Saturday, April 17, 2010

Storm Shelters for Survival - Part One

Storm shelters are a vital necessity in many parts of the country. The threats from tornadoes and other severe storms are a very real danger to your survival. My area is no exception and having a good storm shelter is one of the areas where my preparations have been inadequate. This is a situation that needs to be addressed and has been moved to the top of the list of things that need to be done. You should also realize that creating and planning the most effective and efficient design possible for your storm shelter will be what makes your chances for survival a success.


After considering several different types of storm shelters, it seems that a shelter that takes advantage of your natural surroundings will probably be one of the safest means possible to weather a severe storm. Many creatures in our natural environment survive devastating storms by simply taking advantages of natural shelter that is available. Sometimes their shelter is little more than a hole in the ground and yet they manage to survive. The location for your storm shelter should blend in with the shape and contours of your surroundings which will make it less obtrusive to your daily life but also be there if and when it is needed. Building an effective and efficient storm shelter will require a great deal of planning in order to insure your survival. Your long term survival is largely dependent on your ability to survive the short term effects of a severe storm.


While there are many types of commercially built storm shelters available, most can be cost prohibitive for many people. With some time, effort and a little research, you should be able to design and build an effective storm shelter that can fit into your budget. If you’ve got plenty of money or received a big tax refund this year, it may not be a problem for you and one of the commercially available shelters may be more appropriate for your needs. Certain classic storm shelter designs are based on steel or concrete construction or a combination of these two materials. Newer and more modern designs are being based on fiberglass structures that offer strength similar to steel and concrete but don’t have the long term disadvantages of rust or deterioration. The fiberglass option seems to be the type that will best suit my needs based on my own research into storm shelters. It also offers the option for moderately easy repairs through the use of readily available fiberglass repair kits. It will probably be in combination with some type of geo-mass such as mounds of soil, bags of dirt or rocks.

More considerations on my plans for building a storm shelter will be forthcoming in Part Two.

Got hole in the ground?

Staying above the water line!



Lucas @SurvivalCache said...

Looking forward to hear what you end up doing.

Are you leaning towards an under the house type system (like in the basement) or a freestanding structure away from the house somewhere?

riverwalker said...

To: Lucas

We get a lot of straight line winds during thunderstorms that have caused some real damage and we've had a couple of small twisters (one turned a storage shed upside down in my backyard). My place in the country only has an older mobile home on it and is very livable but not where I'd want to be in a really bad storm even though it is tied down and anchored really well.

I've got a natural depression in an area with a slight slope that is fairly close to the house but high enough that I don't need to worry about flooding from the creek which runs through my place.

I'm working on a plan to take advantage of that depression to locate my storm shelter in and won't need to dig a hole in the ground (why dig when you've got one already?) It can be covered with dirt or rocks. I also plan to do it so that it won't be directly visible (kind of a natural camouflage) but still have easy access in an emergency.

Mrs. RW says I should have done it a long time ago but using the excuse that I'm old and slow didn't work too well.LOL!

I've got my sights set on a small fiberglass greenhouse that may fit in the depression. If the dimensions of the fiberglass unit work out, it will save some construction costs and labor. It will also give me room for about six to eight persons (a normal headcount for most small family get-togethers). This should be sufficient in the majority of cases.

I've got some different ideas for water supply and sanitation that should work well with this set-up.

Sorry Lucas. I started rambling thinking about all the things I got
planned. I've even bought some small, flame retardant mattresses to go in it already that I got at a discount through a govt. auction.

More later (including some pics).

Thanks Lucas.


storm shelters said...

Be careful with the fiberglass units. They're more prone to leaking than steel shelters and they don't last as long. If you're able to afford it, I suggest you look int a steel unit.

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