Utah Shelter Systems - Because Survival Is The Highest Priority
 


About Our NBC Shelters
ALL HAZARD SHELTERSSHELTER COMPONENTSCUSTOMIZING YOUR SHELTER
TRANSPORTATION & INSTALLATIONORDERING PROCESS

 

CUSTOMIZING YOUR SHELTER:

© 1987 - 2014 Utah Shelters Inc. All rights reserved.
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Our shelters come standard as ‘All Hazard Shelters’.  Please see Pricing and Ordering for prices and sizes of our most commonly sold shelters.  You need go no further if your decision has been made. 

Our standard shelters come complete with the following:

    • Shelter body and end plates
    • 48-inch diameter entrance, with 90 degree turn
    • 36-inch diameter exit, with 90 degree turn
    • Two hardened blast doors with locks
    • All needed 6” diameter schedule 40 steel air pipes 
    • Paint, (interior shelter body), (exterior epoxy on end plates)
    • Flooring with removable center panels (for access to storage),
    • Two ladders
    • AC and DC wiring with DC lighting fixtures (both fluorescent & mini-volt),
    • ANDAIR, VA150 ventilation system with both manual & power function
    • GF150 NBC gas filter,
    • Pre-filter system
    • Two blast valves
    • Two sets sleeping bunks with individual storage compartments
    • Two sets sitting bunks with individual storage compartments
    • Chemical toilet
    • Operations and maintenance instructions, (First Aid manual, Communications guidelines {Ham or amateur radio}, Life in the shelter)

We can customize your shelter to include kitchen counter with sink, shelves,  bathroom sinks and additional bunks. 

If you have questions, however, concerning shelter size, depth of cover and placement of your shelter, or if you wish to customize your shelter, please use the following information to help you in these decisions.

Customization should be based on:

  • Your assessment of local threats 
  • Your installation and placement requirements
  • Your needs and wants

For your convenience, a personal questionnaire follows this section.  Please feel free to email this questionnaire to us if you would like to have our evaluation of your design requirements, or just call us for a free consultation. 

Designing to your threat:

Please review the information in the sections entitled, ‘All Hazard Shelters’ and ‘Assessing your Risk’.  Some of you may not need or want an ‘All Hazard Shelter’.   An understanding of local threats can help you keep from  ‘over designing’ your shelter.   For instance, if you are not in the vicinity of a prime target and you do not have severe weather variations, you may want only the minimum soil cover for radiation attenuation.  The ‘Threat Assessment’, below, may help you in choosing between our standard NBC ‘All Hazard Shelter’, vs. a less expensive installation with less shielding and larger, more comfortable entrances.

Primary Targets:  Targets are designated as either primary or secondary.  ‘Primary targets’ are facilities that would be considered by our enemy to be either retaliatory in nature, or strategically threatening.  Such facilities as C3I facilities (command, control, communications and intelligence), airports with runways over 2,000 feet; military bases, munitions dumps, and sub-marine pens would be considered as primary targets.   Nuclear power plants may also be considered as a primary target.

Secondary Targets:  Secondary targets would be areas or facilities that would allow for continued function or quick recovery of the infrastructure and government, such as hospitals, large populations, reservoirs, power plants, water treatment facilities, large mining operations, refineries, or large areas of commerce or banking.     If the enemy wishes to destroy the nation and people, they will target both primary and secondary targets.  If they wish to use our infrastructure for their own benefit, they will leave the infrastructure in place.

Natural Disaster: There are few, if any, areas of the United States that are not prone to some type of natural disaster.  Do not place your shelter below the water level of local lakes, ponds or rivers.  Do not place your shelters below the 100-year flood level of your area.  Dykes and dams may rupture and rivers may rise.  Do not place your shelters in areas where you might receive flash floods, snow slides, or land slides. 

Corrugated steel, unlike rigid materials, moves and bends with earth movement.  If installed correctly, corrugated steel shelters do well during earthquakes and blasts to 200 psi.   However, do not place your shelter on, or in close proximity to, earthquake fault lines.

