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Tell me about your storm shelter

If you have one--is it sloped, flat, or do you have a safe room? Do you know anything about why one is preferred over the other? (specifically the slope vs flat). What company installed it? Price? I've only found 1 company that gives their price online so I'm just looking for an estimate. What size do you have? Are you happy with that or do you wish you would've gone larger? How many people/animals can fit? Any other info that you think is improtant? You can PM me if you'd rather share info that way :) TIA!!

I may have to sell a kidney, but we're getting a [email protected] cellar.

Re: Tell me about your storm shelter

  • We bought our shelter from Smart Safe Shelters. Ours is a flat top. It took only a day to install it in our garage. They are really pricey, but IMO worth it. We spent about $2800. They have a smaller model than ours, but you can go inside them and see how it fits. Last night we had 2 adults, 1 child, and 2 dogs (plus supplies).

    One tip though: When you get one buy a small fan to put done there. It does get very hot. We just had an extension cord running through the air hole to keep it going.

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  • We have one in the new house. They haven't installed it yet (which was stupid on their part because they poured the foundation already) but they're supposed to be soon.

    It was $1500, but I'm not sure if he got some sort of special rate. I'm not sure what company we're getting it through. It's a flat top the goes in the garage, I don't know what the difference is between flat top and sloped. I think it fits "6 people." I quote that because they're so tiny that realistically you could probably fit 3-4 people. 6 people could probably CRAM inside.

    We thought about getting a safe room (inside the master closet). We decided we wanted to be underground. I can see the appeal of safe rooms (you'd have a lot more room, less uncomfortable and crowded, you wouldn't have to worry about debris on top of the shelter and being trapped). I just remember on May 3 hearing Gary say "if you're not underground you're not going to survive" so that's why we decided to get an underground shelter ... JUST in case.

  • H has been researching storm shelters for the new house and until yesterday he had decided a safe room was the way to go. Now, he said he wants a shelter underground. I think he said safe rooms are more expensive, but it might be different when you are building vs putting it in a house that's already built.
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  • image ShansBride:
    H has been researching storm shelters for the new house and until yesterday he had decided a safe room was the way to go. Now, he said he wants a shelter underground. I think he said safe rooms are more expensive, but it might be different when you are building vs putting it in a house that's already built.
    I personally think an underground shelter is much safer than a safe room. If your house is blown away wouldn't the safe room go with it? There was video of one ouse in El Reno yesterday that the whole house was blown away and the basement was exposed.
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  • image amidavey06:

    We bought our shelter from Smart Safe Shelters. Ours is a flat top. It took only a day to install it in our garage. They are really pricey, but IMO worth it. We spent about $2800. They have a smaller model than ours, but you can go inside them and see how it fits. Last night we had 2 adults, 1 child, and 2 dogs (plus supplies).

    One tip though: When you get one buy a small fan to put done there. It does get very hot. We just had an extension cord running through the air hole to keep it going.

    I'll check into that company, thanks!  Biggs Storm Shelters start at $2,450, so what you paid is about what I was expecting, but again no other company gives their prices online so I wasn't sure if that was reasonable or not.
    Tavia--I'm thinking surely they got some kind of discount??  

    The cellar I went to last night had about 25 people crammed in, so now I'm wondering how many it's "really" made for....we'd only need room for the 2 of us, 2 kids (planning ahead), and Maddux....hmmm.  Good tip about the fan, it definitely got warm in there yesterday!

    I'm definitely thinking underground is the way to go!  Our neighbor down the road has a safe room in their house, but they have a daughter in a wheelchair so I know that was part of their motivation for not getting a cellar.  I can see the logic in that, but for us I think cellar is the way to go.

    Is there a benefit to having it in the garage versus outside (other than not having to actually go outside)?  With it in the garage I worry about the garage/house collapsing on it....
  • image amidavey06:
    They have a smaller model than ours, but you can go inside them and see how it fits. 
    Dumb question, but I'm assuming you went to their location in OKC to test them out and decide what size you wanted?
  • llizzybllizzyb member
    Sixth Anniversary

    image BlinkingLight1:
    I just remember on May 3 hearing Gary say "if you're not underground you're not going to survive" so that's why we decided to get an underground shelter ... JUST in case.

