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  #1  
Old 06-17-2012, 10:46 AM
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Default What to put in storm shelter?

I just last Friday had a pre-cast storm shelter installed. Looks to be a pretty solid little 6'x8' bunker with two vents and thick steel door.

Anyhow...I figure at the least will need maybe 6 folding chairs...a 5 gallon bucket with lid(can of Lysol to go with bucket!)...maybe a small shelf behind the steps/ladder with a battery powered lantern and extra batterys and a first-aid kit. Maybe a gallon or five of drinking water and a cup or two. Maybe a radio and some extra batterys(not for sure we'll get any reception down the hole)

I also thought about including a bottle jack and an extension for it to shove the door open if by chance a storm toppeled the house onto the shelter(it's close to the house).

I really don't think it neccessary to turn my shelter into a long-term 'zombie apocolypse bunker'...or to turn it into a below-ground storage shed. However I just dropped a chunk of change to get a shelter..and substantial effort in getting in into the ground and bermed up.

Just what do you think the minimum amount of gear should be stored in a storm shelter?

Thanx..Stevie
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:09 AM
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Water!

You can live without food for several days but without water you die. I'd buy some cases of bottled water as my first purchase.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:14 AM
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Good for you!

Easy fix on the antenna for your weather radio. Make sure you have one that gets am/fm broadcast also.

Use stranded bare copper drop it down through the vent into the shelter. On the outside you can string as much as you need, either to nearby tree on bury it a couple of inches in the ground. The more you have outside, the better signal capture you have. You can find it at Radio Shack.

Attach an alligator clip to the inside end and just clip it to the anntena on
the radio. Problem solved.

As far as the other goes:

3 bottle of water per person per day is the rule of thumb.
biodegradable toilet paper
spare batteries for the radio/flashlights/cell phones
Light sticks-these things are cheap and amazingly bright
first aid kit large enough for 6 people
Extra clothing
Rain gear for each person
2 coils of nylon rope, 50 foot each
Tools-Hammer,small hand saw,pliers,screwdrivers and a large pry bar.
blue poly tarps, 2 10x10 and 1 10x12 (these are cheap and useful)
Containers to carry water. Minimum 5 gals. One for drinking. One for other use.

Food: Then general rule is 1500 calories/day per person. Take it from there
Mre's are great as are many of the other types that are now available.

Medication: Most people forget about this. Anyone in your family dependant on prescription meds? Plan ahead. Diabetics can get insulin pens that no longer require refridgeration now. Put together a Go-Bag just for this purpose.

And of course whatever weapon(s) and ammo you desire.

Hope you never have to use it. But being prepared is just part of the whole thing. Have a plan in place and make sure everyone knows it.

Hope some of this is helpful.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:36 AM
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12 ga. shotgun with a good selection of ammo sufficient for food gathering,anti-looting and self protection.A good handgun 38/357 or better and maybe a 22 rifle. WATER,some salt,and rather than a bucket try an RV store for an inexpensive chemical toilet.You might want some sleeping accomodations in case the house were totally destroyed.I would want a small camp stove and a few canned goods and utensiles to use until help arrives.A good camp knife, axe, hammer and hand tools.I know you said you didn't want a long trem bunker but you may have to use your shelter to live in temporarily.A good,well stocked first aid kit and any Rx meds. Nick

