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Old 12-02-2016, 12:12 PM   #1
coonazz
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Default Need tornado shelter recommendations – Dallas area

Wife wants a tornado shelter (preferably underground, flush, in the garage) for a Christmas present. Anyone have any recommendations of a DFW company?
Any good/bad experiences?

I spoke with one guy that does this already (that was local) and he said there were issues installing those kinds of shelters in homes with post-tension slabs and North Texas shifting soils/ground. Wasn’t sure if that was accurate or if the guy was just trying to push the above ground shelter option.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:16 PM   #2
Todd-ty729
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Post tension is a factor. You do not want to cut a cable either on purpose or by accident.

Do you know if your foundation is post tension or are you unsure?

Underground outside is another option.


I do not know anyone that does this.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:23 PM   #3
coonazz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd-ty729 View Post
Post tension is a factor. You do not want to cut a cable either on purpose or by accident.

Do you know if your foundation is post tension or are you unsure?

Underground outside is another option.


I do not know anyone that does this.
Yeah - My slab is post-tension.
I'd prefer it be inside my garage so we wouldn't have to go outside to get in it.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:44 PM   #4
RogueSamurai
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The only thing I would say to that is that if the shelter is inside the house, the house
could, in theory collapse in on the top of the shelter and trap you in there. In an F-1, most of the house. trees etc stay in the area as opposed to an F-5 that removes everything.

Of course, a shelter that is outside could have debris land on the hatch as well. Just something to consider.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:46 PM   #5
Todd-ty729
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When we are going to penetrate a post tension slab or deck we get it x ray or scanned to locate the cables. They might be far enough apart to allow for the access into the shelter.

Need to do this before you make a final decision.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:48 PM   #6
Todd-ty729
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I would like to have a shelter underground that would double as a gun safe or reloading room or something. Dual purpose
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd-ty729 View Post
I would like to have a shelter underground that would double as a gun safe or reloading room or something. Dual purpose


Just happened to see this today




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:34 PM   #8
32drawlength
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I've seen these at Lowes recently
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:04 PM   #9
CWendling
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Native Storm Shelters is where we, and a few other people in our neighborhood, got theirs. All very happy and no problems. Its above ground, but they also do in floor. To answer an earlier comment, you should have your shelter registered with local FD, FEMA, and of course family knows. That way someone will check on you
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:55 PM   #10
PigPen21
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Pm bloodspiller on here...he is one of the main guys for "Rising S Bunkers"....they do amazing work and know what they are doing...they will build you exactly what you want...they are out of Kaufman county also
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:45 PM   #11
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Thanks all. Had my my first guy out to give me a quote. He really wanted me to do an above ground shelter on a slab they would need to pour, just outside of my house and I don't like that plan at all. Need to find someone to do the underground, in the garage option.
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:56 PM   #12
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Coon, I have just spent a week in Sedalia Missouri with my cousins hunting deer. Every one has a basement that is their shelter but things are changing. I was told after the Joplin tornado, developers are now putting in a 10 X 10 concrete reinforced room in the basement on new homes. The heavy metal door swings in, not out, and you lock it on the inside with a slide hinge. I think this is a brilliant idea. I am told a slow moving F5 can suck everyone out of the basement.

