How to landscape in and around a tornado shelter, make it less scary?

I have an in ground tornado shelter in my backyard, came with the house. I live in a Manufactured home and its in Texas, so Tornados are a definite Concern of ours.

Trouble is, I haven't even been able to bring myself to step inside of it, not to clean it up or anything and I'm afraid I wont be able to go in it if I need to the way it is, all a grave.

4 Answers

  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Think of it as a root cellar where you store fruits, veggies, preserves, cheese....all kinds of good stuff. Get some portable camping lights or solar lights and some light will brighten things up. As for landscaping and decorating, think in terms of natural elements....a sod roof festooned with wild flowers....things like that.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    If there is room to plant plants around it, plant annuals or perennials that help mask its image in your yard. Don't grow plants more than a couple feet tall, so they won't cause issues in a storm. Certainly need to open it up and let it air out all day, then clean it out. Might even need to put an insect fogger in to kill off any spiders or bugs. You would be a lot less apprehensive using the shelter if 1) you had been inside it before and 2) felt it was safe in terms of being clean and free of spiders and such.

  • SteveN
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    If you live in a place where tornadoes are common every year, you will come to think of that building as your emergency life capsule rather than some foreboding hole in the ground that reminds you of a grave.

    In this day and age, I've actually been looking into getting an underground shelter, and the plan was for something more than just a protection against tornadoes. Changing weather patterns means more strange weather heading my way. You also have concerns over terrorist attacks which may involve nuclear or biological fallout heading my way from a nearby major city.

    Having a shelter like yours is no good if you never plan to use it, and you don't have it stocked and ready for you to stay in for a minimum of 72 hours. And you won't consider using it if you do indeed encounter a tornado or other disaster if you haven't practiced going in there.

    The shelter is really a good place to use for storage. If you think it's gloomy, do something about it. If the interior is just grey unpainted cement, consider getting some concrete primer and paint to brighten the walls and ceiling, maybe just white, or even a pale sky blue or yellow. On one wall, install shelving units and store all your canned goods, pickles, and preserves in there. Get a couple of 5-gallon bottles of spring water that you keep in there for emergencies. Buy batteries in bulk from Costco or Sam's Club and keep them in plastic covered containers on a shelf with flashlights or LED lanterns to try and keep them fresh.

    Get some small shrubs and flowering plants to minimize the ugliness of this metal doorway just sticking up out of the back yard landscaping. Making that doorway less noticeable is not just for making the yard more pleasing and the area less gloomy. In storm conditions, you may have plenty of "new friends" trying to get into your family's protected room. After a disaster like Katrina in 2005, or Irma in 2017, a lot of looting and crime took place. Imagine you have food and water and medicine while many locals in the area do not. Part of how to protect your disaster cache is also not letting people know you have it.

    One other thing you could do is look at getting a small solar panel installed near the shelter. Doing that would allow you to generate power for lighting and a radio inside the shelter even during times when there is no storm situation. And offers alternatives instead of having to rely solely on flashlights that may only be giving a beam of light in what you consider to be a dark box.

  • 3 years ago

    if it bothers you to go in there just dont go in till you really have to and by then it wont bother you to go in cause you wont have much choice

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