Last edited by smokey04; 06-17-2012 at 11:39 AM. Reason: Added info
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:48 AM
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Water, seat, a radio for the all clear, and a way to jack the door open seem to cover it. Perhaps some keys/paper money in case the house is gone and you need to make your way to a hotel. I know the unit you are talking about, and you ain't goonna be in it for any longer than the duration of the storm.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokey04 View Post
12 ga. shotgun with a good selection of ammo sufficient for food gathering,anti-looting and self protection.A good handgun 38/357 or better and maybe a 22 rifle. WATER,some salt,and rather than a bucket try an RV store for an inexpensive chemical toilet.You might want some sleeping accomodations in case the house were totally destroyed.I would want a small camp stove and a few canned goods and utensiles to use until help arrives.A good camp knife, axe, hammer and hand tools.I know you said you didn't want a long trem bunker but you may have to use your shelter to live in temporarily.A good,well stocked first aid kit and any Rx meds. Nick
+1! The only other thing that i would add to that is CASH!! Sometimes bad weather will kill the systems that run debit/credit cards. Having some cash could be come very handy in a disaster situation.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:51 AM
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Everything what is needed to survive at least a week.
If your house is distroyed it has to be your base.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1500 View Post
Water, seat, a radio for the all clear, and a way to jack the door open seem to cover it. Perhaps some keys/paper money in case the house is gone and you need to make your way to a hotel. I know the unit you are talking about, and you ain't goonna be in it for any longer than the duration of the storm.
This is pretty much the way we did it when I was a kid. Got our butts down the shelter with maybe a flashlight or two. I don't recall we had much gear down the cellar...benches along the wall and a chair. The well's bladder tank was in the cellar and it had a fawcet plumbed in the piping. We stored some produce down the cellar...but not all the time.

Seems like we had bad storms frequently in the mid-late sixtys thru the early seventys...spent quite a bit of time down-hole.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:23 PM
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Interesting subject. The comment about the camp stove needs just one addtional comment: Do NOT use it in the shelter with the door closed. It wouldn't take long for the carbon monoxide and oxygen depletion to kill you..

Also, I'd think that some kind of a carbon dioxide scrubber might be necessary even in the short term if you have 6 people in a 6x8x10 space(you didn't state the length of the shelter so I used a WAG) that's only 80 cubic feet per person. It won't take very long for the air to get stale unless your vents have fans to exchange the air. If for some reason the vents get obstructed by debris the situation becomes critical quickly. You'd have about 5 hours of usable air if everyone is being still.
Discovery Health "How much oxygen does a person consume in a day?"

Regards,

Hobie
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:36 PM
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Well if your in oklahoma I suppose you want it for tornados. Thats only a couple hour thing. If your house is gone, your papers, pictures and money would be nice. A strongbox or safe.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:41 PM
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Sounds like you have the same shelter that I have. I've had mine for about six years, and thankfully, have never used it except to store potatoes and onions. I painted the grey door a blaze orange, so it would be visible to rescuers. Inside, I keep a couple cases of bottled water, a bucket with paper, a new flashlight, a couple of folding chairs, a Mini 14, and a air horn. It's a darn good shelter, but it is a spider haven - be careful.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:48 PM
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I live in Oklahoma...tornado alley...tornadoes don't hang around very long...storms last for hours for sure..but it ain't like a hurricane or typhoon where you could conceivably have to hole-up for days.

At the most..a family may have to 'enjoy' the shelter for a period of several hours..possibly multiple times in a day.

In a worst case scenerio..a tornado wipes out the house and piles debris on the shelter sticking us inside(hence a 10-ton bottle jack with some sort of fabricated extension..maybe some blocks to jam the door open and a nail bar or two to pry out)....then we see if any running vehicles are left..or borrow a buddies vehicle and go to motel.

Looters?...Possibly..it ain't unheard of..however the average person around here will most likely be quite helpful in debris cleanup etc.

A gun ain't a bad idea to take down-hole..but I am not leaving one down there as part of the gear(it's unlocked and unsecured).

One possibly needed item I just thought of might be toilet paper!

I do see some really good suggestions..keep them coming so I can sort through it all(the air quality suggestion above needs thinking on)
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:52 PM
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I assume since you're in OK, it's for twisters. I'd stock up for a day, maybe two. I was a kid when the tornado outbreak of 1985 hit western PA and eastern OH, and my little town got about wiped off the map. Even then, with a number of deaths, nobody was trapped more than a day.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post
I just last Friday had a pre-cast storm shelter installed. Looks to be a pretty solid little 6'x8' bunker with two vents and thick steel door.

