Burying containers risks them being crushed under the weight of soil like giant beer cans.
Carl Nystrom wrote:You say your house is on a "fairly level" spot - but does that mean that the general topography is not completely flat? I dont really get extreme wind out here in Oregon, so I do not have any experience with storm shelters, but I have built a couple of root cellars in which I would feel pretty confident in any storm. It is a fair bit of work to build an underground room, but you could easily build something for a few grand. A simple cut-and-cover approach with cinder block walls and a poured roof is pretty easy to do, even for a complete novice. Getting a cargo container would likely be a very quick solution, but a cellar has a lot of utility as a storage space when you are not hunkering down in it.
You do have to consider ground water, but if you can dig into a slope, it is easy to lay some drain pipe behind the walls that drain to daylight. Even if you dont get it completely underground, just piling up the excavated dirt is likely going to be enough to give it protection and keep the temperatures pretty stable inside.
I want to say I spent about a month working on my cellar (with only hand tools) and spent probably about a grand on it. Granted, I was in my 20s then, and prices have likely gone up!
Leif Ing wrote:
Concrete block and a poured roof sounds doable to me, I wonder if Sepp’s berm shelters might also be feasible?
Chris Kott wrote:I would be exceedingly cautious in trying to backfill or bury a shipping container without building an exterior superstructure.
Shipping containers are designed to stack one atop another, and so have been designed to carry weight on their loaded internal floors, and to carry weight from shipping containers stacked on top, via the corners and edges, to the ground. They aren't designed to be buried, and there's no floor of an upper container to distribute that weight to the corners and edges. Burying containers risks them being crushed under the weight of soil like giant beer cans.
But keep us posted, and good luck.