ideas for tornado resistant shelter
Friend is just starting to redo his basement bathroom. He is thinking of beefing up the small room to also make a tornado shelter out of it.
He isn’t looking for tornado proof, so isn’t going to pour a concrete box. I believe his ceiling height is 7′ or a hair less. The bathroom is against the north wall of the basement and he has a half height concrete wall on the west wall.
He is also on a budget, so can’t get too carried away.
God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. — Voltaire
A concrete cutting chain saw with fresh gas, so he can cut his sorry butt free when the house is collapsed on top of him is all ya need.
Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks
Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations
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If the door opened out you might not be able to move it because of stuff on it.
I guess opening in with a couple of deadbolts would work.
And four hinges with long screws.
FEMA has a pretty straight forward document that describes the design parameters of storm shelters. From what I a gathered after a quick read, below grade shelters only need protection from flying missiles from above. The door might be a moot problem to solve. http://www.fema.gov/doc/library/ts5-28.doc
I was responding to sphere and how he said you would need a saw to get out of it.
I figured if the door opened out you wouldn't be able to get out because the door would have material on it.
If it opened in you could open it and start moving things in the way.
But I've read that doors opening in are not as strong. There's no door stop behind them. So more hinges and more latches.
We built a tornado shelter under our stairway to the second floor. Walls are ICF's w/ steel to rate them at 250 MPH. Outside walls of house first floor are ICF's w/ steel to rate then at 125 mph. Stairway has a pair of "C" sections anchored on reinforced concrete top & bottom to catch the roof & second floor if they chose to fall in.
Door is a 12 gage (I think) solid jail door weighing 300 lbs on three ball bearing hinges. It OPENS OUT! I chose to open out because a reinforced concrete wall rated at 250 mph w/ an integral jamb is one heck of a lot stronger than a 1inch dead bolt & three hinges. If there's any debris outside the door, I figure we can hunker down till they dig us out. We've had tornados go through our north Ga neigborhood before & neighbors check on the safety of one another after it's over. They see our house demolished & they'd really quick hear us shouting through the debris. They all have chain saws & BIG tools for one reason or another. We are not concerned.
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Basically, he needs to take precautions to keep the floor above from falling on top of him, and, probably more importantly (in a statistical sense), to keep flying materials from entering the area. Sheathing the walls of the area with 1/2" plywood will probably take care of the latter, though probably some care needs to be taken with the door as well. In terms of the former, he should look at how the floor joists are suspended, add tiedowns, add extra joist hangers if indicated, etc.
He might give some thought re a self-supporting plywood layer over the room, not connected to the floor above, to protect the area should the floor be lifted off. Of course, then the walls of the area should also not be attached to the floor above, weakening them, so it's a bit of a trade-off.
Talk to Frenchy.