Anyhow...I figure at the least will need maybe 6 folding chairs...a 5 gallon bucket with lid(can of Lysol to go with bucket!)...maybe a small shelf behind the steps/ladder with a battery powered lantern and extra batterys and a first-aid kit. Maybe a gallon or five of drinking water and a cup or two. Maybe a radio and some extra batterys(not for sure we'll get any reception down the hole)

I also thought about including a bottle jack and an extension for it to shove the door open if by chance a storm toppeled the house onto the shelter(it's close to the house).

I really don't think it neccessary to turn my shelter into a long-term 'zombie apocolypse bunker'...or to turn it into a below-ground storage shed. However I just dropped a chunk of change to get a shelter..and substantial effort in getting in into the ground and bermed up.

Just what do you think the minimum amount of gear should be stored in a storm shelter?

Thanx..Stevie
Sir, it sounds to me like you've got it pretty well covered. I'd just add some blankets, toilet paper, and a privacy curtain around the bucket.

Hope this helps, and Semper Fi.

Ron H.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:40 PM
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Pick up some plastic storage containers for your gear and food items - keeps the varmits/bugs/spiders out, and everything dry. When we were kids and needed to bug out for a storm or tornado warning it was always pouring down rain so everyone was soaked by the time we got inside. My folks always had a good supply of dry "junk" towels down there to dry off with. I would think a porta pottie would be a nice thing to have as well. Be sure to rotate your food items and water supply every 6 months or so.

Hope you never need to use it.

Best Regards,
Pete
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:45 PM
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There's a dingus called a "luggable loo", that's a toilet seat designed to snap onto the top of a 5-gallon bucket. As a "pointer", I don't have a problem peeing in a bucket. A "setter", though, is another story. And sometimes "pee" ain't what you need to do. A cheaper option, maybe, would be to get 4 L-brackets and screw them to the bottom of a toilet seat, so when you placed it on top of a 5-gallon bucket it couldn't slide off.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:28 PM
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A toothbrush. A length of cord or rope. A Swiss Army knife. Blankets. Some trash bags. And an axe. A good one.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:14 PM
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Good reading material -- can get a little boring and tedious even with folks you like after even 24 hours in a very small shelter.

"War and Peace" for starters, as it will get you thru 2 weeks of evening reading and provide some great philosophical perspectives/dialogues with your sheltermates after calamity strikes (war, like hurricanes and tornados, alters the landscape one lives in).

"Seven Pillars of Wisdom" by T.E. Lawrence (a compelling read, will provide inspiration for handling adversity when the odds are stacked against you)
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:26 PM
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My sister's family already had to use theirs. It's probably the same unit as yours. Don't know what they have in there, but it was only in use for a couple hours each time. I assume they at least have a radio so they know when to come out. Maybe they get that info from cell phones. They're in Oaklahoma City, or just outside of it.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
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My sister's family already had to use theirs. It's probably the same unit as yours. Don't know what they have in there, but it was only in use for a couple hours each time. I assume they at least have a radio so they know when to come out. Maybe they get that info from cell phones. They're in Oaklahoma City, or just outside of it.
Yep...I've been on a waiting list to get a shelter for a couple months. We live about 40 miles from OKC...and this house is the first I've lived in without an underground shelter of some sort..and we've lived here for seven years without one.

After Piedmont Ok took a hit last year..and the other tornados bouncing around the Oklahoma area(some not far from me!)..we decided to just bite the bullet and get one.

I'm seeing some ideas I like..plastic storage containers for gear being one. I believe I'm going with some camping type collapsible chairs. I have some of these onhand will work for the time being. Probably just put some quanity of bottled water in the shelter.

I've even thought of using Igloo ice chests to store gear and then use as extra seating...I've got lots of ice chests.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:08 PM
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Look you will not need to be in your shelter for weeks. You already have the basics down. I would only prepare for around 3 days. Food, water, a change of clothes, blankets, toilet, reading material, maybe some family games, some cash. Remember it may take a few hours or a day for someone to find you, but don't clutter your shelter with unnesseary junk. The red cross and others are usually on hand to help with other things you may need in case of a total loss.

