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Basement Tornado shelter/ gun safe
#1
We have a 9x17 room in our basement where we store all our food and water, two of the walls are the exterior basement walls and the other two walls are cinder block. I would like reinforce this room to make it safer for a tornado and to store guns/ammo, it has a drain in the floor and I plan to run a dehumidifier if i put guns down there.

My plan is to make a door from 1/4 inch steel plate with an angle iron frame bolted into the cinder block walls and maybe keep the original wood door on the exterior so it is concealed. My problem is with the ceiling, i dont not want to tear up the existing hardwood floors so I really have no way of pouring a concrete ceiling at this time (maybe in the future). I was thinking of using hurricane straps to secure the joists to the block walls and layer of 3/4 plywood, metal cattle panel and 5/8 fire drywall. The cattle panel should slow down someone trying to cut through it with a chainsaw but I am not to sure how it would hold up to a tornado.

The bottom of the existing joists are running the 9 foot direction, I thought about bolting joist hangers on the walls and running 2x6's underneath the joists in the opposite direction. As money is available maybe get 1/8 steel plate for the ceiling.

Does anyone have any better ideas for doing the ceiling without getting into major money or demo? I know this is not the absolute best tornado shelter or gun safe but it should stop common smash and grab robber and hopefully keep us alive during a tornado and maybe even nuclear fallout. I know a underground shelter made with reinforced concrete on all sides and ceiling with three feet of dirt on top would provide more protection but that really isn't an option right now
Stonewall, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#2
I think you might also want to consider the possibility of ceiling collapse as well as it being ripped off in a storm.
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#3
(04-30-2017, 09:24 PM)streaker69 Wrote: I think you might also want to consider the possibility of ceiling collapse as well as it being ripped off in a storm.

Thats why I was thinking of running 2x6's the opposite direction underneath the existing joists, I could even double them up.
Stonewall, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#4
So what would the plan be if the steel door gets blocked during a tornado?
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Normanvin, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#5
(05-01-2017, 06:29 AM)Normanvin Wrote: So what would the plan be if the steel door gets blocked during a tornado?

I think I will have the door open inward so it can't be blocked. As long as there are no major injuries we could stay in there for a while if we had to wait to be dug out
Stonewall, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#6
Don't think about pouring concrete, think about pumping it.
A steel pan and a couple inches of fiberglass reinforced concrete would work well as long as you have the room.
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