Last edited by John_b; 12-03-2016 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:22 PM   #13
bigtex76
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I'm right down the road from you. I had a above ground one installed in my garage. Let me know if you want any more info.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:05 PM   #14
TornadoPod
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Hi Coon,
I know you are looking for a "in-house" shelter, but I've been told that drilling holes or cutting the slab will void your warranty. Check out our shelters. We produce and install the TornadoPod (www.tornadopod.com). It takes up a 6x6 spot in your back or side yard and will hold 6-7 adults. It can be painted any color or wrapped in camo. We've been certified by the American Tornado Shelter Association and meet all the FEMA criteria. More information and videos can be seen at www.facebook.com/tornadopod.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:14 PM   #15
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I remember a tornado that hit Dallas/Farmersbranch back in 1976 or '77. Buddy and I went to look at the damage the following day. It had crossed a field after touching an apartment complex. In that field was a 5 foot trench that it left before hitting a Baptist church on the other side.
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:28 PM   #16
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You would need to tunnel under to install under the garage. You can jack hammer a hole in a post tension between cables without any trouble, for the door
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coonazz View Post
Thanks all. Had my my first guy out to give me a quote. He really wanted me to do an above ground shelter on a slab they would need to pour, just outside of my house and I don't like that plan at all. Need to find someone to do the underground, in the garage option.
Underground is the only way but the flush mount garage floor shelter are not a good idea. In the event a tornado does hit your home and debri falls on the door there will be nothing to keep the water from filling the shelter. You need an option that protrudes 4-6" above the slab to keep this from happening.
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:06 PM   #18
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Texas storm shelter guy in Sherman did mine. I got an 8 person above ground Tornado safe shelter in my garage. He bolted it to my slab. Its supposed to with stand an f5. Makes my house hold so much more comfortable for the kids around storm season. 4800 out the door. I don't have post tension slab though.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:40 PM   #19
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just check the National Storm Shelter Assn. (NSSA) Website for reputable dealers in your area. Lots of full below ground shelters available. The most popular style looks like a giant concrete cube with one edge shaved off. It is installed 2/3 in the ground and one third above ground. Sink it in the ground just off your back porch. Live with peace of mind.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:33 AM   #20
Hawgdog374
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People say that the above ground shelters will with stand a F5 tornado. I am going to go with this route. Problem with underground shelters is flooding. If debris falls or blocks the door, then you could have a potential for flooding.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:20 AM   #21
rladner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgdog374 View Post
People say that the above ground shelters will with stand a F5 tornado. I am going to go with this route. Problem with underground shelters is flooding. If debris falls or blocks the door, then you could have a potential for flooding.
This post is a little older. The OP said he wanted it for Christmas so I'm not sure he's still looking. But, I've researched these and I wouldn't worry about a flush in ground shelter. That is what I would get. I would get the ones where you can use a "come along" to open, even if debris is stacked on top of it. They have made designs to address the "trapped and flooding" concerns.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:28 AM   #22
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I know a couple of folk (family) who used those black plastic water tanks set in the ground attached to horizontal anchor points with air vents and a hatch exposed above ground. They both keep a battery sawz-all and drill in there for cutting their way out if need be. Its about 10 feet behind the back door.

It was fairly low cost for even the backhoe and concrete work.

I personally believe it would withstand.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:45 AM   #23
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check with the county you live in. some have programs that the govt. will pay 1/2 the cost of the shelter. We had one installed about 4 months ago in Cooke county. Got the check for 1/2 the cost last week. It wound up costing us $1700 for it to be installed.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:00 AM   #24
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WHO WE USED http://hillsborostormshelters.com/
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:05 AM   #25
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Anyone have a Forever Safe shelter? . . Made in Athens, TX . . Steel / concrete above ground . .
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:46 AM   #26
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Always good to have a safe place to go.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:06 AM   #27
dogman11
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Installed one in garage underground a few years ago. Wife loves it. They came to our house from OK.

www.flatsafe.com
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:21 AM   #28
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get a FEMA approved above ground safe room...bolt it into the slab


http://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/...r-below-ground
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:38 AM   #29
muzzlebrake
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Any of those undergrounds have a drainage system or sump pump?
Sure would hate to be in one that filled up with water and you not be able to get out. Ventilation?
Our old timey storm cellar out on the farm had a curb under the overlapping steel door to keep water and snakes from getting in. The cellar itself was lined top, bottom and sides with big Bois d Arc logs and had shelves for canned food and about 2 feet of dirt piled over the top. It was always nice and cool down there. Had a small stove pipe out the top for ventilation. We could get the whole fam damily in there and a few neighbors too. Probably 15 or so people.
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:39 PM   #30
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I have 2 friends in OK that have the Flatsafe and love them.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:25 PM   #31
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I would love to hear more details about this! I have 3 small mobile home parks that need a shelter, but I have to figure a way to get it done less expensively than a commercial variety. Can you get me a contact for who built them or even some pictures? This sounds like a good option! Thanks , Jay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo View Post
I know a couple of folk (family) who used those black plastic water tanks set in the ground attached to horizontal anchor points with air vents and a hatch exposed above ground. They both keep a battery sawz-all and drill in there for cutting their way out if need be. Its about 10 feet behind the back door.

It was fairly low cost for even the backhoe and concrete work.

I personally believe it would withstand.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:37 PM   #32
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When we built our house twenty years ago, I had a bricklayer build a 10'x12' storm room in my shop. Made of concrete blocks with 5/8ths anchor bolts in the slab, two in every block. I welded 5/8ths rebar onto that as he laid the blocks. Every third run of blocks has a 3/8ths rebar horizontally tied to the vertical bars. Blocks are filled with concrete and a 6" concrete top poured on it. Peace of mind has no cost, only value ! The insurance will take care of the rest......
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