Also instead of a bottle jack I would recommend, A Hi-Lift jack like the Jeep guys use. It is more expensive, but it lifts much higher than a bottle jack. Remember you don't just need the door open it needs go high enough to get whatever is on the door off of it, or to get an elderly person out. Also an extension for the Jack, and a good demolition style pry bar.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:33 PM
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I own a hi-lift jack..and had considered it for storm shelter door opening use(have to include penetrating oil in the kit if a hi-lift jack included!). however I figure a bottle jack or two...some wood blocks and a pipe extension fabricated to fit the jack's ram will likely lift much more...and hi-lift jacks are awkward..plus would need some sort of extension rigged up as well.

It's all hypothetical. However there was a lady and son or grandson who got trapped in a storm shelter not long back..although I think they were victims of a defective door latch. I guess I should check my shelter door mechanism out for proper assembly!

So far all I have down the shelter is two surplus ice chests for storage of stuff and spare seating.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:15 PM
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An umbrella.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:36 PM
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I had to survive during Hurricane Ike for 10 days on food and water, but I finally made it to my emergency supply of Jim Beam.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:43 PM
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I think the bottle of Jack is a good idea.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:53 PM
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Ehh...so far I have two Igloo ice chests..one full of bottled drinking water..the other with a flourescent lantern and extra batterys and a couple cheap flashlights with extra batterys, a roll of paper towels, and a first-aid kit.

I also stashed some bigger extra 6 volt batterys for the flourescent lantern we keep in the house for power-outages. Figuring if we ditch the house for the hole..hopfuly we take the big lantern with us...Also stashed our fold-up camping chairs down-hole for the time-being. Could conceivably seat six or seven in the shelter now...three chairs..two ice chests..and the steps.

I have lots of ice chests..I may rat-hole a couple more down the shelter for additional storage..seating..and table use.

That's more stuff than my family ever had down our cellar when I was a kid..and I figure it's a decent start. At least the 'fraidy hole' has some basic gear in it now.

I think a D-cell radio..a 5 gallon bucket with lid...TP(forgot this at Wal Mart a bit ago..and we are low!)...and whatever I'm going to rig up to jack the door open in worst-case catastrophie will constitute the majority of what we'll keep down the shelter..I think?...Maybe some towels...not sure?...I can see the folly of stashing too much stuff in the shelter..and the danger of not enough stuff as well.

Debating on the wisdom of rat-holing a firearm and ammo...if I do that..I would feel compelled to lock it up..and I don't think it's real wise to lock the storm shelter!
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:35 PM
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Seriously, the basic 3 days of food, water, meds etc. as a minimum if you are thinking of more than very short term survival. I agree with not locking the shelter but correctly securing items inside would be an option.I am hurricane,power outage,ice storm prepared- a tornado not so much. I've been through 3 in my life and they scare the "heck" out of me. For the long term it is surprising what everyday things turn into luxury items-dental floss, toothpicks, Qtips, cleans socks and underwear etc. The time I was able to evacuate it became very apparent that you can't round it and take it all with you-especially on short notice. If you treat it like a camping trip of X number of days for X number of people it might help with your planning. Good luck-plan for the worse and hope for the best.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:50 PM
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Do you have a roof escape hatch?

Some 4X4s long enough to use as jack extensions. 6 or 8 concrete blocks and some 2X8 boards cut 16" long.

The blocks can be stacked and 4X4s laid across for a bench (or emergency bed). The concrete blocks can be used to brace the door open when jacking, and can be used to build a pier to use as a jack stand.

A BIG hammer (2 lb to 8 lb), as well as the pry tools you mentioned. Several cold chisels would be nice (not expensive).
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:06 AM
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Since there's a risk of air vents being cut off, will an oxygen bottle like what you see for the welding rig provide the air to breathe?