    I thought about this last night. We were at a family member's house who has a safe room. While we were waiting for the storm to hit us they kept showing footage of two homes--one that was completely wiped off its foundation, and the other one where only the basement was left. 

    I want an underground shelter. 

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  • image Steven&Jamie:
    image amidavey06:
    They have a smaller model than ours, but you can go inside them and see how it fits. 
    Dumb question, but I'm assuming you went to their location in OKC to test them out and decide what size you wanted?

    We did. We decided that we liked it installed in the garage so we wouldn't to go out of our house. Plus we didn't have enough room in our backyard to install one outside. Was the one you were in yesterday outside away from the house. I always thought those were a lot bigger inside. Typically the shelters installed in the garage aren't as big as those can be. If we really tried we can probably fit 4 to 5 people in ours. One thing I was thinking about is the garage shelters are really steep walking down. We have a mid-size dog that we can pick up. I don't know if your dog would be able to walk down there by himself. I know he is fairly large.

    I would suggest going around and just get estimates and trying out as many as possible.

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  • I just talked to a builder about this a couple of weeks ago.  He gave me rough numbers for the types that they typically put in homes (for one-family sized shelters) and they ran

    Outdoor access, underground shelter - $1000

    Garage access, underground shelter - $2700-$3000

    Safe Room, above ground - $8000-$11000

    He also took me to see a safe room, which was really not much more than reinforced concrete walls.

  • image amidavey06:
    image Steven&Jamie:
    image amidavey06:
    They have a smaller model than ours, but you can go inside them and see how it fits. 
    Dumb question, but I'm assuming you went to their location in OKC to test them out and decide what size you wanted?

    We did. We decided that we liked it installed in the garage so we wouldn't to go out of our house. Plus we didn't have enough room in our backyard to install one outside. Was the one you were in yesterday outside away from the house. I always thought those were a lot bigger inside. Typically the shelters installed in the garage aren't as big as those can be. If we really tried we can probably fit 4 to 5 people in ours. One thing I was thinking about is the garage shelters are really steep walking down. We have a mid-size dog that we can pick up. I don't know if your dog would be able to walk down there by himself. I know he is fairly large.

    I would suggest going around and just get estimates and trying out as many as possible.



    Yes, the one I was in last night was in their backyard--maybe 10 feet from their back porch? I think for us the backyard may be the better option. We have plenty of room in the yard and not much room in the garage. Good point about the stairs--I had a hard enough time going down them yesterday, I hate to think about Maddux going up or down stairs steeper than that. Definitely have to think about steepness when we start looking.
  • image WendyToo:

    I just talked to a builder about this a couple of weeks ago.  He gave me rough numbers for the types that they typically put in homes (for one-family sized shelters) and they ran

    Outdoor access, underground shelter - $1000

    Garage access, underground shelter - $2700-$3000

    Safe Room, above ground - $8000-$11000

    He also took me to see a safe room, which was really not much more than reinforced concrete walls.

    I like these prices much better! Really wish whoever built our house would've just installed one!
  • image amidavey06:
    image ShansBride:
    H has been researching storm shelters for the new house and until yesterday he had decided a safe room was the way to go. Now, he said he wants a shelter underground. I think he said safe rooms are more expensive, but it might be different when you are building vs putting it in a house that's already built.
    I personally think an underground shelter is much safer than a safe room. If your house is blown away wouldn't the safe room go with it? There was video of one ouse in El Reno yesterday that the whole house was blown away and the basement was exposed.

    I saw that last night too! S scary. I guess part of the issue with the underground shelters in the garage is that oil or chemicals in the garage can spill and get down there making it dangerous. Apparently the safe room is somehow bolted to.the slab so the tornado.would have to pick up the slab too. I don't know that I buy that though. I feel like the bolts could break. He is looking at putting in a room under the stairs or something now.

