A Shelter included with construction of your new home…
These shelters are similar to what is common in ‘tornado alley’ in the USA. Although NOT so prevalent in New Zealand, adverse storms can and do hit us from time to time…
These comprise generally of a secure / reenforced basement under the home, and ideally situated beneath a solid concrete pad.
In context of our own local (New Zealand) construction standards, it is quite common to build a new home using a concrete pad as the plate which forms the entire lower level floor of the home – whether a single or split-level design, or a multi-story design.
During the initial design of building a new home, that is the ideal time to plan for and construct to include the placement of a short-term shelter in your home.
If your home is already established (and the addition of a shelter is an after-thought) it is likely to be impractical to excavate under your home in order to place a shelter – in which case you can refer to Shelters in your back yard (below)…
There may also be some exceptions however – of which do lend themselves to the prospects of an addition to be made under an existing home. For professional advise, use your discretion. Speak to your friendly builder, and perhaps expect to also require the services of a structural engineer, who can advise of current construction / strength of materials / foundational strengthening requirements etc. which can be considered for the home should excavation and construction underneath be an option for you?
A Shelter in your back yard…
Your own the underground Cabins / Tornado Shelters are designed to be used regularly for safety for family and friends from whether storms etc. They can even double as another room for extended family weekend stays etc.
Our designs allow for the survival of your family in any sort of disaster with the ability to live in an underground shelter complete with sleeping quarters, kitchen, restroom, and long-term stay would include food storage / water filtration making and storage etc.
There is space to feel at home as these are NOT small, and we even accommodate loved pets etc IF that is a consideration / requirement.
Our Backyard bunkers are an affordable 4 adult (or 2 adult and up to 4 children) underground survival shelter.
Add-on modular rooms / living quarters and bathroom facilities are also able to be added to the basic configuration as a requirement if more room is needed?
Standard fittings which include…
- an NBC air filtration system
- blast door
- escape hatch
- storage space
- convertible living room furniture / bed space
The concept of teh Short Term shelter is designed only as a safe place from which to take refuge from temporary danger, and needs to be located in an easily and quickly accessed position…
- it should be fitted with some of the most basic of necessities
- fitted with some furniture, perhaps bedding etc and made to be as comfortable as possible for a stay of perhaps 24 hour
- secure enough to repel storms, including high winds / tornados etc
- designs are generally low cost and use generally available building materials
- should however be positioned below ground level / in the basement of an existing home is considered acceptable
Provisioning your short-term Shelter…
In any event, should you choose to develop for inclusion of a shelter under an existing home, we can suggest considering the following for inclusion in any shelter design…
- All materials should be of superior quality and strength – block walls may be sufficient, but I would prefer using pre-cast solid reenforced concrete (or tilt slabs)
- It should almost certainly be either below ground level – remember that our philosophy is to make the shelter hidden for reasons which is evident immediately, or which we make evident in other pages.
- It should also be obvious ‘never to include’ windows or doors within any of the external walls of the shelter.
- Stairs used to access the shelter from the ground level should include a secure / internally lockable trap door (of 1/4″ or 6mm plate steel minimum) to separate the shelter securely from external forces – natural or intruders…
- Include a bathroom / shower and a separate WC within the shelter
- A separate water supply Tank / pump and 2 x filled large BBQ type bottles / water heater can serve the bathroom and kitchen. If not, then even a dozen 20 litre drums of fresh water can suffice and be used for washing / cooking
- Include a basic kitchen – remember that a bench top / sink / small microwave over and portable gas cooker suffice and do NOT require a separate building permit as a separate dwelling – include an over and you will need to comply with building regulations.
- Include furniture and bedding etc sufficient for every member of the home – you may need to be staying several days?
- Use an emergency food chest to last perhaps 1-2 weeks – as a chest stored in the shelter, you rotate all the canned / dried food stuffs with those used from the pantry regularly to ensure that all foods are current and useful (NOT too old)
- A small portable generator can also be used to support electrics – note water pump / sewage pump IF needed, kettle, lighting etc can be supported – but remember that you may NOT be able to rely on mains power, so what ever you do ensure that testing of an auxiliary power source to supply the shelter power needs.