Also you should have a fire extinguisher in there as well.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:39 AM
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Since there's a risk of air vents being cut off, will an oxygen bottle like what you see for the welding rig provide the air to breathe?

Also you should have a fire extinguisher in there as well.
I don't think industrial oxygen bottles are rated for human use(something about the type of compressor used to compress it if I recall)

Really not to concerned about losing air supply down the small bunker....that would require like a mud-slide or something..and I live on high ground..plus the shelter's top is about 2 feet or better above ground.

I suppose if you had a dozen people in it..and tornados smashed the protruding ventilators plus piled debris on the door available air could be an issue.

I do notice that the ventilators have thick formed steel
plates bolted over the vent holes inside the shelter..I suppose to reduce the chance of storm driven debris peircing it's way into the shelter's interior verticaly.

Not something I'm very concerned about though. The door isn't hermaticaly sealed...shelter has 8" and 6" ventilators(not sure why two differing sizes?).
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:59 AM
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Default Storm Shelter

I had the larger size 7'X10' cellar installed this spring. I found some 'stick on' overhead LED lights a Lowes that the AA batteries are supposed to last about 40 hrs. I installed 2 of them with "Liquid Nails". (I dont trust the sticky tape). The were about $18 each, but they provide very good light.

When it was first installed, it was a Very effective 'ehco chamber' that was very annoying. I called my neighbor on my cell phone to see if it could call out. It did, but he could not understand me because of the ehco. I installed some of the multi color snap together foam rubber floor tiles from Sam's and it made a BIG difference in comfort as well as noise reduction.

I have a 6' 'tamping bar' & a small floor jack that I hope will suffice if
the door should get blocked. Here in Okla. the shelter should only be needed for about an hour or two, but as posted earler, it may be needed mulitple times on a severe weather outbreak.

I have lived in Okla. since 1964 and have only had to go into a storm cellar one time. That was during the 1999 outbrake that mostly leaveled a large portion of Moore,Okla., & totally destroyed a shopping center about 15 miles west of me. That was the first time that I had heard "Nothing above ground is safe" There were people in Moore that had did everything you were supposed to (get in bathtub with mattress over you, ect.) who were still killed. There were whole blocks that nothing but the floor slabs were left. It lifted before it got to my place, so we 'dodged the bullet' on that one. It still gives us a 'warm fuzzy' to know that our cellar is there if we need it.

Art
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:16 AM
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Yes..I remember the May third tornadoes!!!!

Spent much time(multiple trips down-hole) in the 'fraidy hole...the house I owned then having an impressive sized cellar in the backyard.

My neighbors ripped the screen door latch off the front door...I was above-ground(at the moment eating a salad..watching the weather/news)..neighbors got scared..grabbed gear..came to use the shelter/cellar...thought I said "come in" when they knocked. I had actually said "just a minute"...but the fellow peeled the screendoor open like a sardine can while I stood there with my salad!..I had locked it so the wind wouldn't tear it off.

No deal...they had much beer...we all went down the 'fraidy-hole' again and drank beer until after dark.

During that little episode of bad weather and disaster we probably spent like 6 hours underground in total.

That's about all the gear I ever had in a shelter before..chairs..beer..our butts..and lanterns and flashlights..some pillows for the kids.

Last edited by Stevie; 06-18-2012 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:07 AM
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A toothbrush. A length of cord or rope. A Swiss Army knife. Blankets. Some trash bags. And an axe. A good one.
In '96 we had an addition to the house w/ a small basement. The basement utility room is sided inside, top, and sides w/ 3/4" OS board. I have a small handsaw and am currently looking for a fire ax. Some of the destruction I have seen on television leaves me to believe exiting the shelter may require tools...the bottle jack and some "extensions" I will have to consider.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:17 AM
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yeah, just make sure you have plenty of water down there.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:33 AM
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There's a dingus called a "luggable loo", that's a toilet seat designed to snap onto the top of a 5-gallon bucket. As a "pointer", I don't have a problem peeing in a bucket. A "setter", though, is another story. And sometimes "pee" ain't what you need to do. A cheaper option, maybe, would be to get 4 L-brackets and screw them to the bottom of a toilet seat, so when you placed it on top of a 5-gallon bucket it couldn't slide off.
Be sure to use the correct length screws!!!

