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Tornado safe rooms

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  • hatton1 hatton1 
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    Anyone here installed an aftermarket tornado safe room?  If so what did it cost and what features are important?  I live in an area that has frequent tornados and I now have a 3 car garage with plenty of space.

    #235016 Reply
    Liked by jz
    Avatar artemis 
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    I looked at having one installed several years ago, but didn’t go through wit it, so I can’t be of much help. The one I was looking at was one of the ones that are installed in the garage floor, not an above-ground room. Perhaps this link will be helpful: http://www.flash.org/peril_inside.php?id=177

    I’d get one that’s a bit larger than what you expect to need, as you could be in there a while. Plus, you’ll want enough room to accommodate any friends or house-guests who might be vising at the time. I’d ask around locally to see if any particular company has a better reputation as far as installation is concerned.

    #235026 Reply
    Liked by hatton1
    Avatar ajm184 
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    Seen two types in our neighborhood.

    a. the safe room in house:  Basically a concrete/cinder block walk-in closet with a steel framed door.  Stand-up, chill out, forced to reorganize closet time.  Lots of room for flashlights, food, etc.

    b. The steel box in garage:  We have this.  Basically, a company will carve out an 8 foot long, 4.5 deep, 3’ish foot wide hole in your garage and drop in a steel plated box to go into in case of a tornado.  Small, cramped and requires some pre-planned (water, flashlight, food and extra containers for human waste).  Very safe IMO, though if the house get dropped on top of you, it will be a bit before someone gets you out.  Be sure to register with FD/municipality so someone will at least have an idea that your are there in case of a tornado hitting your home.  My builders said it cost between 3 and 5K, though not sure if that included creating the hole in the garage.

    #235029 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
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    Splash Refinancing Bonus

    The steel box in garage:  We have this.  Basically, a company will carve out an 8 foot long, 4.5 deep, 3’ish foot wide hole in your garage and drop in a steel plated box to go into in case of a tornado.  Small, cramped and requires some pre-planned (water, flashlight, food and extra containers for human waste).  Very safe IMO, though if the house get dropped on top of you, it will be a bit before someone gets you out.  Be sure to register with FD/municipality so someone will at least have an idea that your are there in case of a tornado hitting your home.  My builders said it cost between 3 and 5K, though not sure if that included creating the hole in the garage.

    Click to expand…

    This sounds like the beginning of an Edgar Allen Poe story, holy crap.

    #235032 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
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    Basically, a company will carve out an 8 foot long, 4.5 deep, 3’ish foot wide hole in your garage and drop in a steel plated box to go into in case of a tornado.

    Click to expand…

    I think I would rather be torn apart or transported to Oz then trapped in that.

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    hatton1 hatton1 
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    Thanks for the responses.  My new house has a whole house backup generator.  We had a brief power outage last week and it performed great.  My neighbor was telling me that she installed a tornado room when her house was being built.  It is in a closet and cost around $10k.  I requested a quote from a company in my area but have not had a response yet.  I really do not want the type where you have to climb down a ladder to get in it.  I could see breaking my hip trying to get my dog down the ladder.  It appears they can anchor them to your garage slab.  At least this seems to be a possibility from my preliminary research.

    #235056 Reply
    Avatar Brains428 
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    This was on Shark Tank. Seemed interesting since I moved to a place with more frequent tornadoes for practice. Having looked at homes in the region without storm shelters, this seems like a decent alternative.

    https://lifeliftsystems.com/

     

    #235061 Reply
    Liked by SLC OB, hatton1
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
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    Depending on your location and the kind of tornadoes that you typically get, you may want to consider an underground shelter. If you get an F5, you really need to be underground to survive. Ask the residents of Moore, Oklahoma.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #235074 Reply
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    Avatar southernerdoc 
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    We have one in our unfinished basement.  Cost $17 grand at the time.  It’s a large unit with a small bed and a line to our heat/AC to keep it from getting too cold or hot.  Has a small wall-mounted LCD TV, phone, etc.  You can fit about 10 people in it.

    #235111 Reply
    Liked by hatton1
    childay childay 
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    Depending on your location and the kind of tornadoes that you typically get, you may want to consider an underground shelter. If you get an F5, you really need to be underground to survive. Ask the residents of Moore, Oklahoma.

