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How To Build An Above Ground Storm Shelter
Part 1

Also see: How To Protect Your Family from Tornadoes & Hurricanes

This storm shelter is designed to withstand the pressures induced by a 260 MPH wind as recommended by "Internal Guidelines For Building Occupant Protection From Tornadoes and Extreme Winds", TR-83A, Defense Civil Preparedness Agency.

Above Ground Storm Shelter Specifications

  • Concrete: 3,500 PSI minimum compressive strength
  • Steel: 40,000 PSI minimum yield strength reinforcement bars. Overlap splices a minimum of 12" and use wire ties to secure. Do not weld.
  • Concrete Masonry: 8" sand and gravel blocks
  • Mortar: Type M or S
  • Joint Reinforcement: Place horizontal, truss-design, reinforcement at every horizontal mortar joint. Overlap splices a minimum of 6" and use wire ties to secure.
  • Grout: Do not use less than 6 bags of portland cement per cubic yard of grout and use an aggregate no larger than 1/2" in diameter.

Where possible the shelter opening should face away from probable storm directions. In the U.S.A. an eastern exposure is usually recommended.

Note: Always present your costruction plans to your local building authority.

perspective of storm shelter
Figure 1 - Storm shelter perspective
storm shleter floor plan
Figure 2 - Storm shelter floor plan