1981 - Volume #5, Issue #3, Page #27[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
This Storm Shelter's Also A Food Cellar
It's a precast concrete storm cellar weighing 5,000 lbs. that can be delivered and installed underground in the yard, or can be adjoined to the basement under a home. The manufacturer, Harold McGowan, of Omaha, Neb., says the storm cellar also doubles as a food cellar for storing potatoes and other root crops, apples or canned goods under-ground.
McGowan dreamed up his precast-shelter idea and built the forms (at a cost of $13,000) in the winter of '79-'80, then exhibited the shelters at the 1980 Nebraska State Fair where he sold 22 units. Business has been booming ever since.
Inside size of the 5,000 lb. shelter is 6 x 8 ft., by 6 ft. 4 in. high. Doubles can be built that are twice as long. The walls and arched top are 4 1/2 to 5 in. thick, and the shelter is cast using reinforcing rod. The top half and bottom half are cast separately. They can be equipped with electricity and are vented.
McGowan has sold and installed Fraidy Holes several hundred miles from his plant, and is willing to deliver and install anywhere. His trucking charge, beyond 50 miles, is $35 an hour.
McGowan offers an optional $25 rotating periscope. "Without leaving the shelter, it lets you take a look outside, clear around," he explains. "You usually don't know for sure when a storm is over and could open the door just at the wrong time."
The price, installed within 50 miles of the manufacturing plant in the north part of Omaha, is $1,850. The price includes trucking, digging the hole, a set of precast concrete steps needed if the Fraidy Hole is to be installed in the yard, a plank door, sealing against leakage, and covering. "We make 'em bug tight!" says McGowan.
The cost of a shelter picked up at the factory for owner installation is $950. A set of precast steps is $350.
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harold McGowan, Cedar Valley Precast, Rt. 2, Box 155, Omaha, Neb. 68134 (ph 402 468-5754).
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