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Thread: Storm Shelters?

  1. #1

    Question Storm Shelters?

    Ok I got approved for a rebate for a storm shelter. I really don't know much about them. Which companies are good which ones are not. Do I put it in the garage or outdoors underground? What are the pros and cons of doing so. Not sure I want to pull my car out of the garage and leave it outside in the hail. I guess however if your car is small (ford focus) and garage is big enough you can pull up enough where you can still get into the shelter. Then what happens though if the car lands on top of the shelter and you can't get the door open. Maybe I'm over thinking it.

    Also I see one company will back-filled with ready-mix concrete. Another company just uses dirt. Reason I was told for this when I asked about it was that the dirt lets the water move around it so it wont float. Also I see there are different doors. Outdoors needs an outdoor door but in the garage would it matter if I had a single door or the two door systems that most companies use. I have seen reviews where those 2 doors leak really bad but being in the garage it's not going to get wet maybe just water from the car.

    Anyway and thoughts or input would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Storm Shelters?

    As you've found, its 6 of one and a half dozen of the other. Both inside and outside have advantages and disadvantages.

    I went outside and the deciding factor was advise from the former City Fire Marshall, who told me they would put the shelter as far from the house as possible. And I did not like the idea of being stuck inside a shelter by debris.

    But I hate mowing around the thing. Its really a PITA. And its an eyesore.

    Its a toss up.

  3. Default Re: Storm Shelters?

    We utilized the state rebate program a few years ago and had Ground Zero install a shelter in our garage.

    My house was built in the 60's and my wife drives an Infiniti FX35 (think midsize crossover) and there is plenty of room for her car to be parked in the garage and us still access the shelter entrance. It's gonna depend on the size of your garage and the size of your car. You can measure it out easy enough and see. Shouldn't be an issue in most cases.

    We debated a garage shelter vs. a walk-in shelter vs. an underground outdoor shelter.

    The walk-in shelters took up too much room IMO. The outdoor shelter is an eyesore. Also, a shelter is only worth having if it's convenient to use. I'm not going to run to my hidey-hole (as my grandmother calls it) way in advance. So, by the time I seek shelter, there's a good chance the rain, lighting and hail will already be coming down. I don't want to be running outside in all that. Way too easy to just walk out into the garage when needed.

    I can't imagine putting my shelter "as far form the house as possible." Sounds like dangerous advice.

    As for the debris being on top of your shelter - this could be a concern if you are in a rural area (mild). I don't see it as big concern in a populated area. For one, it's not a common occurrence. Two, Many municipalities have a shelter registration programs. So, in the event of a tornado, they know which houses have shelters that may contain trapped individuals. I'd personally rather be stuck in my shelter for a couple of hours then to have an inconvenient shelter somewhere in my yard.

    Installation was a breeze and no mess. The said, we've only been in it to clean it routinely. I think it adds value to the house too.

    Just my thoughts.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Storm Shelters?

    As for debris being on top of your shelter................. uhhh , maybe a roof ? Ya think ? Walls, bricks, collapsing on top of your garage shelter ?

    Nawww , never happen.

  5. Default Re: Storm Shelters?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    As for debris being on top of your shelter................. uhhh , maybe a roof ? Ya think ? Walls, bricks, collapsing on top of your garage shelter ?

    Nawww , never happen.
    The door on my shelter can come off two ways... It slides or can be unchained and lifted off.... I keep a hydraulic jack in mine to lift the lid if it was covered in debris and I also have a pretty serious pry bar down there.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Storm Shelters?

    Yeah,, I just can't imagine that the Fire Dept would know anything about digging people out of a tornado damaged house ......... if ya want real good advise, just listen to posters at OKC Talk.

    Good grief.

    And remember while you're stuck in that hole, all the natural gas , water, and electric lines are broken.

    I think I want my shelter as far from the house as possible.

  7. Default Re: Storm Shelters?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    Yeah,, I just can't imagine that the Fire Dept would know anything about digging people out of a tornado damaged house ......... if ya want real good advise, just listen to posters at OKC Talk.
    So are you saying we should or shouldn't listen to what you are saying?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Storm Shelters?


  9. #9

    Default Re: Storm Shelters?

    Thanks for some help. I'm in the city of OKC the spot i would like to put it is only a few feet away from the house. However I have a fenced in yard. So in order for them to do the work i or they have to take down the fence and a couple of polls. So there would be some extra work involved. I guess if it's a big enough tornado most of the debris would be blown away as my garage sits on the sw corner of the home. That was a good point about the gas and electric though with having it the garage. Never thought about that one. But once again big enough tornado I'm sure the power will be out and the gas quickly shut off since I'm in the city.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Storm Shelters?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    Yeah,, I just can't imagine that the Fire Dept would know anything about digging people out of a tornado damaged house ......... if ya want real good advise, just listen to posters at OKC Talk.

    Good grief.

    And remember while you're stuck in that hole, all the natural gas , water, and electric lines are broken.

    I think I want my shelter as far from the house as possible.
    Working some of the Moore tornado clean up I don’t think it matters all that much. Debris and cars were everywhere they weren’t supposed to be. I have above ground shelter in a detached garage. The biggest barrier to using it is making the 20’ walk in a storm from the house to the garage. If you aren’t in it, it’s not any help.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Storm Shelters?

    There are some decent looking outdoor shelters (i.e., if you build them into a heavily landscaped hill and face the door towards the adjacent property line), but most people poor boy them to the point where a prospective buyer will assign either $0 or a negative value to the shelter.

  12. Default Re: Storm Shelters?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    As for debris being on top of your shelter................. uhhh , maybe a roof ? Ya think ? Walls, bricks, collapsing on top of your garage shelter ?

    Nawww , never happen.

    As being as far away from the house as possible.... uhhh, maybe hail and lighting that can severely hurt or kill you. Or you are woken up in the middle of the night by sirens and have to run to your shelter that is as far from the house as possible - when the tornado could already be bearing down on you.....

    Nawww, never happen.

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