    Click to expand…

    We have pretty frequent tornados around here.  But F5 level are quite rare anywhere.  I would wonder if the odds of being (particularly directly) hit by one would justify cost of the bunker / shelter.  Essentially insuring against an extremely unlikely event.  A smaller tornado however, presumably much more likely.  I feel we would be relatively safe in the walkout basement which is dug into the hill.  Did a little googling

    https://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma/2013/08/29/twister-truths-can-nothing-survive-an-ef5-tornado/

    https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/columns/straight-dope/article/13041175/straight-dope-in-tornado-is-basement-a-life-saver

    Admittedly a bunker would be cool..

    #235130 Reply
    Avatar southernerdoc 
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    My wife survived an F4 tornado that demolished her childhood home.  The likelihood of her going through 2 tornadoes is incredibly small.  However, the $17k was well worth it to help with her anxiety whenever strong thunderstorms roll through.

    #235141 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
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    Depending on your location and the kind of tornadoes that you typically get, you may want to consider an underground shelter. If you get an F5, you really need to be underground to survive. Ask the residents of Moore, Oklahoma.

    Click to expand…

    We have pretty frequent tornados around here.  But F5 level are quite rare anywhere.  I would wonder if the odds of being (particularly directly) hit by one would justify cost of the bunker / shelter.  Essentially insuring against an extremely unlikely event.  A smaller tornado however, presumably much more likely.  I feel we would be relatively safe in the walkout basement which is dug into the hill.  Did a little googling

    https://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma/2013/08/29/twister-truths-can-nothing-survive-an-ef5-tornado/

    https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/columns/straight-dope/article/13041175/straight-dope-in-tornado-is-basement-a-life-saver

    Admittedly a bunker would be cool..

    Click to expand…

    If I was going to install a tornado shelter, I would choose underground. I’m not sure what the cost differences are but I know the underground shelters are fairly reasonable and I would guess the prices would be comparable. To steal a line from Ron White (although it’s technically about hurricanes): “It’s not THAT the wind is blowing, it’s WHAT the wind is blowing.” Growing up in tornado alley I’ve had the opportunity to see a decent amount of tornado damage and I would choose underground. As far as the links above, the second one is fairly incorrect about basements in the Oklahoma tornado because basements are actually somewhat uncommon for houses in Oklahoma. Most people have a cellar or other small underground shelters. I know…semantics. But, if there are concerns about going down steps, as @hatton1 mentioned, and trying to get dogs down there then I can see where one would want to just make a safe room and be done with it.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #235143 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
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    Tornadoes don’t last very long. I really don’t think you need AC, food, water, piss jugs etc.

    I could see like a 5×5 cubicle bolted to a corner of the garage or in an unfinished basement, could double as a gun safe maybe for those of us into that?

    I guess my thought on this is really you need to be able to huddle for an hour max and then get out. By definition tornadoes generally do not occur at extreme temps which I think obviates the need for climate control. Not sure how excited I’d be about being buried underneath my house hoping that someone remembers to check on me. I mean I guess it’s better than being dead, but a key feature here would seem to be “able to exit without being rescued.”

    It’s also very clearly a high cost to insure against a very rare event.

    #235144 Reply
    Liked by Antares, hatton1
    ddswifey ddswifey 
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    We have had 2 inground tornado shelters— 2 different houses.      One was the kind in the garage, built after the house was finished.    It got cob-webby but that’s about it.   it cost about 4k.    We also built one in our last house…inside, inground underneath the stair case.      This one stayed very clean.   It held about 10 adults (sitting) or more if necessary I’d guess. lol.    That one was built during the foundation phase of our building and we bartered for the cost of it—about 5k.      My husband and I joke, Just let us put X in our house and then rest assured it will never be necessary.   never used either tornado shelter but a bad one came near us the first time and that’s why we took the precautions.

    I'm here to learn

    #235146 Reply
    Avatar Brains428 
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    I think there is a need for non-perishable food and drinkable water should water lines go bad. I suppose at our income, one could swing living in an extended hotel until things recover. Most people I know after hurricanes made it through tried to make it back to their homes to clear trees and make sure everything was ok. I’ve never been through extended tornado recovery.

    I’m pretty close to where the Joplin F5 hit. Because it blind sided people, the weather forecasters here are on high alert during tornado season.

    For those that actually have shelters, can you comment on the above link I posted as to whether it’s a good or bad item?

    #235153 Reply

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