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Old 09-19-2010, 08:15 AM   #1
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safe and secure building


I am going to build a back yard building to function as storage initially, but with the option of later becoming an additional room for the house(unattached), maybe something for the mother-in-law or guests. The twist is I am thinking of making it a place to retreat to in bad weather. We are in a potential hurricane area and heavy wind and rain would be the primary issue. Of course, if a cat 3 or worse is coming we have evacuation plans.
Any ideas on where to look for ideas/plans? Maybe 16' x 24'. I was thinking slab construction with heavy gauge steel studs initially, but then started wondering about other options, like steel, concrete block, poured concrete, etc.

Comments and opinions appreciated!

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Old 09-19-2010, 11:02 AM   #2
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safe and secure building


If you are inland, the most dangerous is the projectiles that can easily go through wood or steel frame structures.

FEMA has developed "safe room" plans that may be a little too much for your situation. They are geared the onshore winds of a hurricane and tornadoes. Because tornadoes have little warning and much higher winds (200+ and not 135max ) they could be more that you need. They are detailed designs, including construction details for walls, roof and foundations, hardware and even door swing direction. They are based on actual tests of wall sections to resist penetration of a 12' 2x4 fire from an air cannon at about 125 mph. The two original wall sections that were approved were for reinforced concrete and reinforced block. Later a wood frame wall with interior and exterior of 3/4" plywood and a steel plate and studs sandwiched in between. They have been used as detached above and below grade, inside basements and as closets and bathrooms. The doors must be in-swinging to allow egress in case of debris. I think all ceilings must be reinforced concrete slabs anchor the the walls with rebar or lots of anchor bolts. - It is interesting to lokk at on the FEMA site and I think the design is FEMA document 316, but you can always search for "safe cells" or "safe rooms".

They have been increasing in use of new homes.

In Minnesota, we had 2 kids huddled in the corner of a 9' deep 3 sided basement 45' away from the open end were sucked out by a tornado and drowned in a lake 400 feet way.

Much depends on where you are and what the risks are. At least with hurricanes they die after going onshore and you have notice.

Dick

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Old 09-20-2010, 06:16 AM   #3
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safe and secure building


Thanks for the reply. I have checked out the FEMA drawings and as you mentioned they might be a little more than I want to invest. But, there are some ideas there I could incorporate.

Surely some of you other guys have considered preparing for natural and/or man made disasters?
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