question for you guys in tornado country

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by Ari, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Ari

    Ari Guest

    Do any of you have a reinforced storm shelter for tornadoes?

    I have a friend who lived in Edmonds OK and when he built his house he put in a hardened room for this type of thing. It was 6 inches of reinforced concrete plumed with TV and internet and phone. It was built like a vault without the vault door. The doorway had a foot high lip to keep water from coming in. It did have a very heavy door that can be latched at all four sides.

    I was watching a show on the weather channel about tornado's and I was wondering why we did not see more of this type of thing. Do any of you in tornado country have anything like this? What do you do to protect your family from tornado's?
  2. SharpsShtr

    SharpsShtr Member

    I would love to have such a room (who wouldn't!), but have to make do with a deep basement. I have considered reinforcing a portion with heavier timbers though.


  3. I saw a fancy house built not far from where I live and they made a concrete room while they were framing the house. Either they were making a vault for valuables, or a in house shelter.

    I live in a mobile home, but about 100 yds from me there is a old above ground cellar that used to be used for storing preserves. It looks like a small hill and is concrete lined.

    We call it our fraidy hole and if need be we head for it.

    If you live in tornado alley and do not have some sort of plan, you may regret it some day.
  4. pills

    pills Guest


    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    Well now even here in SC we get tornados and i have seen 2 or 3 up in Maine thru the years so I guess the whole country is tornado country :wink: But anyway we would just go into my bathroom since it's the only in room with no window
  6. urotu

    urotu Member

    Growing up in the midwest during summers was always fun. My families family came from wetsern Iowa and eastern Nebraska, lots of twistwers up in there during my summer visits.

    All of the houses we were in had storm cellars of some sort, although most were set up as storage for preserves, like Waltham is talking about. That's where you webt when the sirens went off, haha.

    You'd go into the "fruit" cellar and listen to the AM radio and play games by candle/oil lamp light until the warning was over.

    Some were built onto the house, some were built away from it, but either way. Most of the houses around were built with one, but not all. Usually it was newer houses that were built without. Almost every old house had one, but like I said, they were really multi use rooms. Not only is that were you went for shelter from the weather, but that's were you stored preserves and also other misc. pantry items you didn't neccessarily keep "on hand", but in storage.
  7. 1motion

    1motion Guest

    here in nebraska i see them from time to time... its fairly common for some people and trailer courts to have storm shelters. for the most part all the newer "upper class" houses are having them built in but for us nomal fellas i guess you do what ive always done and stand on the corner watching and hope it doesnt pass overhead.
  8. 1motion
    You must be a native. When the sirens go off us “Reverse Okies†get to the TV so we can see the radar and judge for ourselves if we need to take shelter.

    We got here the year after the May ’99 monster F5 went through Moore. My wife insisted on a) an under ground house, b) a house with a storm shelter or c) installing a shelter in the house we bought. We ended up with Option “câ€.

    So while I’m focused on the new job, she contracts for the “Cadillac†of storm shelters. It’s below grade, with an 8’x14’ patio top, made of reinforced concrete in a monolithic pour. The walls are about 6â€s thick so the interior is about 7’x13’x7’ high. The steel door has four pins to hold it down when closed for business. We keep some patio furniture, water and my left over from Y2K magneto powered radio down there.

    For the first few years we used it two or three times a spring. Haven’t had to go down the last two springs but there is peace of mind knowing what the plan is should you need it.
  9. where was he biulding this concrete room , if its just insside the house , he really isnt goin to be that much safer then anyother room, if you ever seen a good tornado an the damage it does it will take that concrete box and place it someplace else in a hurry , only real safe place is below the ground level , i seen a few years ago in ohio it took semi trucks an trailers both and deposited them a few hundred yards out in a field , so id want it below ground level , :shock:
  10. condition1

    condition1 Member

    I was gonna pass on a response, but since we had several people in AR get killed by tornadoes this week...
    The safe room you're talking is a great idea in theory, but they have to be reinforced. I've been through several tornadoes and have decided there is no way to fully protect yourself short of a cave.
    My first experience as a child--Two houses down: house completely removed with bare foundation remaining, next door missing part of roof, Our house: some shingles missing, house across the street: stripped to foundation. No rhyme or reason. The entire neighborhood was in our basement and we were so lucky that thing didn't hit the house directly. It was truly miraculous.
    My brother and I used to hole up under the stairs (in basement) when we were kids and home alone, but thankfully, Dad taught us how to stand outside and stare and evaluate as we got older!!! Hail sure hurts your noggin though.
    So if you do not have the safe room, storm shelter or a basement, your best bet is the most interior room without windows, obviously away from the direction storms usually come (almost always south and west here in AR). Flying debris is your number one enemy. I've seen some crazy $#!+ driven into trees and through homes by the winds.
    The gist of it is, take cover. and if it's your time, it's your time.
  11. That was the most powerful storm (wind speed) in recorded history. I don't think a safe room would survive an F5 like that.

    I grew up in a house in North Central Texas that had a storm cellar. We used it once for approximately ten minutes. Haven't had one since.
  12. If you had the space?

    Couldn't you simply take cinder block into an existing room and build one inside an existing home?
  13. Re: If you had the space?

    Not unless you're going to redo the foundation, reinforce the cinder blocks with steel, fill the cavities with concrete and intall a conctete ceiling. These guys are the pros on wind damage.
  14. Silicon Wolverine

    Silicon Wolverine Well-Known Member

    When you think about just building a cinderblock wall think abotu this: F3 tornados have driven 2x4 lumber through houses, barns and steel walled grain bins. As mentioned above they have flung semis and buig trucks hundreds of feet. And personanly i have seen a tornado rip a full grown 40 foot cottonwood tree completely out of the ground, spin it like a boomerang adn drop it more than a mile from its starting point (nearly didnt make it out of that one). Wind driven debris in not to be underestimated.

  15. only safe place is under ground in my book, i cant really see any concrete room surviving a tornado , all you would have is a space shuttle when it ripped the house apart and it would send you flyin :shock:
  16. I lived in Altus for several years. I watched every storm that spun a tornado in OK pass over my house. I know it isn't perfect, but its sure better than laying in your fiberglass tub.
  17. Ari

    Ari Guest

    You see bank vaults survive them all the time. A bunch of the photos I have seen of towns the bank vaults are the only thing still standing. My friend had his engineered for above ground as anything underground back there stands good chance of filling with water during a big storm.
  18. I just have a basement.
  19. .38sogreat

    .38sogreat Guest

    I'm in Oklahoma and I saw a tornado rip a bank vault to peices, twice the may 3rd and may 9th safe rooms are good for small ones but for big ones just run.
  20. .38sogreat

    .38sogreat Guest

    You know storm cellars are better than safe rooms and better protection from things like bombs.