Success is not final, failure is not fatal - it is the courage to continue that counts.
- Sir Winston Churchill

Friday, April 27, 2012

Storm Shelter, take one...

A year ago today our area was hit very hard by several tornadoes, among them at least one F5. The same day this year was supposed to be our tornado shelter installation. 
Things have not exactly gone as planned...
The company that is installing the shelter got done earlier than expected with another installation and told us they would be here on the 26th around noon. Luckily I was able to take off from work early and showed up at home at the same time as the guys. 
Here is what the garage looked like before installation and after we moved a lot of stuff around.
Vor genau einem Jahr wurde unsere Gegend von einigen Tornadoes schwer getroffen, darunter mindestens ein F5. Genau am selben Tag dieses Jahr sollte unser Tornado shelter installiert werden.
Bisher ging alles nicht unbedingt reibunglos ueber die Buehne...
Die Firma die den shelter installiert, wurde mit einem anderen Job eher fertig und hat uns kurzfristig Bescheid gesagt, dass sie am 26 April gegen 12:00 Uhr hier sein wuerden. Ich war nur froh, dass ich eher von der Arbeit heim gehen konnte - wir sind dann auch fast gleichzeitig bei uns vor der Haustuere gestanden
So sah die Garage aus bevor  sie mit der Installation begonnen haben und nachdem wir alles moegliche herum gerueckt hatten.
Here are the guys measuring where the shelter will go. There have been new rules and regulations put into place recently and they wanted to make sure it was in the correct location. (We'll come back to this later!)
Hier vermessen die Arbeiter gerade wo der shelter hinkommen soll. Seit kurzer Zeit gibt es neue Regulationen wie weit ein shelter von den Mauer usw entfernt sein soll, und sie wollten ihn richtig plazieren. (Darauf kommen wir spaeter zurueck!)
The cutting has begun...
Hier wurde die Bodenplatte aufgeschnitten...
...removing the slab.
... und hier wird sie aufgebrochen.
Next the guy brought in his ditch witch and started digging. In total he removed two trailer loads of dirt from the garage!
Als naechstes fingen sie mit ausheben an. Im Ganzen wurden zwei LKW Ladungen Dreck aus diesem Loch gehoben!
More digging...
Fleissig am Ausheben...
...and more digging....
....und weiter so...
This is when they had the right size and they started tamping down the soil. Let's just say there was a huge hole in the garage and it was a good thing I wasn't trying to get rid of bodies. ;-)
Jetzt war das Loch tief genug und sie haben es begradigt. Das Loch war riesig und es war nur gut, dass ich keine Koerper verschwinden lassen wollte. ;-)
The ditch witch in action again, this time bringing in the actual shelter.
Der kleine Bagger wieder in Aktion, dieses Mal liefert er den shelter.
It was really interesting to watch them put the shelter into the ground. It only took two guys during this whole process.
Es war interessant den zwei Maennern zuzusehen wie sie den shelter in den Boden eingelassen haben.

And it's in! The next step was having the inspector come over this morning and then pour the concrete. That's where it got ugly...
Und der shelter ist drin! Als naechstes sollte heute der Inspektor kommen und danach sollte der shelter einbetoniert werden.
Daraus wurde aber nichts...
Apparently the company installing the shelter has installed several just the way they were installing ours and every single one passed. Different inspector, though... Our inspector said it was too close to the house and wouldn't pass it. As I am typing this, they have removed the shelter again and started cutting up the slab some more. Two of the shelter sides will have to be reinforced before they can install the shelter again. So, today they are digging the hole (again), and then on Sunday they are supposed to come back to weld the enforcement in place. If all goes well, the inspector will come back on Monday, hopefully pass it and they will concrete it in. Oh my, not how we had envisioned this at all...
Die Firma die unseren shelter installiert, hat etliche genauso installiert wie unseren und jeder ist durch die Inspektion gekommen. War jedoch ein anderer Inspektor... Unserer hat gesagt er waere zu nahe am Haus und hat es nicht durch gehen lassen. Waehrend ich hier sitzte und dies schreibe, wurde der shelter wieder aus der Garage entferrnt und die Bodenplatte wieder aufgeschnitten. Das Loch muss nun an zwei Seiten mit Stahl verstaerkt werden und dazu muss das Loch vergroessert werden. Am Sonntag wollen sie dann wieder kommen und alles verschweissen. Wenn das alles klappt, soll der Inspektor am Montag wieder kommen und wenn er zufrieden ist, der shelter einbetoniert werden. Nicht so wie wir uns das vorgestellt hatten...


