Title:
Aboveground shelter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Apparatus comprising an aboveground shelter that comprises a modular interface which includes a connecting element and a passageway for connection and passage to another the aboveground shelter.



Inventors:
Greenboim, Zvika (Herzelia Pituah, IL)
Application Number:
10/413472
Publication Date:
10/21/2004
Filing Date:
04/15/2003
Assignee:
GREENBOIM ZVIKA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H9/10; E04H9/14; (IPC1-7): E04H14/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHAPMAN, JEANETTE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dekel Patent Ltd. (Rehovot, IL)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. Apparatus comprising: an aboveground shelter that comprises a modular interface which includes a connecting element and a passageway for connection and passage to another said aboveground shelter.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said aboveground shelter is substantially impervious to tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, nuclear war, chemical war, biological war, nuclear detonations, ballistic attack and terrorist attack.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said aboveground shelter comprises an add-on protection element, wherein in a first configuration said add-on protection element is storable in said aboveground shelter but is not installed in said aboveground shelter, and in a second configuration said add-on protection element is installed on a portion of said aboveground shelter.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein in said second configuration said add-on protection element is installed on at least one of a door, a window, a wall and a ceiling of said aboveground shelter.

5. Apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said add-on protection element is substantially impervious to at least one of tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, nuclear war, chemical war, biological war, nuclear detonations, ballistic attack and terrorist attack.

6. Apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of said aboveground shelters connected to one another by means of said modular interface.

7. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said aboveground shelter is adjacent to a domicile and together with said domicile comprises living quarters for humans.

8. Apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a filter adapted to filter contaminants from the inside of said aboveground shelter.

9. Apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a sanitary fixture installed in said aboveground shelter.

10. A method comprising: providing an aboveground shelter substantially impervious to tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, nuclear war, chemical war, biological war, nuclear detonations, ballistic attack and terrorist attack; and placing said aboveground shelter near a domicile, wherein said aboveground shelter and said domicile comprise living quarters for humans.

11. The method according to claim 10, further comprising connecting a plurality of said aboveground shelters to one another by means of a modular interface which connects said aboveground shelters together and provides a passageway therebetween.

12. The method according to claim 10, further comprising upgrading said aboveground shelter by installing therein an add-on protection element, said add-on protection element being substantially impervious to at least one of tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, nuclear war, chemical war, biological war, nuclear detonations, ballistic attack and terrorist attack.

13. A method comprising: designing living quarters for humans, wherein said living quarters comprise a domicile and an aboveground shelter in juxtaposition thereto, said aboveground shelter comprising a unit constructed separately from said domicile and being substantially impervious to tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, nuclear war, chemical war, biological war, nuclear detonations, ballistic attack and terrorist attack.

14. The method according to claim 13, wherein said aboveground shelter is placed on a building site during construction of said domicile and before completing building said domicile.

15. The method according to claim 13, wherein said aboveground shelter is placed on a building site after construction of said domicile.

16. The method according to claim 13, wherein said aboveground shelter is placed on a building site before commencing construction of said domicile.

17. The method according to claim 13, further comprising upgrading sail aboveground shelter by installing therein an add-on protection element, said add-on protection element being substantially impervious to at least one of tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, nuclear war, chemical war, biological war, nuclear detonations, ballistic attack and terrorist attack.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to shelters and particularly to an aboveground shelter that protects occupants from environmental disasters and attacks from assailants, terrorists, and the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] It is well known that hurricanes, sudden tornadoes, and devastating earthquakes, can cause a significant loss of property and, more importantly, human life. There are many ways to protect oneself from such catastrophic events. For example, cellars that are covered with concrete slabs or other sturdy rigid foundations may remain intact when in a worst case scenario the upper housing structure is destroyed or blown away. However, there is no guarantee that the structures above these cellars will not crash downward into the cellar. Further, modular or mobile homes are built upon slabs and, accordingly, offer no protection against the devastating forces of a hurricane, tornado or earthquake.

[0003] A number of underground shelters have been developed to protect inhabitants in the event of a hurricane or tornado. However, these shelters offer little or no protection against other disasters, such as earthquakes, chemical or biological disasters, nuclear blast or multiple detonations, and terrorist attacks. Further, such shelters generally do not provide a life support system to provide fresh air in the event the disaster lasts longer than a few hours. Generally there are no communications devices in the event of a medical emergency. Moreover, exit from the shelter may be blocked by heavy debris, thus trapping inhabitants inside.

