How to build a storm shelter underground

This article explores the best tips and techniques for building your own underground storm shelter, no matter what skill level you currently have in home improvement projects.

According to the National Weather Service, a tornado touches down somewhere in the United States, on average, once every 60 minutes. If you’re anywhere within 100 miles of an urban area in Tornado Alley, your chances are greater. And yet, only about 20 percent of homeowners have a storm shelter — or even an emergency plan — in place.How to build a storm shelter underground

How to build a storm shelter underground

You can build a storm shelter in your basement or garage. You can also build one in your backyard or even in your closet.

Here are some tips on how to make your storm shelter comfortable:

– Cover the walls with insulation and paint them white for better reflectivity.

– Install a heating system that uses propane or natural gas. This will keep the temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) during cold weathers and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) during hot weathers.

– A generator is also recommended to run the air conditioner, refrigerator and other appliances during power outages. Install the generator outside the shelter so it can be easily refueled when necessary.

– Install solar panels on top of the roof so you can use them as an alternative source of power during blackouts. It’s best if they’re placed on opposite sides of the roof so they don’t shade each other when they’re producing energy at different times throughout the day.

There are a number of factors to consider when building a storm shelter. The most important is safety, followed by comfort and cost. Here are some tips on how to build a storm shelter that will keep you and your family safe in case of an emergency.

Safety Tips for Building a Storm Shelter:

Choose the right location. You want to make sure that your shelter is located away from trees or other objects that could be blown around by high winds, but close enough to an exit so you can get out quickly if necessary. You also want it to be at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from your home in case there’s an explosion or fire after the storm passes through.

Make sure it’s safe from flooding. If you live near water — say, on the coast — make sure your shelter is built above ground level so floodwater doesn’t come rushing in when your area gets hit by heavy rain or tidal waves during a storm. This will also keep water out of your living space during regular rains and floods as well as during emergencies like hurricanes or tornadoes where you may need to take refuge inside until they pass over your area.

The first step in building a storm shelter is to consider what type of shelter you want. How much room do you have? Do you have enough money for the project? Will your family be happy with their new living space?

If you are going to build a shelter in your basement, make sure that the walls are strong enough to support the weight of the dirt that will be poured above it. If you are going to build a shelter above ground, make sure that the structure will withstand high winds and heavy rain.

Safe Rooms and Storm Shelters | Building America Solution Center

If you’re building a storm shelter in your backyard, the first step is to clear the area of any rocks or roots. Next, you need to lay down plastic sheeting and then fill in the area with sand or gravel.

Next, you need to dig out a hole for the shelter. Make sure that it’s deep enough for you to fit into comfortably, but not so deep that it will require a lot of work to remove after the storm has passed.

Finally, you need to build your shelter using cinder blocks and cement.

How to Build a Storm Shelter

In the aftermath of a tornado, hurricane or other storm, it’s often too late to prepare. But if you’re prepared in advance and have a storm shelter on hand, you can stay safe and protect your family.

The National Weather Service recommends that everyone have at least one place they can go during severe weather. If the storm hits during the night, you’ll need to have flashlights, batteries and candles ready to go. You’ll also want an emergency kit with water and nonperishable food items for each person in your family.

Having a designated spot for everyone in your home is important as well. If there are multiple entrances into your home, move items away from them so they don’t block exits in case of an emergency.

Building a shelter in your closet is a great way to stay safe during a tornado, storm or hurricane. You can build this shelter in a matter of minutes using only items you have around the house.

The first thing you need to do is create an inventory of items that you will need to create your storm shelter. These include:

Duct tape





A first aid kit

The closet may be the most overlooked, underutilized and undervalued space in your home. A closet that turns into a storm shelter is a great addition to any home.

There are many ways to build a storm shelter in your closet, but here are the steps for one of the simplest ways:

1. Buy an 8-foot by 4-foot pre-fabricated metal door with a lock on it (you can find these online). Make sure it fits your closet opening. This is what will keep water out of your shelter during a hurricane.

2. Install it on the inside of the closet door frame. Use screws and anchors so that it is sturdy and secure.

3. Cut two pieces of plywood or drywall large enough to fit over both sides of the door opening, forming an “L” shape around the door frame. Attach them to each other and then attach them to the closet walls using screws and anchors so that they form a barrier around the door opening and create an opening for people to enter through without getting wet from rain or floodwater outside your house during a hurricane or flood event

You’ll need to think about how you want to use your closet storm shelter. You can build a simple structure for hiding out during a tornado or other severe weather, or you can go all out and create a full-on panic room with air filtration systems and electricity.

concrete-walk-in-shelter - Lake Martin Storm Shelters

In either case, the first step is to choose whether to build from scratch or convert an existing space.

Building from scratch will likely be more expensive, but also gives you more control over the design and layout. Converting an existing space may be cheaper in the long run since it saves you from having to buy lumber, but it also comes with limitations on size and shape.

If you’re building from scratch, use the following tips:

Selecting Materials: Wood is typically used for these structures because it’s easy to work with and can be cut into any size necessary. Other materials such as steel or concrete have their own advantages and disadvantages (for example steel is stronger but heavier than wood). For more information on different materials that are used in storm shelters click here.

Framing: Framing consists of creating a frame that will support the roof once installed. Your frame needs to be able to withstand high winds without collapsing and should be built strong enough

A storm shelter is a place to ride out a tornado or other storm event. The best shelters are underground, but an above-ground shelter can be built for about $300.


The cost of building an underground storm shelter is dependent on the materials you use and how much labor you’re willing to put into the project. A metal prefabricated shelter from a company like will run anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on size and model. The average cost for building an above-ground shelter is about $1,500.


Follow these steps to build a shelter:

Step 1: Find a location in your home where you want your new shelter to go — preferably one that’s in an interior room away from windows or doors. This will help protect it from high winds that could cause damage during an event like a hurricane or tornado. It should also be close enough to your home so that you can get into it quickly after an event occurs and before dangerous conditions begin outside of it.


Step 2: Dig down below ground level into the soil until you reach dirt that’s at least 100 feet deep (or as deep as possible). This will ensure that the shelter will remain stable during

The number one reason for not having a storm shelter is the cost, but when you think about it, a storm shelter is cheaper than paying for repairs and/or replacing your home.

Most people who have been through a tornado or other disaster will tell you that they wish they had a storm shelter. I know I do!

So, if you’re on the fence about whether or not to build one in your house, consider the following:

The average cost of a new home in the United States is $285,200. The average cost of damage to an insured home during a hurricane is $26,000 and this does not include uninsured property damage or contents. The average cost of repairing damages after an earthquake is $15,000 and this does not include uninsured property damage or contents. The average cost of repairing damages after a tornado is $2,500 and this does not include uninsured property damage or contents.

If you live in an area that has frequent tornadoes and hurricanes (like me), then you should definitely consider building one because there’s no telling what Mother Nature will throw at us next!

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