If installed correctly, steel shelters make wonderful fire shelters.  However, always evacuate if possible, or if told to do so by local authorities.  Steel shelters make a great place to store valuables that you are unable to take with you, in the event of sudden evacuation.  Always keep the area for your shelter entrances clear of debris and timber.   Keep at least one entrance away from your home, garage, or other large buildings.

Installation & Placement Requirements:

We recommend that you consult a certified civil engineer when making your design, installation and placement plans.  Among other services, he should give you geotechnical consultation on your soil type.  He should also provide construction plans for you in the event that you require an entrance from your shelter into a new or existing building.

Your installation site will dictate some of your design requirements.  You must make careful consideration of your soil type.  Clay type soils do not ‘earth arch’ well and need to be amended with a humus type soil in order to achieve the proper blast protection.  Clay type soils also tend to allow water to accumulate in fissures around the shelter and will increase the possibility of water penetration.  If you have clay, sand, or soils that do not drain well, you will need to place a drain field under the shelter, and amend or bring in fill, which will ‘earth arch’ more easily. 

Sandy soils will arch if they are of the ‘sharp edged’ type.  Very fine sand will need to be enhanced with a humus type soil.  Often areas of fine sand will have variable water tables.  You may wish to purchase a steel-plate shelter if you are unsure of the stability of your water table.

Many considerations must be made in the placement of your shelter.  If you are in a blast zone, you will want to place your shelter exit well away from the foundation of buildings.  The horizontal distance from the foundation of the home, to your outside entrance, should be approximately 1 ½ times the height of the building.

For fire protection, do not place your shelter entrances in heavily wooded areas.  Clear the areas near the entrances of debris and do not place both entrances in or near large flammable buildings.  Leave at least one entrance in a clear opening.

If your yard has mature landscaping, sprinkler systems, or large trees, you may want to consider placing your shelter under your driveway, and accessing one entrance from inside your garage.

Your civil engineer should guide you with all the above decisions.

Designing to Your Needs:

Carefully consider your wants and needs when designing your shelter.  Also, consider extremes in weather when deciding on your depth of cover.  A cover of 8 to 10 feet will give excellent blast protection, as well as assure that your shelter will remain at a constant temperature.  Most shelters at that depth remain between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.       

Entrances can be customized to enable handicapped people to access the shelter.             

When choosing the size for you shelter, plan for 11 square feet of floor space, or 88 cubic feet of air space per person.  Each person will require about 11 more square feet of floor space for food and supplies.  We offer carbon dioxide scrubbers, if the number of expected people exceeds this requirement.

Customizations are the rule, rather than the exception.  See ideas on customization following the ‘Assessment Questionnaire’.

 For maximum occupancy plan one bunk or hammock for each 3 people.  Each person will then use the bunks for an 8-hour period.  Do not forget to include living space.  When you are not sleeping, you will want a comfortable place to sit for eating and socializing.

Customizing your Design:

There are many unique and interesting shelter designs, which have been constructed from this basic plan. Sometimes several tanks are welded or bolted together in varying arrangements. This can be done end to end, perpendicular, or in a parallel configuration. Connecting end to end in corrugated steel shelters can sometimes be facilitated with a simple banding kit. Longer shelters in this configuration may require smaller diameter walkways between the two tanks.

To receive maximum overpressure protection, earth arching is obtained by separating parallel tanks by at least the diameter of the largest tank. These two parallel tanks can then be connected by a smaller diameter entrance.

Outside entrances are not required for every tank. However, each tank should have an entrance and an exit allowing for two ways in or out of every room. If more than one tank is used, the exits to the outside should be on separate tanks.

Multiple Shelter Configurations – Steel shelters can be interconnected in an infinite number of ways to provide additional space for stores or occupants, or to provide a measure of privacy.

This photo shows two 10 ft. diameter shelters connected by a 7 ft. diameter tunnel. This particular installation had six different tanks connected in various configurations.