[0004] Solutions have been proposed to solve the above problems. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,385,919 and 6,438,907 to Walton McCarthy, describe disaster shelters for mounting under ground such that shelterists are protected from natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes, and from human made disasters, such as bombs, armed invasions or the like. In U.S. Pat. No. 6,385,919, the underground disaster shelter includes an entranceway having at least one air vent and a substantially hollow paraboloid shaped shelter cell. The shelter cell includes a paraboloid focus portion attached to the entranceway and paraboloid base portion disposed opposite the entranceway. A gravity ring is attached to the paraboloid base portion and is dimensioned such that the shelter is constrained within the ground when the water table reaches ground level. However, this shelter does not answer the problems of nuclear blast or multiple detonations, or of terrorist attacks.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 6,438,907 describes an underground shelter that supposedly protects shelterists during disasters such as tornadoes, storms, forest fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, and nuclear, chemical, and biological war, that includes an entranceway that is claimed to be impervious to intruders. The entranceway has a low profile and may be easily concealed, is fully fire resistant, provides the shelterists with an alternative means of egress in the event that an intruder covers the entranceway with a heavy object, provides a quick acting hatch or integral locking bar to allow shelterists to quickly enter, close, and secure the hatch in the event that an intruder is observed, and allows the air filtration and septic systems to be accessed from within the shelter. This is achieved by building the shelter with an entranceway that includes a substantially hollow main manway. A hatch dome ring is disposed about the manway, and extends outward from the open top of the main manway. A hatch dome cover is removably attached to the hatch dome ring such that the hatch dome cover forms a weather resistant seal with the hatch dome ring.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention, unlike the prior art, seeks to provide an aboveground shelter that protects occupants from disasters, such as but not limited to, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, nuclear war, chemical war, biological war, nuclear detonations, ballistic attack and terrorist attack, as is described more in detail hereinbelow.

[0007] There is thus provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention apparatus comprising an aboveground shelter that comprises a modular interface which includes a connecting element and a passageway for connection and passage to another the aboveground shelter.

[0008] In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention the aboveground shelter may further comprise an add-on protection element, wherein in a first configuration the add-on protection element is storable in the aboveground shelter but is not installed in the aboveground shelter, and in a second configuration the add-on protection element is installed on a portion of the aboveground shelter. The add-on protection element may be installed on a door, a window, a wall and/or a ceiling of the aboveground shelter, for example. The add-on protection element may be substantially impervious to at least one of tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, nuclear war, chemical war, biological war, nuclear detonations, ballistic attack and terrorist attack.

[0009] Further in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention a plurality of the aboveground shelters are connected to one another by means of the modular interface. The aboveground shelter(s) may be adjacent to a domicile and together with the domicile comprise living quarters for humans.

[0010] Still further in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention a filter is provided that is adapted to filter contaminants from the inside of the aboveground shelter. A sanitary fixture may be installed in the aboveground shelter.

[0011] There is also provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention a method comprising providing the aboveground shelter and placing it near a domicile, wherein the aboveground shelter and the domicile comprise living quarters for humans. In this method, a plurality of the aboveground shelters may be connected to one another by means of the modular interface, and they may be upgraded by installing therein the add-on protection elements.

[0012] There is also provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention a method comprising designing living quarters for humans, wherein the living quarters comprise a domicile and the aboveground shelter in juxtaposition thereto, the aboveground shelter comprising a unit constructed separately from the domicile and being substantially impervious to the abovementioned disasters. The aboveground shelter may be placed on a building site before, during or after construction of the domicile.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] The present invention will be understood and appreciated more fully from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a simplified pictorial illustration of aboveground shelters, constructed and operative in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, wherein the aboveground shelters may be connected to one another in a modular fashion;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a simplified top-view illustration of an exemplary layout of the inside of the aboveground shelter of FIG. 1, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a simplified pictorial illustration of add-on protection element for attachment to a portion of the aboveground shelter of FIG. 1, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 4 is a simplified pictorial illustration of a method of integrating the aboveground shelter of FIG. 1 with a domicile, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, wherein the aboveground shelter is placed in juxtaposition to the already-completed domicile, wherein the aboveground shelter and the domicile may together form living quarters; and

[0018] FIG. 5 is a simplified pictorial illustration of a method of integrating the aboveground shelter of FIG. 1 with a domicile, in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, wherein the aboveground shelter is placed on a building site during construction of the domicile, before completion of the domicile, wherein afterwards the aboveground shelter and the domicile may together form living quarters.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0019] Reference is now made to FIG. 1, which illustrates an aboveground shelter 10, constructed and operative in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0020] Shelter 10 may comprise walls 12, ceiling 14 and flooring 16 constructed of a suitable material for withstanding natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, etc.), such as but not limited to, reinforced concrete. The material properties of the construction material, such as but not limited to, density, yield strength (e.g., compression, buckling, etc.), porosity, thermal conductivity, weatherproof ability, ability to withstand corrosive agents, and the like, as well as dimensions (e.g., thickness) may be selected to meet or exceed standards such that shelter 10 is substantially impervious to one or more dangers, such as but not limited to, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, nuclear, chemical and/or biological war, nuclear blast or multiple detonations, ballistic attack and terrorist attack. Shelter 10 may comprise one or more reinforced entry/exit/escape doors 18 and/or windows (or hatches) 20, which may likewise be constructed of a suitable material for withstanding the abovementioned disasters. For example, door 18 and/or window 20 may be constructed with ballistic-resistant steel plates on outer sides thereof. The core of door 18 and/or window 20 may be constructed of other materials, such as but not limited to, polyurethane, reinforced glass or polycarbonate, etc.

