While storm shelter kits are available, this article will focus on how to do it yourself, using raw materials. This will allow you to set your own budget, choose your own materials, and gain the knowledge you’ll need to build your own storm shelters in future residences, or on rental properties, to protect your tenants. There are many websites on the internet that can be used to determine the materials needed and plans that will outline how to build a storms shelter.
If you’ve watched that movie about the girl that got sucked up into a tornado and thrown over the rainbow, then you probably know what a storm shelter is. But, just in case: a storm shelter is basically a structure, usually built underground, with the sole purpose of protecting a person or persons from the destruction caused by a tornado.
To build your own tornado shelter, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to build it underground, or, alternatively, in your home (in the basement, garage, or an interior room on the first floor of your home).
There are many services out there that will teach you how to build your own storm shelters, and companies that market storm shelter kits, allowing you to build your own. You can find more tips online. We’ve listed many of them here for you, to save you the time and research.
Measure out the dimensions you’ve chosen for your structure. This is key to designing successful build your own storm shelters, and don’t forget to measure as you dig your hole for the shelter, to ensure that the dimensions are consistent as you go.
Using a lift system, gently lower your completed storm shelter into the hole you dug. Be sure to leave some room for the shelter to poke out a few inches above the ground so it will be easy to find and use during an emergency, as well as plenty of space for you to reinforce with concrete.
Fill the space around the shelter midway with concrete, to set the shelter into the ground and provide stability. Allow a day for the concrete to set and dry. If you are incorporating any electrical or water components in your shelter, now is the time to fit these. Next, fill the remaining space with dirt, compacting it down as you go to ensure a tight fit.
Now that you have a tornado shelter, you’ll need to make sure you fill it with the supplies that you will need when it’s in use. Bottled water, non-perishable food items, flashlights, batteries, a transistor radio, even a board game or two if you have children that need a distraction. Be sure you check your supplies every now and then to see if anything needs to be replenished.