The Three Little Pigs didn't become a ham sandwich for the Big Bad Wolf because they huddled in a house built of brick and their home withstood his big bad breath.
Had the wolf encountered a bunker made of reinforced concrete wrapped around a steel frame his blow hard antics would have been even more futile.
Along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Safe Room in-home retrofit plans to help protect residents from the winds of tornadoes and hurricanes, the brick and masonry industries and a bunker building business say their products can deflect deadly debris to help keep a household safe during storms.
The Reston, VA-based Brick Industry Association commissioned the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University in Lubbock to simulate wind borne missiles impacting a variety of wall and door surfaces including brick, concrete and other masonry, plywood, steel plates and vinyl siding.
The study included propelling a nine-pound two-by-four at samples of typical residential wall construction. The two-by-four was representative of typical wood framing used in home construction and could become airborne in high winds.
It's not surprising brick, concrete and metals performed better than plywood and vinyl siding materials.
Home Sweet Survival Home
Miami, FL-area U.S. Bunkers has developed "Storm Rider," the newest version of its line of monolithic bunkers -- in this case 10 to 13 tons of reinforced foot-thick concrete wrapped around a steel frame to protect six from the ravages of nature -- and just about anything else thrown its way.
Storm Rider, also called the "Family Safety Shelter" or FSS for short, is an armored vault with battery powered lights, a ventilation system and storage for emergency provisions. While its sheer strength helps protect occupants from airborne debris, its octagonal, monolithic design helps aerodynamically defect dangerous objects.
An elongated, indoor garage version with 65 square feet of survival space, takes up about the space of a small car and sells for $11,999. The Storm Rider also can be integrated into the structure of your home. A stand-alone or underground exterior model of 75 square feet will put you back $14,999. Prices don't include delivery, installation, custom interiors or exterior finishes and roofing to match your existing home.
The Storm Rider unit is the latest in a growing line of Multi Purpose Platform Bunkers (MPPB) designed as safe houses to protect occupants (there's also a new animal shelter model) from everything from storms to small explosions.
U.S. Bunkers promises the units provide "total protection against even the worst of catastrophic and devastating category 5 hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, floods and blizzards."
"Your home can physically fall on top of the unit and there would be no more problems than a scratch on the paint," boasts designer Jorge Villa, a University of Miami mechanical engineering graduate with majors in civil and industrial engineering.
With applications for residential, industrial, medical, marine, communications and military uses the bunkers come with a host of options including biochemical filters, heat/air conditioning, video surveillance, cable, phone and Internet hookups, solar panels, water and fuel tanks, refrigerator, portable potty, first aid kit, an electric entryway and escape hatch. A power pack will run the ventilation system for 12 hours or more after a power failure and add benches, beds, desks and shelving and it's a home sweet survival home.
When you aren't in the survival mode, the bunkers can double as a playhouse, sauna-steam room, temporary guest quarters or hide-out retreat when you are feeling reclusive.
"We have some home developers in the area considering including them in new developments," said Villa.