  1. I guess a shelter is a great idea, but what a thing to have to go through. Hope it passes this time!

  2. I'm glad you are getting one put in. But this sounds like it has turned into a huge headache and big mess in your garage! Oh well, it the end it will be worth it to know you can keep your girls safe.

    1. I have to admit I was getting pretty stressed out yesterday. Now I really hope things will move forward and work out.

  3. I'm sorry you have to go through that stressful inspecting/permitting thing, but so happy you are doing this! Did I miss a post about this? I had no idea you were getting one and you are now my superwoman/hero LOL, as we are closet "preppers" so love following your project! I'll have to show hubby this :) Good luck with the next inspection, you'll be set for this summer!

    1. Thank you Erin. I hadn't posted about it before, I wanted to make sure it was really going to happen. We hope this will be the biggest waste of money for us - as in we hope we never need it. BUT it is peace of mind, especially after the two tornadoes that went through our area.

  4. Anke, I know this little set back is disappointing, but I got to tell you... the fact that you have this space is AMAZING! Talk about Preparedness! Hope you're planning to link this up tomorrow to the Preparedness Challenge!

    I pray you never have to use it for anything other than extra food storage (like a root cellar), but nice to know it's there!

    1. Thank you Amy. We hope we'll never need it, but the tornadoes that went through last year on April 27th really scared us; and then some more came through early March this year and pretty much took the same path. We do plan on storing some supplies down there, enough to hold us over should we have to stay down there for some time.

  5. If I had to live where you do, I would want a shelter, too. Very smart of you to put one in. Peace of mind has tremendous value.

    1. I agree with you, peace of mind is priceless!

  6. wir wuerden auch gerne einen storm shelter haben, leider wohnen wir zur zeit in einem Miethaus hier in GA. Hoff das der Inspektor am Montag alles zulaesst.

    1. Dankeschoen Martina, wir druecken ganz feste die Daumen.

  7. Anke, I'm sorry that things didn't go as smoothly for you as what it had for others that this company had installed shelters for. But I am grateful that you and Greg ended up with an inspector that was really doing his job because it will be to your benefit in the end, should you ever need to use the shelter. Grateful that you had the extra room that everything could be taken care of. I am SO relieved that you are going to have a place of safety to ride out any future storms that might come your way.

    1. Well Dianna, you know what our year has been like so far, so this not working out on the first try seems to be par for the course... I am very grateful we are able to have it done though and just hope things will work out on Monday.

  8. I saw your post via the Preparedness Challenge. Sorry for the headache you're experiencing, but happy for you in being able to prepare in this way.

  9. Anke, I know you will be so happy when all the hassle if over to have this.

    1. You are right, we will be happy once the hassle is over... ;-)

  10. Hallo Anke,
    was ist denn ein Shelter ?
    Kann man da reingehen, wenn ein Tornado kommt ?
    LG Carola

    1. Ja Carola, da gehen wir dann rein wenn ein Tornado in unserer Naehe gesehen wurde. Ich zeige spaeter noch mehr Bilder - wenn er mal richtig installiert ist.

  11. So glad you have a "safe place" I only hope it's never needed.
    Enjoy your Sunday!

  12. Oh my gosh...this is SO cool! Sorry it did not pass the first inspection, hopefully it is ok now? and NOT a huge mess??? I wondering how big it really it...hard to tell with the photo's. Can it fit all of you? or do you choose straws on who goes in? :)

    1. Suz, officially it's a 10 or 12 person shelter - but then we'd be squeezed in like sardines. It will be fairly comfy for us and the dogs though.

  13. Visiting from the Preparedness Challenge. How stressful for you! I hope everything falls in place and the inspection goes well. Tornadoes can be so scary. I've never seen a storm shelter like this. Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

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  18. I agree with you that watching the whole process of installing the garage storm shelter is somewhat fascinating. I enjoyed watching the whole process when we installed ours too. However, the need to redo it must have caused a lot of mess in your garage. How can they make a mistake in measuring the standard distance from your house? Anyway, the storm shelter is installed, so things should be fine now.

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