Frequently Asked Questions
Where should I put my shelter?
The primary concerns are easy access and asthetics. In an emergency, you don't want to be running hundreds of yards, potentially in very bad weather, to get to your shelter. On the other hand, a shelter 5 feet out your front door doesn't look very good. That said, there are a couple of other practical considerations. First, we want to avoid any underground utilities (electric, water, telephone, irrigation, septic). Second, we must be able to get the delivery truck up to the shelter location. The truck is the size and weight of a fully loaded dump truck. Gates must be at least 9 feet wide and overhead obstructions must be at least 13'6" above ground.
Beyond those restrictions, we can put a shelter practically anywhere.
What about Bugs, Snakes, Critters, Spiders?
For many of our customers, one of their greatest fears is opening the door to their shelter and having a pair of eyes starting back at them. To completely prevent this, we install aluminum screening over both air vents to keep anything from crawling in and making themselves comfortable.
What about Trees?
As for installation, trees are typically not a problem, as long as we can get the delivery truck through them to the installation site. Roots are not a problem to dig through. However, we are not arborists, so if a particular tree is of value to you, we recommend consulting with an arborological expert prior to our excavation.
As for trees falling on the shelter during a storm, first, you will be safe inside the shelter! The concern of a tree landing on top is understandable, but our shelters will protect you in this circumstance. It is possible that a fallen tree will prevent you from exiting your shelter. However, your cell phone will typically continue to function, allowing you to call 911 for help, and most fire departments allow you to register your storm shelter, so they are aware you might be in your shelter. In addition, standard emergency protocol is to prioritize searching the most devastated areas first.
In the worst case, all of our shelters are equipped with 2 air vents (so you will have plenty of air to breath), and we strongly recommend keeping AT THE VERY LEAST the FEMA recommended 72 hour kit in your shelter. In this circumstance (worst possible case ), you will be completely safe in your shelter for several days, until you can be rescued. (If this sounds frightening, imagine trying to survive that storm without a secure shelter!)
What is the process for installation?
Once you contact us (by phone, text msg, email, or via our contact page) we will get in touch with you, answer any further questions, and then schedule a site visit at a mutually convenient time. During this visit we will be glad to answer any further questions or concerns. We will then review your proposed installation site(s) to ensure we are able to install your shelter in those precise location(s). Once you have committed to purchase a shelter from us, we will coordinate the installation date with your schedule and ours. Please understand the weather can impact the final installation date. If the ground is too wet and soft to get the delivery truck in, we may have to reschedule. We ask for a deposit of $250 to reserve the delivery date. Should something come up and you have to cancel, as long as you do so more than 14 days prior to installation, your deposit will be refunded. Should you cancel less that 14 days prior, the deposit is non-refundable.
Approximately 7-10 days prior to installation, we will submit a ticket to have the utilities marked on your property. This typically includes electric, telephone, and gas. Utility locators will NOT MARK any private utilities (Septic systems, Water pipes after your meter, electric lines after your meter, gas lines from a propane tank, and irrigation lines) If you know or think you have any of these on your property, it is your responsibility to locate or mark all of them. We are not responsible for damage to any utility not clearly marked.
On the day of the installation, we will typically arrive between 9:30 - 10 AM, and verify the precise location for the shelter with you, and then begin excavation. Once the delivery truck shows up, we will get the shelter set in the ground and sealed. Once the delivery truck leaves, we will backfill the shelter in the manner you have chosen. Typically the work is completed by 3 PM, at which time we will recieve payment. At this point your shelter is finised and fully functional.
During our peak season (April - June) the timing on these steps might be adjusted slightly. During this time period, we sometimes have to have multiple shelters delivered at a time in order to accomodate our suppliers schedule.
What types of payment do you accept?
We accept Cash, Check, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Our quoted prices are for Cash or Check. For Credit Cards, please add 3% for processing fees
What is included in the standard installation?
Standard Installation includes excavating, installing the shelter, and backfilling with the existing soil. As a result, the initial quality of the backfill will vary depending on local site and weather conditions. Additionally, the location of the shelter may impact our ability to compact and grade the soil. We will be happy to provide a quote to remove your native soil and backfill with the material of your choice. If there is sufficient room around the shelter, we utilize our backhoe to compact the soil around the shelter to minimize future settlement, however some installation locations prevent this. In these cases, there will be more future settlement of the soil. Soil types vary tremendously in North East Texas, and depending on how moist or dry the soil is, it may grade out very smoothly, or remain in large clods. You are probably familiar with your native soil and how it will behave.