if the rest of the house is stick built. I have a "hurricane" room like this in my house. (the master bathroom) simply because the block walls were already there. I just had to harden the ceiling. tip: put the furring on the steel decking before you pour the concrete, then it is just a tek screw deal. After the concrete is there it would be tough. Other hazards may require other methods.
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Bret Miller wrote:

Go to http://www.fema.gov and look for publication 320. This publication covers tornado shelters in particular with a lot of info from the Texas Tech research folks.
Pete C.
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Don't forget a way to have air to breathe.
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Go to www.polysteel.com They have information on safe rooms as well as for weather protection. More specifically go to http://www.polysteel.com/saferooms.htm They can take F5 tornado.
IMO, this is probably the best method to build in your area.
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On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 11:12:15 -0400, Bret Miller

Check with Dick Cheney. He has the Ultimate.
Aspasia
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<aspasia> wrote in message wrote:

Considering his policies, he'll probably need it someday.
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Its good to plan to be on your own, since Katrina proved the imbecilles in the government dont care:(
stock up on water you can survive a month or more without food, no water in a few days you are dead.......
about a gallon a day per person for just drinking.
hot water tanks are a excellent emergency source
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

So are toilet tanks and filled bathtubs.
Here in Houston, during our last hurricane, fools call the radio stations and scream: "They're out of water at Krogers!" (We also had dummies trying to evacuate from areas 75 feet above sea level because they saw what the broken levees in New Orleans could do.)
We've had, over the years, our share of hurricanes and other calamaties. We've never lost the water supply. Most of the city is supplied by gravity-fed tanks - the city pumps water into water towers 100' feet in the air during the night and gravity supplies the pressure during the day. It takes DAYS to empty one of those tanks (absent a water main break).
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what if a terrorist took out somehow the water system by contamination or bombing the water line from the tanks? system drained no water........... bad scene.
dont lok for any help by government, they are clueless in emergencies:(
having a emergency supply of water cant hurt. worst is takes up space and perhaps leaks someday
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Having a portable filter thing isn't a bad idea, either. The kind backpackers use, with spare parts.
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With Bush in office you DO NOT have 16 years to build it. You are lucky if you have 16 days before Bush blows his cork and nukes the whole world. You better get busy !!!!!
Bush is the LAST president of the USA because he WILL nuke the world before he leaves the Whitehouse.
------------------------
On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 11:12:15 -0400, Bret Miller

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