In 2001, a potato farmer named Ron decided he wanted to build a storm shelter for his Canton, Texas home. Ron and his wife had recently retired and were living in a mobile home on their property with a barn and other out buildings.
Since they lived in an area prone to tornados, the couple decided it would be wise to spend their hard-earned money on a custom-built storm shelter. The couple ended up spending about $4,000 on a custom shelter that they installed underneath one of their outbuildings.
A little over 15 years later, the investment by the retired couple paid off by saving their lives. The town where they live was hit by an EF3 tornado that left a 51-mile path of destruction leveling many homes in the area and killing four people. Luckily, the couple survived by getting to their shelter, but the same can’t be said for some of their neighbors.
According to Ron, “I raised the door and came out and here’s what I saw,” looking out over his land littered with the remains of his buildings. “If we’d have been in the double wide, we’d be history.” The only thing left of their mobile home was twisted metal and pieces of wood thrown around their property.
The majority of their home ended up nearly 200 yards away in a neighbor’s pasture. Ron reflected on the fact that they made the decision to install that bunker so many years ago. He told local media, “It saved our lives.”
Having a bunker or shelter like Ron’s can clearly save your life during a disaster. However, not only can it be used during a disaster but think about if there was some sort of social unrest or even looters targeting your home.
The fact is, a survival bunker can serve multiple purposes, which is why I want to share with you a few different pre-built bunker options. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use it, but anything is possible in the world we live in today.
Swisher ESP Safety Shelter. This is an above ground safety shelter that has been tested to withstand winds produced by an EF5 Tornado up to 250 mph. In addition, it’s been able to withstand impact from 15 lbs of 2X4’s traveling at a speed of 100 mph. In short, this above ground shelter meets all FEMA standards for a shelter to protect you from a tornado or hurricane. Now, this shelter is not waterproof so it wouldn’t keep out water in the event of flooding. One advantage of this shelter is that it has a sliding door so you wouldn’t be trapped by falling debris or something blocking the door. Plus, it includes shielded air vents that will still function during a dangerous storm. This company makes different sizes and models of shelters and there are plenty of additional options you can add to your unit such as a gun rack. This model is designed to hold up to 15 people and sells for around $10,000.
Granger Plastics In-Ground Shelter. This shelter is ideal for a small family since it holds up to five adults. This shelter is designed to be in-ground so it’s simple to install and doesn’t require any ground anchors. It’s made from polyethylene material giving it a lifespan of 1000 years and it exceeds FEMA storm impact standards with an aluminum door and steel locking points. One drawback to this shelter is the 6-foot height within the unit, meaning it might be a little cramped for taller folks. Also, you would most likely need to hire an excavator to dig the hole for the shelter. This model includes a battery-operated lighting system and a rust-proof design so it will last many generations. Based on the size this shelter, it is definitely designed for short escape from the elements or danger, but isn’t somewhere you want to be long-term. The Granger In-Ground shelter sells for $6,000.
Survive-A-Storm Garage Cube. The company Survive-A-Storm makes many different models of in-ground and above-ground storm shelters and safety bunkers. These shelters can be installed in a backyard with no extra concrete needed as the shelter can be anchored into the ground. This shelter has more options compared to others, including electric and telephone conduits and indoor-outdoor carpeting. The Garage Cube design is built to go anywhere in a garage floor without taking away any space from an existing garage. In other words, you can still park in and use your garage like normal but have the cube installed into the floor for quick access in an emergency. For pricing of the specific model you want and the options you’d like included you would have to contact Survive-A-Storm directly.