Let's assume the terrible combined catastrophe: Fire from the Sky, Earthquakes, Tidal
Waves, Category 5 Hurricane Force Winds. Moving to safety on gets rid of the Tidal
Waves. So we still have the:
- Fire from the Sky
- Earthquakes at the 8-10 on Richter Scale
- Hurricane Force Winds
Looking at all of these together requires an unconventional structure. You can build a
structure that will handle hurricane winds, but that concrete structure will deform in the
earthquakes. You can build a structure that might hold up in earth quakes, but it might come
apart in hurricane winds due to lift forces. And all of these require a metal m-16 tank to
survive burning rocks falling form the sky. What is needed is:
- Extreme Rigidity (but with some flex to a point) to prevent breaking apart in earth
- Something with very few angles or flat surfaces that would allow lifting forces, and
would be low enough to the ground to resist tornado forces.
- Something that is totally non-burnable even if subjected to a rain of red hot gravel.
This excludes any kind of normal house as we know it. What does it require? We're talking
about a catastrophe shelter.
- Corrugated Steel Road Pipe in 10 or 15 foot diameter. This could be on a 8 x 8
wood pressure treated cradle platform partially bermed, or simply placed on a gravel
foundation with possibility of some free movement. For stability, there should be two
pipes side by side, bolted in the center, and cabled together at the top and bottom -
rigidity but also some flexibility. A connecting door or "lock" between them should
- An Internal Floor Platform on rollers to equalize changes in a sideways direction
could be provided. For a forward slant, hydraulic jacks would be used after the fact
to level the dwelling.
- The partial berming should be up to halfway level in the ground. For a 15 foot
diameter, it would be bermed to 7 - 8 feet, for a 10 foot Diameter, 5 - 6 feet. The rigid
metal characteristics of the dwelling (plus internal bracing) should resist breakup
even if the berming is slid sideways, and the whole thing bounces up and down. The
berming will help with the hurricane winds after the pole shift.
- One of the Pipes would be a restroom and sleeping quarters with bunk beds. The
other Pipe would be a living quarters with kitchen and wood/coal stove. Only the
main living quarters would be heated with the stove. Fiberglas insulating would be
suspended from the ceiling between the roof and chicken wire netting. Foam could not
be used due to the projected heat of fire from the sky. Fabric could be used on the
inside for decoration and a warm feeling.
- Steel doors would be on ends of both dwellings. The other end would be partially
bermed, and would be corrugated steel bolted to heavy wood supports (inside and
out), and with metal ties, bolted to the pipe and the inside and the outside. Small
plastic Sky Lights would be installed for light, but additional pieces of corrugated
steel would slide over the skylights for protection, and bolted in to protect from
violent weather. Windows could be installed at the door end of the tubes, but these
would also have shutters to protect the dwellers.
- Smaller diameter pipe would be used to store essentials, as having a shed in the
backyard. The pipe would also be protectable in a way that a wooden structure would
not, and could be locked for the long periods that no one is there on the premises
while we wait for the event.
Beyond the price of the pipe, the whole catastrophe shelter would be comparatively cheap
to a house. The whole thing including the land might not cost more than $10,000.
Additional supplies to about $5000 would be needed.