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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, we are currently in the process of "getting out of Dodge" (moving back to the country) and have some land on which to put a home. We want to keep it affordable and would consider a mobile home, modular home, cookie-cutter blueprint, or even a custom design. Some things I would like to account for include tornado protection(cellar or strong room), room for food storage and other preps, well water, electricity backup, etc.

Does anyone have experience or ideas they'd like to share? We've only rented before and this is all new to us.
 

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The problem with most home choices whether less or more expensive is one tornado can turn it to rubble. Nothing wrong with starting with a mobile or modular home and building another in time. You've got to do what you can afford when you can afford it and you better off getting to and living on the land than waiting for the perfect solution at this point. There and building on it as you can, prepping and being is better than not. For long term or now if you can afford it and find a way, underground structures may be near perfect for you. I'm looking at that same future and working towards it myself.

Underground Homes - Earth Sheltered Berm Buildings
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Long term I'd like a good, strong home, however an underground home is not very feasible in my area. We have a high water table and anything people put underground gets flooded. For some reason, no one seems to be able to waterproof underground structures here. :shrug:
 

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Long term I'd like a good, strong home, however an underground home is not very feasible in my area. We have a high water table and anything people put underground gets flooded. For some reason, no one seems to be able to waterproof underground structures here. :shrug:
They should be able to build a covered earth home with a concrete and rebar dome/s and cover it so you're above the water table while still providing the protection you'd like. There's always a way to overcome problems. It's just a matter of how and how much it costs.

Earth Sheltered Buildings
 

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Personally in tornado country i would want to have a cellar that can double as a fully functioning home under the home..

Since have designed several homes in the past I took it upon myself to draw out some of what i would do cause I love thinking about all the great possibilities.

Soo many expansion possibilities.

Bunker house on the cheap.jpg
 

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It would be good to make a combined storm shelter, safe/panic room, and gun/ammo room, and include food and water storage.

Backup power generator -- whole house would be great.

Cistern system to catch rainwater for irrigation, fire fighting water, and emergency supplies.

Hidden room and secret passage to safe/panic room.

Underground utilities -- cannot cut power or phone lines.

Above ground fuel storage tank, preferably inside a building.

Steel doors in bedrooms for fire and intruder protection.

Outdoor shower -- just because.

Watchtower -- be the first on your block.

Four car garage -- for the ATVs and tractor.

Workshop with power and water.

Satellite TV.

Outdoor kitchen and fireplace -- again, just because.

Rifle and pistol range.

Storage building.

Victory garden with raised beds, fenced, and piped to cistern system.

Pond for backup water, fish, and irrigation. Also can attract wildlife.

Outdoor pavilion to work on equipment and have a place to celebrate, BBQ, and gather with family and friends.

Room for dogs, including wash tub.

Man cave, home theater, and hot tub. You'll thank me later.
 

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My house just finished over the summer. But before I can really answer your question I kinda need to know what kinda budget you are working with.
 

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sounds crazy and i never heard anyone doing it but if you can swing it, one corner a year do carbon fiber joints. i have been in construction/property management for 20 yrs and dont know why they wouldnt do this in tornado country. also ifn you can fashion up a barometer alarm after it goes down to a certain point it sounds an alarn saying tornado is likely eminent, buying yer fam and extra min or two. i would envision it would looksomething like a smoke alarm. i grew up in texas, horrified of tornadoes. but we never had a storm cellar we spent a good deal of time huddled in a closet scared to death. dont live like that. get a cellar, use sump pumps if you have to. do regular inspections of the area soits not floode if you need it. if you can swing it an under ground area with storage for after action survival and comfort.

.....for cheap carbon fiber to enhance the house joints if you wanna check forthe carbon fiber plastics that didnt live through a sport bike wad up.
 

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The outdoor shower is for chemical weapon decontamination. You're starting off better than I was. We bought a fixer upper. The features that I either made, or am in the process of making include a large food storage, a well that can be refitted fairly quickly to a hand pump, wood heat (mine has an electrical fan, but when needed it can be run without it.), space for those things (armory, medical storage, brooding chickens) and a siziable kitcken where a chimney and cook stove can be used, though aside from what could be cooked on the wood stove, I'm starting to figure that building a good outdoor kitchen might make the house more liviable in warm weather. I have been renovating to this end and with a break while I was stationed on the Gulf Coast, for years. Sometimes I wish I had started from scratch and built what I wanted, instead of refitting from what I have.
 