Check out the emergency style radios for $40 - has a dynamo crank when the batteries die along with solar cells:
Product Features

  • Guaranteed power: Dynamo hand crank, solar panel, 3 AA batteries, A/C adapter for 110v outlet
  • Long-lasting rechargeable internal NI-MH batteries: solar panel recharge of 12 hours lasts 6 to 8 hours; A/C adapter recharge of 6 hours lasts up to 48 hours; hand crank recharge of two minutes lasts up to 25 minutes; visual power level indicators
  • Emergency radio: AM/FM and Shortwave (SW1/SW2); luminescent tuning needle; personal listening ear bud
  • Other survival features: Compass, thermometer, digital clock, emergency supplies storage compartment (perfect for matches, first aid, pocket knife, etc)
  • Flashlight: 1.5'' lens radius for strong beam



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Last edited by Pete99004; 06-18-2012 at 11:40 AM. Reason: Radio
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:19 PM
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Keep some cheap flashlights in the shelter you don t want high output lights in there there is no need and they will be hard on your eyesight. Might not be a bad idea to stock a strobe light as well. When the storms clear there will be aircraft overhead checking out the damage.

Tarps, ropes and trash bags. Salvage ops start when the storm passes.

Hiviz signal panel. Ground to air signal guide. Helos once again.

Games toys entertainment

A plan of action. If your plan is run to the shelter mins before the storm hits you are already in trouble. Keep the First aid, money, meds, and guns. Together in your house if the skies get dark move them to the shelter. Also know what you got to get out. Your child's favorite stuffed animal, your grandfather s pocket knife your wedding photos your computer. Know what to get as you move to the shelter. And make sure someone knows you have a shelter and are moving to it. If you don t make contact in x amount of time they send help. This person needs to be outside of the storm area.

Plan for the worst hope for the best.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:22 PM
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Question for those that have shelters. How climate controlled are they? What s the temp normally compared to outside? Do they sweat? Really wanting one for my man cave....
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:12 PM
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Question for those that have shelters. How climate controlled are they? What s the temp normally compared to outside? Do they sweat? Really wanting one for my man cave....
The bury in the ground types aren't climate controlled.

For the ultimate man cave, make an addition to yout house and use techniques from the safe room plans from FEMA.

FEMA: Taking Shelter From the Storm
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:37 PM
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I think the OP has it about right. A 6x8 shelter is NOT something you're going to use for more than shelter for an hour or so. I wouldn't even bother with the jack. I've worked tornado SAR and in the very, very unlikely event you'd be trapped in the shelter, the rescue folks are going to be there in an hour or so anyway. A cellphone...preferably a smartphone with weather/radar app, or at least a WX radio; lights, water, maybe a potty. That's all you're going to need in tornado country.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:44 AM
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Water. Thats the big thing for being off grid. You can make your own water if you have a water source. There are many ways, but this is my method.
Couple of 5 gallon buckets, with a 1 gallon bucket or jug inside. A funnel. 1 gallon of plain bleach. 2-3 1 micron filter bags, like the kind used for salt water tropical fish tanks.
You can take pretty much any water there is, 1st pour it through a 1 micron filter. This will remove most impurities, and even some of the bugs that will make you sick. Dirty water will come out looking clear. Jug this water, or in to the 1 gallon bucket, and add 5 drops of bleach. Let it sit for a few hours. The bleach will kill everything in the water, but it is safe to drink at this low mix (I wouldn't go higher than 5 drops a gallon without first researching carefully) At this point, you will have drinkable water.
If you want to get the bleach smell and taste out, with a bit of plastic pipe, or a recycled can, build another filter: With fabric and/or fine mesh screen, make it so it securely holds activated charcol without it leaking out. Pour your water through the charcol, this will remove the bleach, you might have to do it twice to get it all. Again shopping around, activated charcol can be found pretty cheap. They say a teaspoon of it has more surface area than a tennis court, and just a few spoonfuls in a well made filter will filter out bleach for a lot of your water, certainly in the 1000s of gallons. I used 2 inch PVC to make my filter. Fashioned a a hanger for it with a coat hanger. Some old coat hangers in your bunker will come in handy for a lot of reasons. Or a big spool of bailing wire.
All of this stuff will fit inside a lidded 5 gallon bucket, and with a gallon of bleach you'll be able to make a couple of thousand gallons of drinking water. Look on eBay for the 1 micron filter bags, shop carefully, you can find them 2 or 3 for $20 give or take, not expensive. This whole water kit can be assembled for about $30-35, and will make water until you run out of bleach.

