Sunday, December 9, 2012

More Information on Tornado and Bomb Shelters


        I remember writing in Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness that most people have no particular need for a bunker.   Unless you are in an area in which tornadoes are common, then your preparation is probably better spent looking at ways to shelter in place or toward family evacuation.  A few families would benefit from a storm shelter.

           So back in August, I wrote a post which touched on storm and bomb shelters, and gave some contact information for some of the companies who manufacture and install these types of structures.

Please take a look at this:

            Since that time, a lot of people have asked me about these, and have wanted additional information.
First off, let me say that it is extremely important to learn all you can about such structures if you are considering one.  Ask yourself if you can afford such a thing, and also if the money wouldn't better be spent elsewhere in your preps.   In addition, a mention on this blog constitutes a mention only.  A mention in this or the prior post on bomb or disaster shelters does not constitute an endorsement of any kind.

  It is essential to do your own research and make your own decisions.

             These are some companies that specialize in tornado or bomb shelters or saferooms.
 I have not included fiberglass structures because I am aware that as buried structures, they may crack.

Cozy Caverns                                         

     Cozy Caverns builds custom built all metal storm shelters, which are sold nationwide.  They are based in Arkansas.  These are extremely heavy structures which are designed for families who wish to sit to ride out a storm.

This is the interior of a cozy cavern structure. The benching is part of the structure.

    These structures range from about $4500 up, but they do sell some that you may paint yourself and these afford you a substantial savings.   They can produce the shelter and install it in Arkansas, but the installation and anchoring, which can be quite expensive, they cannot do for you outside their home state.  This means that you must find a qualified installer.  This company always has a waiting list for their product. They also have financing through Iberia Bank in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Jarrell Storm Shelters                                       

      This company produces storm shelters within the great state of Texas.
     Check out their website should you or other family reside in Texas.


Utah Shelter Systems                                      

       Utah Shelter Systems has been in business since 1984 and builds a corrugated metal structure which is designed to be buried. It has entrances which can be accessed by handicapped individuals and it can be completely customized.

        The least expensive structure is about $51,000.   Many of these structures come with air filtration and other devices.  Blast doors can also be ordered.   These are designed to be "All hazard shelters".


  F5 Storm Shelters and Safe Rooms                               

         This company builds military grade structures intended for governments, churches, daycares, schools etc.  They build primarily metal structures and have abandoned concrete which they say develop mold and seep water when buried.

This option is directly quoted from their website:

We are now offering an above ground shelter on a lease to own bases.  This is a 7' tall, 6' wide, and 8' long shelter.  We will charge $3,100.00 down at the time you order the shelter.  We will then build the shelter and deliver it for $2.05 per mile one way from Baskin, Louisiana, 71295, to your location.  We install the shelter as specified by our structural engineer.  The shelter and installation is done where it meets or exceeds FEMA requirements.  Your total cost at this time has been $3,100.00 down and $2.05 per mile for delivery.  This can be done with cash, check, or credit card.  After the installation is complete, you pay $225.00 per month for 48 months.  First note is due 30 days from the day we install.  You must be the land owner to order the shelter.  


     A purveyor of all types of shelters is

  They are the owners and manufacturers of the shelter which is pictured at the top of the page, which is actually fiberglass.  They also had an interesting caution on their website, which reads:

<<     Building permits are required within most city limits. Do NOT let anyone install a shelter on your property without a building permit if your local government requires it. The city has the legal right to have you remove your shelter or require you to get a permit after the fact if you have a shelter installed without a building permit. This is important if you ever plan to sell your home.>>

       This was particularly interesting to me because no one I know in the country has bothered to get a building permit, as they wanted their structure to be completely secret.

       Key Point: 
Again, if you have a need for one of these, do your research fully and do not allow yourself to be rushed.  You want your decision to be the best one possible for yourself and your family.


Kathy Felsted Usher said...

My husband and his employer have installed a couple of tornado shelters in the past (we're in a tornado prone area). Most of us (here) have basements, which help. I don't happen to have one but if I did not have a basement it would be something I would seriously consider. Some of these models are small-standing room only- and some as large as a very small bedroom or walk in closet, in fact they can be installed in new construction as a closet which can be a safe room. They ones they installed were fire proof and could function as a gun safe/valuable safe. (These were above ground). For anyone that can afford it it really is a nice thing to have.

JaneofVirginia said...

Kathy, Thanks for your post. In the last few years where we are, there have been a lot of serious tornadoes. We have a deep basement which helps also, but nothing is designed to take a direct hit. I wouldn't mind a safe room but I suspect that we will never do this. I have been researching the smaller and less expensive subterranean systems lately for the blog and also because our daughter bought a house with no basement. Her best bet in a tornado is one of her interior bathrooms which is windowless, but I still think this is something she should research.

Stacy Taylor said...

The storm shelters are designed to provide you and your family with the best storm protection in the convenience of your garage.

Storm Shelters