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Senior Contributor

Re: Kicking myself...AGAIN!

Here most safe rooms or cellars are on the sw side of the structure as thats the side our bad weather comes from and that way your house isnt on top of the door when it is all over and you can get out

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Senior Contributor

Re: Kicking myself...AGAIN!

A tornado can come from any direction. Can also rotate both ways too.  FWIW, basement walls can cave in as house moves, so should be inspected. Remember fire is life. Matches in water-resistent container should be stored in shelter. Good luck with the preparation.

Honored Advisor

Re: Kicking myself...AGAIN!

Really great suggestions...thanks to all of you for the experienced advice.  We have tons of wooden matches, but I need to stash them in a waterproof container.  I hadn't thought about the tools and flat tire fixits, so very good info there.  It might make sense to train Mike to store his saws and some fuel in there...will have to figure the logistics on that...fuel could  be risky in itself. 

 

We have planned a site just SW of the house, out the back door.  This is the best place for being away from the electric lines, which run down the path to the east of the house and office.  Most of these strings of tornados have run from that direction, too.  The ones out of hurricanes can indeed come from anywhere.  Kids are similarly situating the one at their end of the farm.

 

We paid an extra $200 per shelter to add a second access panel/exit, in case the door is blocked by debris. The company actually ptomotes above-ground shelters where you can go in-ground, as the door to a buried shelter can be covered and hard for rescuers to find.  I can see where that would be possible. 

 

We've been stuck here for a few days, either due to flooding or downed trees on roads.  It's usually been more a concern of feed getting in, rather than us getting out. 

 

I am thinking a good power inverter in there might be as good as a fourth level of generator power.  With vehicles and equipment strung out for over a mile and a half, likely something that could power one would survive.  I keep a whole separate, decent toolset at my store/shop, too. 

 

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Kicking myself...AGAIN!

Don't put fuel in the shelter.  If you keep a generator or chainsaw in there, you can have the 2 cycle oil inside, but either drain the fuel, or run the tanks dry.  Tornadoes produce great pressure varaiations and winds, and can volotize fuel in the tank, and fill the shelter with vapors.

To store fuel, dig a hole and bury a 5 gallon bucket to ground level, and you can fit I believe a 2 gallon gas can in there.  If it has a screw on, or snap-on lid, put it ideally in the corner of an open front shed, so that it won't get rained on, but so any vapors won't be trapped.  Be sure to refill with fresh gas.  Using this can to fill a lawn mower, and re-filling now and again is how I do it.  My wife actually prefers it this way, as we have extra gas handy for her, by where we keep the mower (she does the mowing) and I just refill the jug when she empties it.  I've seen tornadoes suck gas, and even oil out of irrigation engines, but a gas can at the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket buried in the ground is surprisingly quite secure.  Drill a couple holes in the bottom of the bucket so any water that gets in can drain.

 

I see you mentioned an inverter.  If you don't think you'd need the sustained power of a generator, what about something like this:

 

 http://www.amazon.com/Wagan-400-Watt-Starter-Built--Compressor/dp/B000WJEPCI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=...

 

It is a 600 amp booster pack, like the mechanics all use nowadays for jump starting cars instead of using booster cables.

However, this one includes:
An air compressor,

110volt outlets w/ 400A capacity

am/fm radio

LED emergency light.

 

Heck, I might even get one for myself, @ just over $100, with free shipping.  Didn't realize that the prices for them had come down so much lately.