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I can provide info on building your own well drilling equipment (in about a month - using cell at moment) most expensive part is air compresser. Can help with design of hidden room as far as location and design that fools the eye; been a hobby sense I was a kid.

There is also some new (cheap tech- under $3,000) called Concrete Canvas that would allow you to build a 172sq ft concrete shelter that you can set up and is done within 24hrs. Worth reading about.

If you bury a shipping container hit me up because unless you reinforce the sides and top it is super dangerous, the center panels aren't as strong as the reinforced rest. Easy to fix though if you have a welder.

Know a bit about other stuff too, pm me.
 

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As Fuzzee sugested, above ground and earth covered with sloping (wind resistant) earthing.

Green-House
 
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Semi above and below ground earth covered. I wanted to do this 14 years ago when we built the new house local code even out here would not allow it. Considered a fad home. They have come a long way in building them now.
I did improve the below ground so if we need to move in there we can.
If you do build a normal ranch full basement and at least harden part of it. Back to the dual use of being prepared . It never hits the fan you have an efficient home safe from weather.
 

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A steel Morrison Shelter is a cheap alternative to anything fancy; most Brit homes had one in WW2, the family dived in there to wait out air raids and were protected even if the house collapsed. I suppose we could build one dead cheap nowadays for tornado protection-


But of course a proper dug-in or partially dug-in shelter like this one are best, and cheap too, just line them with corrugated iron-


Or we could buy a tank like this and dig it in underground, a guy is selling this one for 1000 bucks in another thread-
FOR SALE- http://www.prepperforums.net/forum/classifieds-barter-trade-buy-sell/2036-bunker.html


This dood has got a dug-in bus, anything dug-in is proof against hurricanes and nuke blasts, but whether this one is deep enough to stop a tornado sucking it out, I don't know-


If we've got big bucks a proper shelter like this is the way to go, I suppose it depends on what price we put on our families safety..;)


The ultimate protection, ha ha..:)
 

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Another alternative shelter would be an old army-surplus armored personnel carrier like this M113-


Rear view, they can sleep a family on removable bunks and we could either dig it in underground (with the air vents and periscope sticking above ground level), or leave it parked out back as an emergency hurricane shelter, or as a bullet-proof box if gangs are on the rampage-


This guy has got himself an M113-
 

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As Fuzzee sugested, above ground and earth covered with sloping (wind resistant) earthing.

Green-House
That's awesome. My first time seeing that site and the designs. I love it, but wonder how the polymer fiber resin material the structure is made out of would handle fire if one occured. Or the constant use of indoor wood stoves. I'm working on moving up north and buying property where it would be very cold in the winter. They show a lot of tropical home environments, but I like what they've built.
 

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Here are two types you might want to check out. Nothing wrong with underground homes/shelters but since you are close to the underground aquifer I am understand about your worries building below ground. Basements not also good, we had a family come into ER where debris and even some of the basement itself fell on them and not good outcomes. Please I am a little (OK a lot) claustrophobic.
Which brings me to a question that has been bothering me watching those prepper shows, are those underground living spaces equipped with alternate ways out if what ever happens ends up covering openings up? Again, no offense, honest question.
Tornado Proof Home: Is it possible to build a tornado proof home?

[Tornado Proof Home
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the thoughts everyone. It's a good starting point for my research. However, if i I'm gonna get a tank, why not a abrams? ;)
 

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Why don't you just buy a used single wide on the cheap and get it set up out there to live in. Then after awhile you will find out if your cut out for that kind of living and then if so, fine build what you desire. By on the cheap, I am talking about a used one, say 20 years old or so. 1-5 k tops. You will need a well, septic, and power. The rest comes as you figure out what you want.
 

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I would build a basement, maybe only a few feet below ground because of the water table, pile dirt up around it and slap a steel Morton building on top of it. That is about as cheap and effective against tornadoes as you can get. I have seen some steel buildings turned into homes and they can be quite nice for the money.
 
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