We’ve had more than a year of experience now with the sheltered space under the lodge we sometimes call the root cellar and other times call the storm shelter.
It is surrounded on all sides by thick reinforced concrete and earth and is about a safe a place as one can hope to be in a tornado. The earth shelter also keeps the temperature relatively stable, although the room does get warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. We’ve used it only once so far as a storm shelter and were glad we had it. As a root cellar, it has helped us keep wheat berries, wine, jam, pepper sauce, pickles, and sweet potatoes. Not only does it protect against freezing and gyrations in temperature; it also protects foods from light. We have not been successful storing onions and garlic in the summer, because we’ve been reluctant to have their pungent odor in such a confined space. In addition, the air in the shelter is pretty damp in the summertime.