Other options include a pair of 10 x 30' shelters made to fit together in an "H" pattern, with the main 6 foot entrance tunnel penetrating the bulkhead, and the connecting tunnel stud positioned amidships. This is designed to fit into a very narrow property while still providing the equivalent space of a 10 x 60' shelter. A single 10 x 30' shelter can make a nice shelter for a single family. The air handling unit can be installed in the sister unit.

Assessment Questionnaires:

The purpose of this assessment questionnaire is to help you in the design and customization of your shelter.  If you wish for us to help you with any of these decisions, please email the questionnaires to us and we will evaluate them.  In order to protect your privacy and security, feel free to be non-specific as to names and places.   List only numbers of facilities, rather than specific names of facilities or locations.

We suggest that you always consult a civil engineer when finalizing your shelter and installation plans and that you use experienced supervisors and licensed operators with large diameter pipe installation experience.


THREAT ASSESSMENT:

‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ NBC targets as well as potential for natural disasters will drive the shelter design requirements for depth of cover, installation and furniture decisions. 

  • List the number of Primary Targets (major airports, military bases and other) within a 10-mile radius.
  • How close are you to a large city of population over 200,000? 
  • List the number of secondary targets (dams, power plants, refineries and other) within a 10-mile radius. 
  • List the number of major highway interchanges within a 10-mile radius.
  • Is your area prone to earthquake?
  • Is your area prone to tornados?
  • Is your area prone to hurricanes?
  • Is your area prone to flood?
  • Is your area prone to fires?
  • How many people do you anticipate will be housed in your shelter?
  • Do you anticipate housing any handicapped or elderly?
  • What are the extremes of your temperature variations?
  • Would you consider your locality to have high, low or medium humidity?
  • How long do you think you will need to stay in your shelter?
  • How much room will you need for food, water & supplies? 
  • Will you want us to build bunks or other furniture? 
  • Do you have an outside source of water?

INSTALLATION and PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT:

  • How high is your water table? 
  • What type of soil do you have in your location (sandy, clay, rocky, loamy)?
  • How well does your soil drain (drains well, does not drain well)? Are their large rocks, shale or other obstacles?
  • Do you have perma-frost?
  • How close to the proximity to your home, do you plan to place your shelter?
  • Do you want an entrance into your home or basement or garage?
  • Do you need an entrance that is more than the 48” in diameter?
  • Is this new construction?
  • Can your landscaping easily be disturbed?
  • Do you have a sprinkler system? 
  • How densely forested is your area (light, medium, heavy? 
  • Where are your utilities accessed? 
  • Will you need to truck out your backfill? 
  • Where, in proximity to your home, do you plan to place your shelter (front, side, back, under driveway, etc.)? 
  • Can a crane and large truck easily access this spot?

NEEDS ASSESSMENT:

Entrances can be customized to enable handicapped people to access the shelter. Consider your proximity to targets and extremes in weather when deciding on the depth of cover.  A cover of 8 to 10 feet will give excellent blast protection, as well as assure that your shelter will remain at a constant temperature.  Most shelters at that depth remain between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

When choosing the size for you shelter, consider 11 square feet of floor space, or 88 cubic feet of air space per person.  Each person will require about 11 more square feet for food and supplies. 

For maximum occupancy plan one bunk or hammock for each 3 people.  Each person will then use the bunks for an 8-hour period.  Do not forget to include social space.  When you are not sleeping you will want a comfortable place to sit for eating and socializing.

We can customize your shelter to include flush toilets and showers if you have an unlimited source of water.  Septic tanks are very vulnerable to blast, so you may wish to use only chemical toilets if in a blast zone area.    

  • How many people do you anticipate will be housed in your shelter?
  • Do you anticipate housing any handicapped or elderly?
  • What types of handicaps must be considered?
  • How cold/hot are the extremes of your weather?
  • How long do you think you will need to stay in your shelter?
  • How much room will you need for food, water & supplies? 
  • Will you want us to build bunks or other furniture?
  • Do you have an outside source of water?

*If you would like us to evaluate these questionnaires, please email them to spacker@utahsheltersystems.com

© 1987 - 2014 Utah Shelters Inc. All rights reserved.
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