In a world where tragedy is piped directly into our living rooms and through our mobile devices, America has become energized to insulate our citizens as best we can against natural and manmade disasters. Seldom will you find a better example of this noble undertaking than with Staying Home shelters.
Staying Home produces some brilliantly innovative products. Its Hide-Away shelters retract into themselves and require a mere 19 inches of room depth. The basic concept is such that the near end of the shelter is rigidly secured into the concrete foundation of a structure. A handy deployment tool latches onto the edges of the shelter and deploys it telescopically on a rolling base. This operation requires so little effort that a child can do it. An optional power-actuated deployment device accomplishes the same task in seconds.
Once the shelter is extended, anchors are dropped into pre-drilled anchor holes in the concrete foundation so that the entire structure is secure and immobile. The resulting shelter is proof against an F5 tornado. While the telescoping design certainly sets the Hide-Away shelter apart, there are some other features that are comparably inspired.
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The basic version of the Hide-Away is intended to be installed in a garage or a similar protected space. There are three separate deadbolt devices to secure the device from within. These deadbolts can be easily opened from the outside to gain entrance into the unoccupied shelter.
However, once secured by the survivor from within, nothing short of a cutting torch is going to gain unauthorized entrance. The standard height is 83.25 inches and the steel used in the construction of the company’s most robust models is rated against .30-caliber, armor-piercing ammunition. The shelters are available in a variety of widths, ranging from roughly 5-by-7 to 9-by-12 feet. The depth when deployed is 3.5 feet for all designs.
Now imagine the same device installed against the wall of a schoolroom and sporting a whiteboard. When retracted, the shelter takes up 19 inches of classroom space yet telescopes to accommodate 25 students and a teacher. A classroom so equipped with 60 seconds of warning could be literally impregnable against any storm or armed assailant.
There are several considerations unique to school security. The Staying Home Hide-Away design retrofits into existing schools, requires no expensive guards and dispenses with the issue of firearms on school property. Options include an integral telephone, a surveillance camera, a weather radio, an interior power outlet, an external beacon flasher and a dedicated survival kit.
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For the dedicated survival prepper, the Hide-Away shelter offers some fascinating flexibility. Even stowed, the shelter still remains large enough to contain a proper stash of survival food and gear yet remains ready for instant use when you need it.
The unique telescoping design means the Staying Home shelter takes up a fraction of the space of more rigid offerings. Since the device remains above ground, there are no flooding considerations either. The shelter remains portable and may be moved when a family moves to a new home. An optional external cipher lock allows the shelter to be used for storage of valuables while still remaining accessible in a hurry.
According to Mike Vogt, president of Staying Home, “While others are focused on prevention, we are focused on providing a safe environment for homes, classrooms, work places and places of worship. We are confident our innovative product will save lives.” Staying Home does indeed offer some extraordinary life insurance. (stayinghome.com; 877-378-4275)
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This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Fall 2015 edition. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.