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TheMcs

convert closet to storm/safe room

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A while back I remodeled our stair case, instead of open steps with a bookcase underneath, I put up risers and walled in the 2 open sides to create the typical under stairs closet. Main motivation for this was the lack of shelter in case of a storm. Being in central Tornado Alley, that's a big concern.

 

Now that the basic go-to place is done, I'd like to go a step further and fortify. My buddy said he thought he'd seen a place that made steel inserts for similar applications, but we can't find it. I thought at least a steel frame, bolted to the slab then bolted or welded together, then cased on the inside with OSB or the like, would work.

 

While we're there, I'd really like to make it a temp panic room, something for the girls to be able to hide out in for the 15-30 minutes it would take for the cops to arrive.

Steel door with something like this;

http://www.amazon.com/Armor-Concepts-SET-EZA-10000-EZ-Reinforcing/dp/B004TSOOCE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330638574&sr=8-1

 

Anyone have ideas or experience?

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The Mcs,

There are places that convert closets into safes. I don't have any at hand but it should be findable on the internet.

Remember it is more than just the door. A tornado will drive a 2X4 completely through a brick house, in one side and out the other. There are above ground tornado shelters (safe rooms) but I frankly am not sure that these rooms will stand up to an F5. I'm not sure ANYTHING above ground will stand up to an F5 so be careful. Obviously your room would be better than "the bathroom" but make sure you know what you're paying for and get it.

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Capt Bart is correct as usual

 

I have commercial steel doors mounted inside heavy C channel frames bolted to the slab

and welded into the building frame with long throw dead lock bolts the rest of my building is

equally well constructed and if a tornado is on the way I am out of here.

 

The forces from a hurricane or tornado are not linear the difference between a F1 and F5

is a BB gun to a 50 cal and the F1 has killed people because it is also duration if a tornado

stays in place the vibration from buffeting winds will disassemble anything not to mention

flying debris like cars trees etc.....

Unless it is underground I would not stake my life on it and even the door must be strong enough

imagine a vacuum cleaner hose stuck in a jar full of sand when the door comes off your family

is the sand being sucked out.

 

Out running a tornado, or at night you cannot see it and they are like a drunk bat so

your only defense is as soon as the warning sounds so having a weather radio on at all times

then you have to wake up get the kids and you have to go to the shelter until

the warning is lifted how many hundred times are you going to do that before you blow it off.

 

unless your in a bad neighborhood / area it is probably not worth it.

 

A monitored EXTREMELY LOUD alarm system the more flashing lights and speakers

the better and motion sensor lights on all sides of your home.

Some insurance companies give discounts for these systems.

and good security habits.

 

you need to consider all your options and how much you will miss out on spending that money

for such a rare occasion IMHO.

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We had a home show here this past weekend so we did some figuring. A built-in solid steel shelter for the under stairs area runs about $8,000. For $2,600 we can install an in-ground steel storm shelter in the backyard. I believe we'll go that route. Tornados are a very real deal around here. Being a lifer in Tornado Alley I have a good idea of what to watch for, when to take it serious. But yeah, when the sirens go off at the very least my wife & kids are holed up, no matter what time.

I'm still going to look into beefing up the closet with the idea of it being somewhere the girls can go when I'm not home that will keep them safe long enough for police to get there. Alarm & dogs are already a presence. I'm thinking a sturdy door & frame, beefed up walls (not relying on 2 sheets of drywall to stop someone) and a phoneline in there ought to do it. Shotgun too if I can ever get my wife to shoot.

 

Thanks guys.

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MCs, good choice going under ground for the storm shelter. Having lived in both Kansas and Oklahoma, I can tell you, that's the only real solution. Even here in Texas, "the cellar" rules for storm shelters. Great Idea on the closet as a safe room for quick refuge. If you havent purchaced your shelter yet, check out www.groundzeroshelters.com

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A while back I remodeled our stair case, instead of open steps with a bookcase underneath, I put up risers and walled in the 2 open sides to create the typical under stairs closet. Main motivation for this was the lack of shelter in case of a storm. Being in central Tornado Alley, that's a big concern.

 

Now that the basic go-to place is done, I'd like to go a step further and fortify. My buddy said he thought he'd seen a place that made steel inserts for similar applications, but we can't find it. I thought at least a steel frame, bolted to the slab then bolted or welded together, then cased on the inside with OSB or the like, would work.

 

While we're there, I'd really like to make it a temp panic room, something for the girls to be able to hide out in for the 15-30 minutes it would take for the cops to arrive.

Steel door with something like this;

http://www.amazon.com/Armor-Concepts-SET-EZA-10000-EZ-Reinforcing/dp/B004TSOOCE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330638574&sr=8-1

 

Anyone have ideas or experience?

 

move to the american redoubt!

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