Public Private Partnerships- Building Relationships for the Future

Do-It-Yourself Affordable Tornado Shelter

While pre-cast tornado shelters can be purchased for around $3,000. it seems to me that a hardware business like Loew's, Ace, and Home Depot, who rent equipment like cement mixers could profit by developing a less than $500. DIY kit for home owners to make their own shelters. I was envisioning a shelter that looked like an Igloo that would function as a storage shed for lawn mowers, bicycles, etc. 99.9% of the time, but when needed the family could pull out its contents in a matter of minutes and take shelter. It seems that most mobil home parks all have an individual storage shed for each unit. The Hardware/rental store would sell preformed cement rebar, cement, and the steel door structure, and rent an inflatable/water filled interior mold and fiberglass outer mold, along with the cement mixer. The homeowner would fill up the mold with the attachment points for doorway in place. Once cast, the inflatable mold could be extracted out through the door opening and the door installed. Anchors could be buried about 4 feet in the ground to make sure that the structure doesn't move. And/or a lip extending out from the structure could be backfilled to make sure it doesn't move. The structure could be tested at NASA Ames in their wind tunnel where they can reproduce any tornadoe conditions along with flying debris. There really isn't any reason for people in "Tornado Alley" not having some sort of shelter. The government could encourage this with a tax break for both the home owner and the hardware store supplying the kit.

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Idea No. 1551