I have been doing some research on tornado shelters (storm cellars) and their availability and cost. Since we don’t get many tornados in the area where I live, they have been off my radar until now. Now that I have looked at them, I am impressed with what I found available. There are many reputable companies that are manufacturing and selling them. They came in all sizes and shapes and are readily available in many areas of the country.
They are available in both aboveground and underground designs. Personally, I would prefer an underground one. While many of them are small, you can get large ones as big as 10 x 30. They are available in concrete, metal, fiberglass and even plastic. Admittedly, they are only designed for a short stay, but you could modify one to make it work for longer periods. Look at some of the old bomb shelter designs from the 1950’s. They were small and used every bit of space. They will give you good ideas.
Since tornado shelters are functionally just an underground bunker, tornado shelters can also be used as improvised bomb shelters or fallout shelters. The underground construction makes them cool and dark; tornado shelters on farmsteads in the Midwest have traditionally been used as root cellars to store seasonal canned goods for use during the winter.
Because the prices are lower that the fancy underground pre manufactured bunkers, more of us can afford them. In addition, depending on your income and the area in which you live the government will help you with financing. Go to the following FEMA link and you will find information on what funding is available.
It is my understanding that in many areas these are so common that you will not attract undue attention by installing one. If they do not fully meet your needs, you have the option of modifying after they are installed. With a little imagination, you can make these serve your needs. Besides, even in their original configuration they are way better than nothing.