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  • image ShansBride:
    image amidavey06:
    image ShansBride:
    H has been researching storm shelters for the new house and until yesterday he had decided a safe room was the way to go. Now, he said he wants a shelter underground. I think he said safe rooms are more expensive, but it might be different when you are building vs putting it in a house that's already built.
    I personally think an underground shelter is much safer than a safe room. If your house is blown away wouldn't the safe room go with it? There was video of one ouse in El Reno yesterday that the whole house was blown away and the basement was exposed.

     

    I saw that last night too! S scary. I guess part of the issue with the underground shelters in the garage is that oil or chemicals in the garage can spill and get down there making it dangerous. Apparently the safe room is somehow bolted to.the slab so the tornado.would have to pick up the slab too. I don't know that I buy that though. I feel like the bolts could break. He is looking at putting in a room under the stairs or something now.

    I get that if you have some sort of chemical spill, it could reach the shelter and that would be a problem, but isn't the likelihood pretty low?  I mean, I'm pretty sure I've never had any oil or chemical spills in my garage of any kind and I'd guess most people would say the same. 

  • We don't have one of any sort but my parents do and we visited them yesterday.  I love theirs because you access it from the back living room.  There is a bookcase in there that swings open.  You look at the ground and you can see the stairs going underground, there is a metal door that closes at ground level.  It was dug and poured about 20 years ago we really have not used it too many times, they store holiday decor down there.  On May 3rd we had 26 people and probably half a dozen dogs.  It is HUGE and when we build a house we will put in a similar setup.  Large enough to allow neighbors to hop in and inside the house to protect you from the approaching weather. 

    BTW, please make sure you register your shelter.  If the house or other debris ends up on top of you want the rescuers to know you guys are down there. 

  • IMO, I think builders need to start putting storm shelters in when they build a house in Ohlahoma and any place else that tornadoes are common. Just tack the price on with everything else.

    I want to get a shelter installed.  Like I told DH the other day, I do not want to plan on where we need to go if something happend, I just want it to be common sense, esp. with kids.

  • Flat Safe is coming out to do ours.  For an 8 person flat top in the garage, it is $2800--that includes tax and labor.  Worth every penny.
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  • image BoyMom21:
    Flat Safe is coming out to do ours.  For an 8 person flat top in the garage, it is $2800--that includes tax and labor.  Worth every penny.
    When you told me this on FB I wondered if it included tax and labor but didn't want to be *that* nosey lol. Thanks, they're definitely on my long list of companies to call next week.
  • image Steven&Jamie:
    image BoyMom21:
    Flat Safe is coming out to do ours.  For an 8 person flat top in the garage, it is $2800--that includes tax and labor.  Worth every penny.
    When you told me this on FB I wondered if it included tax and labor but didn't want to be *that* nosey lol. Thanks, they're definitely on my long list of companies to call next week.

    there was a blurb on the news about flat safe Thursday night.

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  • image Steven&Jamie:
    image BoyMom21:
    Flat Safe is coming out to do ours.  For an 8 person flat top in the garage, it is $2800--that includes tax and labor.  Worth every penny.
    When you told me this on FB I wondered if it included tax and labor but didn't want to be *that* nosey lol. Thanks, they're definitely on my long list of companies to call next week.
    I have the price sheet from flat safe for the Norman area if you want me to send it to you.
  • image +buttercup+:
    image Steven&Jamie:
    image BoyMom21:
    Flat Safe is coming out to do ours.  For an 8 person flat top in the garage, it is $2800--that includes tax and labor.  Worth every penny.
    When you told me this on FB I wondered if it included tax and labor but didn't want to be *that* nosey lol. Thanks, they're definitely on my long list of companies to call next week.
    I have the price sheet from flat safe for the Norman area if you want me to send it to you.
    That would be great, thanks!!
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