Bleach is also good, mixed 1:10 with water, as a sterilizing cleaner. So, storing 2-3 gallons of bleach might be a good idea.
I've got a small river right out back about 100 yards, and I keep this stuff on hand. I've tested this personally, and it works fine, the water is clean and has not made me sick. I would not hesitate to use any sort of river, stream, pond, or lake, even a farm pond. Water with chemical pollutants in it would be a problem though.

***************************************************

The others have things well covered. Just remember stuff like vitamin C pills, calcium, and multivitamins. Every time you use a muscle in your body, your body uses calcium to do so, and without good sources of it in an off-grid diet, a calcium deficiency can happen within a few days. These things store well for years, never mind the "expiration" dates, if its within a few years it is perfectly good still. I keep a large bottle of tylenol, and with kids, I make sure I have this covered for them too. Nothing more miserable than a sick kid and nothing to give them to take the fever down.
If you have women around make sure their needs are going to be covered too.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:21 AM
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I think the OP has it about right. A 6x8 shelter is NOT something you're going to use for more than shelter for an hour or so. I wouldn't even bother with the jack. I've worked tornado SAR and in the very, very unlikely event you'd be trapped in the shelter, the rescue folks are going to be there in an hour or so anyway. A cellphone...preferably a smartphone with weather/radar app, or at least a WX radio; lights, water, maybe a potty. That's all you're going to need in tornado country.
I know the plan is rescue folks are there before it stops raining. But, in a large outbreak with a large area laid waste, it could be days before all areas are checked, and cell towers are the first comm link knocked out.

I would never go into a burial crypt without a way to get myself out, waiting on luck and others to save me is not a plan I would trust.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:11 AM
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geoff40, you aware bleach has a shelf life? After a year, at the outside, it had changed to salt water.

Shelf Life of Clorox Bleach | Dr. Laundry
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:25 AM
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geoff40, you aware bleach has a shelf life? After a year, at the outside, it had changed to salt water.

Shelf Life of Clorox Bleach | Dr. Laundry


Yep. I renew the supply every so often, like some other things I keep around.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:44 PM
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how many people are going to use this shelter?
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:14 PM
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Where I live (central Arkansas) I've had to shelter in my "fraidy hole" a few times a year. Generally the tornado passes within an hour. I keep some chairs, lights and a deck of cards. When I go I take a portable safe with my essential papers and cell phone.

I really need to stock a couple of changes of clothing for each person in the shelter. The house and contents may be scattered across the county with only the foundation left. A change of clothes will be nice until I can arrange alternate living quarters and hit the stores.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:19 PM
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In your home, not your shelter, you want a SAME-coded NOAA weather radio and a working scanner covering your local LE/fire/emergency management frequencies. With those working, you'll be aware of a threat long before it emerges. Once the call goes out for weather spotters you can either do like I do...go to work...or else just stay close the the radio and computer monitoring the radar. By not heading to the shelter until it's really necessary, all you really need down there is a good bottle of scotch and a big bag of potato chips. If you had the good sense to place your shelter at the SW corner of your house you probably don't have to worry about the house collapsing onto you either. Simplicity rules...
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