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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Safety & Services > In-Ground Storm Shelter

In-Ground Storm Shelter Cost


How Much Does an In-Ground Storm Shelter Cost?

 
 average costIn-Ground Storm Shelter: $4,000-$22,000+, Installed 
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Officially called "safe rooms," storm shelters protect occupants from the extreme winds of tornadoes or hurricanes. An in-ground safe room is somewhat similar to a stripped-down version of a bomb shelter, one where occupants usually take refuge for only a short period of time (while the storm passes overhead). Typically the entrance of an in-ground safe room is the only part that is visible, and there are steps down to the rest of the shelter, which is buried underground. The protected and reinforced entry can be outdoors or inside the house (such as in the floor of a closet or other area).

Typical costs:

  • A factory-built in-ground storm shelter can cost $2,500-$18,000 or more for a unit up to 8'x14; an in-ground shelter can be installed as part of new house construction, especially if the entrance will be indoors, or added later. Installation, delivery charges and optional features can bring the total cost to $4,000-$22,000 or more, depending on shelter materials (typically fiberglass or steel), size (the number of people expected to take shelter there), delivery distance and soil conditions.
  • For example, Integrity Storm Shelters[1] in Ohio charges $4,097 to install the fiberglass Storm-Tek LS4, which is 4' long, 5' wide and 5'3" tall, and seats up to four adults; or the Storm-Tek LS12 that seats up to 12 adults is $6,450 installed, with free delivery in about a 65-mile radius in the Ohio River Valley area. Safecastle[2] in Prior Lake, MN charges $4,895 for a basic 5'x8' in-ground steel shelter that is 5' tall, with installation bringing the total cost to $6,895; 8'x14' and 7' tall is $10,975, or $14,975 with installation; delivery is $2.40-$2.95 a mile. And F-5 Storm Shelters[3] in Baskin, LA charges $6,195 ($9,873 installed, with an optional vault door) for a 5'-tall 5'x8' metal shelter with heavy-duty channel iron bracing, a turbine vent with insect screens, heavy-duty door hinges and latches and an interior that is primed, painted and carpeted; a 7'-tall 8'x12' unit is $11,800 or $17,480 installed with an optional vault door.
What should be included:
  • Installing an in-ground safe room typically requires excavation and equipment to lower the unit in place. Huntsville Tornado Shelters in Alabama provides a video of the installation process[4] and a video tour of a 12-person shelter[5] after installation.
  • FEMA explains what to do before, during and after a tornado[6] , including how to prepare a safe room. The National Weather Service provides an online storm prediction center[7] .
  • Tell the local fire department or other emergency responders where the in-ground shelter is located, so they know where to look for survivors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outline how to prepare for a tornado[8] .
Additional costs:
  • Options like a bed, emergency exit or sewage system to prepare for a longer stay in an underground shelter can add to the total cost. For example, Safecastle[9] in Prior Lake, MN offers a bed frame and mattress for $280, an emergency exit for $650; and a handrail for $40.
Discounts:
  • FEMA lists possible safe-room funding sources[10] , which can include grants, rebates and special financing (such as FHA loans that cover storm shelter costs).
  • Many states in tornado-prone areas also offer financial assistance for safe room costs. Contact the state hazard mitigation officer[11] to find out what might be available. For example, the SoonerSafe - Safe Room Rebate program[12] in Oklahoma gives eligible homeowners 75% of the total cost, up to $2,000.
Shopping for an in-ground storm shelter:
  • FEMA provides ready-to-use safe room construction plans and specifications[13] .
  • The National Storm Shelter Association lists its members who are storm shelter manufacturers[14] and storm shelter installers[15] .
  • Oklahoma State University offers a fact sheet for selecting a storm shelter[16] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.integritystormshelters.com/shelter-pricing.php
  2.  store.prepared.pro/documents/shelterprices.pdf
  3.  www.f-5stormshelters.com/StormShelters/index.html
  4.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=65XzXhvB2jM
  5.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJBFuwwYnDc
  6.  www.ready.gov/tornadoes
  7.  www.spc.noaa.gov/
  8.  emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/tornadoes/prepared.asp
  9.  store.prepared.pro/documents/shelterprices.pdf
  10.  www.fema.gov/safe-room-and-community-shelters-funding-and-initiatives/safe-room-funding
  11.  www.fema.gov/state-hazard-mitigation-officers
  12.  www.ok.gov/OEM/Programs_&_Services/SoonerSafe_Safe_Room_Rebate_Program/Frequently_Asked...
  13.  www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=5788
  14.  nssa.cc/ProducerRoster.php
  15.  www.nssa.cc/InstallerRoster.php
  16.  pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-2179/F-1010web.pdf
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