The Wife and I ran to the basement, the area behind the open door you see in the pic. I squated down beside my 800lb. safe. The news says it was a class 4. 150 to 170 MPH winds. A tree fell accross my 500Gal propane tank and knocked off the gages and it was squirting raw propane 100 ft in the air while lightning flashed all around. We had to "BUG OUT" but we didn't have a "BUG OUT BAG" I'm here to tell you that everybody needs to have a BUG OUT BAG ready to go.
I was in Salt Lake City when the Wednesday evening tornados came through Birmingham. My wife and kids were home and took shelter in our "Storm Room". We added on the the house several years ago and I had the intention to add a small shelter closet under a ground level two car garage we were adding. This evolved into a 26'x28' Storm Room (aka mancave). The walls are 12" block with reinforced and grouted cells (if I were doing this again I would form and pour the walls) and the ceiling/garage floor is 8" reinforced 6000# concrete.
Finding a door was somewhat problematic. A solid wood door in a steel frame is $1000 and will not stop a 200mph 2x4. FEMA has a storm rated door design but it is about $5000. I found a guy in Rockmart, Ga. that makes his living swapping out bank vault doors. Turns out that there is not much market for used doors, even the scrappers don't want them because they are so difficult to cut up. I ended up getting a Mosler New Century Vault Door from him. The door has a 6" thick steel door plate and (16) 2" locking bolts. The door weighs 7,500# and cost $400. Delivery of the door to Birmingham was $200 and renting a crane to set the door was another $400 for a total of $1000.
In a storm we (and sometimes the neighbors) enter the room, close the door and set the lock bolts from the inside and ride it out. By the way, the movies that show people getting locked in vaults over the weekend must be using a different door than I have, manipulating the locks fom the inside is very easy and obvious. The room has water, telephone service and internet. Surprisingly we can also get weak cell coverage in the room.
In a storm debris would likely block the door but I don't think that the storm will be able to get in.
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