Some solid ideas if you’re thinking about building a storm shelter. Just make sure it’s on a solid foundation, and maybe has a burm up the sides.
Oklahoma City has a regular amount of cargo containers passing through the city, and there are lots of uses for the ones that stick around the state.
20′ and 40′ containers make great storage units on your farm or ranch, you can use them as an outbuilding on your property, or if equipped properly you can use a container for a tornado or storm shelter.
Before you buy a shipping container, keep in mind with the hot, dry, dusty climate that we have here, it’s important to understand what you’re getting
Here are five key points to consider when you’re going to buy a storage container:
1. Shipping Container Size
Shipping containers measuring 20ft and 40ft long are the most cost effective options when considering which size you should buy. Containers with these lengths are the most commonly used in the shipping industry and that makes them the most readily available. Smaller sizes such as 10ft containers are usually cut down from larger containers and are more expensive due to the labour involved.
2. Check for Damage/Container Condition
If you’re able to inspect the container before it’s delivered, that’s always a good idea. However, because of the distance involved you may not be able to drop in and “eyeball” the containers. If you can’t do this you should be able to get an inspection or survey report from the company selling it. This will tell you what the appraiser thought when they inspected the unit, and what repairs may need to be completed. If you’re able to inspect the container examine the walls, roof and floor from the inside. In the daylight, sunlight will filter through any holes there might be. There shouldn’t be any soft spots in the flooring so make sure you check the floor as well before the container is loaded.
Due to the dust and wind you’ll also want to make sure that the doors seal up tightly. There’s normally a thick rubber strip that goes around each side of the door, and this will help keep out any dust that may try to blow in.
3. Put Your Container on Level Ground
We can’t stress how important it is to make sure that your shipping container is positioned on level ground, ideally on a concrete surface (concrete footings are ideal). If you do not have a concrete surface, wooden railroad ties or concrete blocks can be used. Here’s the logic: If the shipping container is not kept on a level surface you may encounter issues when you try and open or close the doors, particularly when the container is loaded. Any small amount of twist could mean your doors don’t seal properly.
4. Shipping Container Security
The most vulnerable area of a shipping container is the door, so to reduce the risk of unauthorised access it is recommended that you buy shipping container with a lockbox, or have one added to the container. You can get a pretty inexpensive bolt on lock box through ContainerLockBox.com. What’s a lock box? A lockbox is a steel box that is bolted or welded onto the container doors to protect the padlock from being tampered with illegally.
5. Shipping Container Delivery
It’s always advisable to notify the company you are purchasing from of any obstructions such as overhanging trees or power lines so that they can plan their delivery in the safest manner possible. You should also have the site prepared for the shipping container’s delivery prior to its arrival. Plan where you will need it placed for easy loading and unloading, and make sure there is ample room for the truck. There are generally several types of trucks available for shipping container delivery, so you should discuss which truck is best for the job with the company supplying your shipping container.
If you need any help, have a general question, or would just like to learn a little more about if a shipping container is the right piece of equipment for your project, contact the folks over at ContainerAuction.com. With the countless years of experience in the container industry they’ll be able to point you in the right direction, and find the best container for your money.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those effected by the tornado that passed through the area. We’ve worked with many clients in Oklahoma over the years and have never had a bad experience.
Prayers for a speedy clean up and recovery from everyone at ContainerAuction.com!
Used shipping containers in Oklahoma rarely come equipped with a lock box, which is basically a house for your padlock that prevents would-be intruders from cutting the shank and breaking into your unit.
For a small investment you can either have a lock box installed at a depot, or if the unit is already on-site (or welding equipment isn’t available) you can purchase and install a bolt on lock box in a matter of minutes.
To learn more, visit ContainerLockBox.com where you can purchase one online, or find a local retailer that can help you buy and install one.
Shipping containers make a great storage solution in Oklahoma. The naturally dry climate, wide open spaces and windy conditions mean that there’s little chance of moisture to get inside of a wind and water tight container. Finding a new or used shipping container in Oklahoma isn’t that hard; the close proximity to the ports of Texas and New Orleans, as well as major highways bisecting the state means that there are a lot of products passing through the state on a regular basis. Los Angeles to New York, or Texas to points north, the containers are likely to pass through Oklahoma on their way to the final consumer.
If you purchase a shipping container in Oklahoma and plan to use it for a storage unit, storm shelter, or root celler, you’ve got a few good foundations options that will extend the life of the container for many more years of use. The two most common options are to either a) set it on a simple stone foundation, or b) either partially, or completely bury the container.
Stone Bed for a Shipping Container
Putting a shipping container on a stone bed is relatively simple and provides ample drainage that allows any moisture that’s collected underneath the container to evaporate or escape. This process involves digging out a bed to place the stone in, leaving approximately an additional 1ft on each side of the container. Then filling the hole with stone to make the place to drop the container. Read more about building a stone foundation for shipping containers.
Burying a Shipping Container
Containers aren’t designed to be buried underground. The sidewalls and top of the container can’t support the weight for an extended period of time and will eventually collapse. However, because of the tornado season in Oklahoma, you might want to make sure that your tornado shelter container has the strongest “roots” that it possible can. Instead of completely burying the container, I recommend partially buring it. Consider digging out a hole that’s the length and width of your container, leaving room for a small patio on the end with the doors, and only making it 3 to 4 feet deep. Once the container is in place, you can backfill around the container and plant ivy, grass, or other plant life that will hold the soil in place. This little extra effort will remove better disguise the shape of the container to a tornado, and remove the straight edges that wind could grab onto. Once you’ve got it in place, finish off the patio area so that the doors can swing easily, then stock it up with food and beer and hope that you never have to use it!
Shipping Containers for Sale In Oklahoma
There are several places in Oklahoma where you can purchase shipping containers. Shipping containers in Oklahoma City are common, and you may be able to save a few dollars if you can find a trucker passing through Texas with an empty load. He could pick up a unit in Dallas and run it right up to you. However, this type of trucker will probably require that you have a forklift to take the unit off his flatbed or chassis.
No matter what, make sure that your project is safe and secure. Shipping containers are great building blocks for storm shelters, root cellars, and farm storage, and work best if installed and set up properly. We always recommend that you consult with a professional to make sure that you’d setting up the best possible facility.
I’m pretty sure this picture wasn’t take anywhere in (or near) Oklahoma, but it’s interesting none the less.