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#220600 - 03/31/11 01:22 AM Re: Retrofitting my house for tornado shelter? [Re: Blast]
pie2mats Offline

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 1
Howdy everyone!
i kinda agree with that, i don't want running around to seek shelter over the storm room outside the home when my family could just go down and keep safe. Cut right through he slab. Try concrete safe room, built with concrete blocks and a poured concrete roof, is the way to go.† I didnít feel like any wooden structure would be safe enough. The combination of stress changes and increased wind speeds can cause normal building components to fail. In new construction, one or more regular basement walls can be reinforced to use as shelter walls if they do not contain windows or other openings. The shelter must have a special ceiling that resists penetration from debris above.
nice insights regarding the matter, works well in clientele explanation for similar concerns and great concept for future endeavor of the project and information resource option. please do provide some photos of the frame for reference i would really appreciate it. have a great day ahead.

Evacuation is still the best way to avoid the full impact of these mega storms.
Matt Pierce

#220671 - 04/01/11 02:15 AM Re: Retrofitting my house for tornado shelter? [Re: pie2mats]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
Hi pie2mats! How about a quick introductory post?
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

#220677 - 04/01/11 03:50 AM Re: Retrofitting my house for tornado shelter? [Re: Blast]
Frisket Offline

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 640
I say go the My name is earl way and dig a ditch to curl up in <.<

Found Vid =D


Cut ta 1:20 In

Edited by Frisket (04/01/11 09:09 AM)

#220698 - 04/01/11 12:31 PM Re: Retrofitting my house for tornado shelter? [Re: Blast]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1511
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
do you have access to reasonably cheap sheet steel (1/4inch or so) from the Houston shipyards?....portable "shoot houses" are constructed of 4'x8' steel plate and connected at the corners with a sandwich of inner/outer angle iron

there are several seawall companies here on the west coast of Fla that make precast/prestressed seawall sections... they are tongue and groove, but you might find someone that would produce an easy to erect out bilding if you choose to not modify existing structure

the easiest, and probably most accessable for construction would to add two more block walls (with floor/ceiling vents) to an existing corner of your garage... hire a concrete pumper and try to vibrate as soupy a mix you can down the existing walls, rebar and solid pour new walls, add a steel inward opening door.. make a monolithic pour to the reinforced roof and lintel... add some bench seats...commode would be a nice touch

#220700 - 04/01/11 12:53 PM Re: Retrofitting my house for tornado shelter? [Re: Blast]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4857
Speaking of "6' or 8' square bump-out off the rear of the house", go Monolithic. They're in your neighborhood -- okay, not really, but they are in Texas wink
The Monolithic Cabin can be used as a rental unit, eco-housing or granny flat, disaster shelter, workshop, office or studio, game room, vacation dome, exercise room, temporary housing for work crews or home builders, guest house or storage. They can be designed as single living units or combined with others. The list goes on and on!

#220775 - 04/02/11 07:01 PM Re: Retrofitting my house for tornado shelter? [Re: Blast]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1511
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
it sure seems that a "wooden box" with the wall studs, ceiling and floor joist of 2x6 PT, on 12inch centers... sheathed interior and exterior (under floor included) with 5/8 or 3/4 plywood screwed to each stud...double layers of top plate and solid lintel over a steel door would be a viable option for a retro fit..you could skim it in sheet steel if so desired...if you could manage the height so you could get it under a garage door, and into a corner on a pallet jack you might have a cottage industry on your hand... and portable enough to move with you

a check with Texas A&M or Univ of Oklahoma, college of Civil Engineering should have the specs for such a construction

Edited by LesSnyder (04/02/11 07:03 PM)

#220784 - 04/03/11 04:38 AM Re: Retrofitting my house for tornado shelter? [Re: Blast]
ducktapeguy Offline

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
Belive it or not FEMA has free plans on building all type of shelters, ranging from basement concrete shelters to above ground wood or steel shelters.


Actually the entire FEMA320 document is a good reference.

#221087 - 04/07/11 03:16 PM Re: Retrofitting my house for tornado shelter? [Re: jaywalke]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
It is quite possible to construct a tornado shelter out of a small, first floor, internal closet using mostly plywood. The idea is to create a thick wooden box that is securely connected to the foundation, that one can take refuge in during a tornado, yet still use as a closet the rest of the time. It is not real expensive.

It is not perfect, but it is a pretty fair shelter.
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#221115 - 04/08/11 01:13 AM Re: Retrofitting my house for tornado shelter? [Re: Blast]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2822
Under stairs is good too, nice angle on top to hopefully let anything falling slide down. Empty closet, rip out drywall. Drill and bolt the footers to the floor, screw the studs to the footers with strong deck screws. Cover with plywood, screw together with good construction screws, even use liquid nails for extra strength, re-cover with new drywall.

#221119 - 04/08/11 02:30 AM Re: Retrofitting my house for tornado shelter? [Re: Blast]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
The strength of wood is that it is easily worked with common tools, it is inexpensive and holds together well when well designed. It is a project anyone handy could handle with little or no help. It isn't hard to design a structure that will stay together and erect with wood.

Its weakness is that it is hard to design in enough resistance to penetration to meet the forces involved with 2by4s coming end-on at high speed. A partial solution is to incorporate some sheet steel to boost resistance to penetration but the protection is not often complete and it both raises the price and difficulty of the construction process. Locating the room well inside a structure also helps as anything that would strike the room has to get through the rest of the house first.

Most commonly approved designs use a lot of poured concrete, usually in the form of concrete blocks with filled cells or expanded styrene forms, and rebar to hold it all together. The down side of this is that mixing and pouring concrete is labor intensive. Commercial mix trucks, or short-batch mixers, and pumping greatly reduces labor but pouring in an existing structure can be complicated and it is often more than a home handyman is comfortable doing even with help. Pumping and vibrating a yard or three of concrete is a job for at least three healthy people.

An experienced commercial concrete crew can set up and pour a small room in a couple of days so what they cost you might be offset with savings in time.

There is another form of concrete work, tilt-up panels, that can be worked by a couple of carpenters using concrete delivery trough-fed right off the truck. These wall and ceiling sections are laid out on flat ground or slab where the truck can get to them, formed up and the rebar and mesh is positioned like you would pouring a slab. After pouring and finishing the concrete is allowed to come up to strength and then the slabs are tilted up and shifted into position, and joined.

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