[0021] Shelter 10 may comprise a modular interface such that a plurality of shelters 10 may be modularly connected to one another. For example, the modular interface may comprise a connecting element 22, such as but not limited to, reinforced plates that may be fastened to the roof or walls of adjoining shelters 10 by means of any suitable fastener (e.g., bolts, screws, adhesive, etc.). The modular interface may further comprise a passageway 24 for passage between adjoining aboveground shelters 10. Accordingly, in the present invention, a homeowner or other end user may modularly set up one or more shelters 10 to suit his/her particular sheltering needs. Lifting eyes 26 may be secured to the roof of shelter 10 for lifting by a crane and the like (as seen further below in FIG. 4).

[0022] Reference is now made to FIG. 2, which illustrates an exemplary layout of the inside of aboveground shelter 10, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. It is emphasized that the illustrated embodiment is just one example of many other possibilities within the scope of the invention, and the invention is not limited at all to this example.

[0023] In the illustrated embodiment, one or more beds 28 may be placed in shelter 10, separated by other furniture, such as a table 30 and chair 32. Shelves 34 may be provided for storing objects. Space may be provided for all sorts of appliances, such as but not limited to, a refrigerator 36, a microwave oven 38 and a television 40. One or more sanitary fixtures 42 may be provided, such as but not limited to, sinks, bathtubs, or toilets. Plumbing may be provided for water flow, including a water tank for supplying drinking water or washing water for an extended stay in shelter 10. Chemical toilets may be employed instead. One or more filters 44 may be provided to filter contaminants from the inside of aboveground shelter 10. For example, filters 44 may be placed above an area near door 18 and may filter out biological or chemical contaminants. Other devices or equipment for prolonged occupancy of shelter 10 may be provided, such as but not limited to, emergency telephones, emergency buttons/switches and/or lights, emergency communications devices, generators, first aid kits and others.

[0024] Reference is now made to FIG. 3, which illustrates a possibility of upgrading the capability of shelter 10 to withstand stronger or harsher disasters. In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, aboveground shelter 10 may comprise an add-on protection element 50. In a first configuration, add-on protection element 50 may be stored in shelter 10 (as seen in FIG. 2), and is not yet installed in shelter 10. In a second configuration, add-on protection element 50 may be installed on a portion of shelter 10 (such as but not limited to, the outside or inside of door 18, window 20, wall 12, ceiling 14 and/or flooring 16), such as with fasteners 48.

[0025] Add-on protection element 50 may comprise a plate, slab, rod, bar of a strong material, such as but not limited to, reinforced concrete, a steel alloy, boron nitride, KEVLAR and others. Add-on protection element 50 is preferably substantially impervious to at least one of tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, fires, power failures, nuclear power plant accidents, nuclear terrorism, nuclear, chemical and/or biological war, nuclear blast or multiple detonations, ballistic attack and terrorist attack.

[0026] The present invention provides a method for planning, designing and constructing living quarters with the aboveground shelter 10 integrated therein.

[0027] For example, referring now to FIG. 4, it is seen that aboveground shelter 10 may be placed adjacent to a domicile 60 (e.g., private home, apartment building, school building, hotel, motel, office building, government building, etc.). There is no need to construct a shelter on site and disrupt everyday life at the domicile 60. Rather, in the present invention, the aboveground shelter 10 comes completely built and may be simply installed in place by a lifting crane 62, on some plot of ground adjacent to the previously built domicile 60. Shelter 10 may be anchored in place by anchors (not shown), but calculations have shown that anchors may be unnecessary, even for withstanding 250 mph winds, if the shelter has sufficient weight (e.g., 15 tons). Shelter 10 may form convenient and comfortable living quarters for humans together with domicile 60. Shelter 10 may be fully or partially integrated with the plumbing, water supply lines, communication lines and electricity lines of domicile 60. Alternatively, after installation, shelter 10 may remain a standalone unit separate from domicile 60. Again, the capability of shelter 10 to withstand stronger or harsher disasters may be upgraded at will with add-on protection elements 50. Other shelters 10 may be modularly added to the first shelter 10, as described above.

[0028] Referring now to FIG. 5, it is seen that aboveground shelter 10 may alternatively be integrated with domicile 60, by placing shelter 10 on a building site during construction of domicile 60 and before completing building domicile 60. Shelter 10 is a unit constructed separately from domicile 60, and may be placed on the building site before commencing construction of domicile 60 or later during any construction stage thereof. The invention thus provides flexibility to designers, architects, interior decorators