SP6 Storm Shelter

Completely Self-Contained Protection From
Structural Fiberglass Paraboloid Tornadoes
Air Filtration System Nuclear-Biological-Chemical Accidents
Toilet, Shower and Septic System Nuclear-Biological-Chemical Terrorism
Battery Operated Power Plant Failures
Self-Contained, Fully-Assembled Forest Fires and Famines
Communications System Nuclear Power Plant Accidents

The SP6 is a totally self-contained 15 psi ribbed paraboloid (egg shape) underground disaster shelter designed to protect 6 adults for 2.5 to 14 days or 10 people for short durations such as during tornadoes. The product was specifically designed and developed to protect people during and after disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, storms, forest fires, power failures, radioactive iodine gas from a nuclear power plant accident, and biological-chemical terrorism warfare. The SP6 is classified as tornado or storm shelter and the SP6-NBC is classified as an NBC (nuclear-biological-chemical warfare) shelter. A tremendous effort has been made to think of every conceivable incident that shelterists could face in the SP6 shelter. Many geometrical shapes were experimented with before finalizing the SP6. The SP6 comes in two models. The SP6 includes the structural fiberglass paraboloid, cedar floor, water tank, chemical toilet, air blower, battery box with one battery, light, battery charger, hatch, and tie downs for high water tables. The SP6-NBC is additionally equipped with a HEPA filter, carbon filter, gas agent test housing, survey meter, chemical agent detection kit, six 12- volt deep cycle batteries, counter and sink, water filter with foot pump, air inlet and outlet valves with screens, etc. The SP6 can be upgraded after installation to a SP6-NBC. The SP6 is shipped completely assembled.

Features SP6 SP6-NBC
Activated Carbon ---
  • Air blower
  • Air Inlet/Outlet valve/screens
  • Aluminum Ladder
  • Batteries (130 Amp Hour) 1 6
    Battery Charger 5 amp 30 amp
    Cedar Floor
  • Chemical Detect Kit ---
  • Counter/Sink Counter Blank
  • Electrical Protection In Line Fuses Circuit Breakers
    Filter Housing ---
  • Gas Agent Test Housing ---
  • Gray Water Tank ---
  • HEPA Filter ---
  • Life Support Duration 2.5 days 14 days
  • Methanol Tank ---
  • Paraboloid Structure
  • Spare Air Blower ---
  • Sterilizing Ports –air inlet system ---
  • Survey Meter ---
  • Tie downs-gravity domes
  • Toilet Chemical Manual Flush/Septic Tank
    Tool Kit ---
  • Water Filter ---
  • Water Foot Pump ---
  • Water Tank 100 gal
  • Whetlerite Carbon ---
  • Included   --- Not included

  • Design

    The SP6 is a third generation disaster shelter designed and developed by Walton W. McCarthy, M.E., author of PRINCIPLES of PROTECTION, U.S. Handbook of NBC Weapon Fundamentals and Shelter Engineering Standards, Fifth Edition 2002 which is the United State’s bible on shelter engineering. He is the principle engineer of Radius Engineering Inc., with over 24 years experience designing “high- tech” disaster shelters. The book is distributed by The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA) in Starke, Florida, and is known in the industry as P.O.P. The SP6 was designed using CAD (computer aided drafting), CAE (computer aided engineering), and FEAM (3-dimensional finite element analysis and modeling). The paraboloid shape of the SP6 allows it to be a true pressure vessel for resistance to high external pressure and full height water tables. The SP6 shelter system is based on 12 years field experience with McCarthy’s successful TBC6, ES10 and larger sisters, P6 and P10 fiberglass underground shelters. The hatch at ground level of the SP6 is available in several different levels of threat resistance.

    Shelter Construction

    The paraboloid shelter and entranceway are made of structural fiberglass manufactured to underground storage tank standards of Underwriters Laboratory, American Society of Testing and Materials, and shelter engineering standards of PRINCIPLES of PROTECTION. Fiberglass was chosen as the optimum material because of its extremely high resiliency and corrosion resistance plus its ability to be shaped into a compoundly curved structure. The 15 psi (pounds per square inch) external pressure resistance, with no earth arching, is constant over 100 years and does not have to be de-rated each year like steel due to corrosion. Fiberglass also forms a complete vapor barrier which provides a dry atmosphere when placed below ground, and it has proven to be sound in the underground storage tank industries. In addition, one of the greatest characteristics of fiberglass is its ability to “remain intact” if overstressed. The inside of the shelter is smooth, curved, and white to create maximum brightness with minimal light. All of these facilities function without outside electricity through the use of 12-volt, deep-cycle sealed batteries. The inside surface is easily cleaned with common detergents and is easily repaired.

    Shelter Facilities

    The SP6 contains 475 cubic feet (3,538 gal.) with headroom from 5’8” to 6’8”. This allows for almost normal living and a spacious feeling. There is ample light for reading anywhere in the shelter supplied by a 15-watt fluorescent light located on the shelter wall and shielded from direct view. Fresh filtered air is brought into the shelter by a 12-volt 40,000-hour air blower designed to operate 24 hours per day for approximately 2.5 days for each battery. The blower supplies many times the breathing volume of air required by adults. This system has the advantage of maintaining constant shelter temperature, constant shelter oxygen levels, constant shelter carbon dioxide levels, and constant shelter moisture levels, plus it prevents overheating which is common with manual air blowers in warm climates. Exhausting of hot, moist, spent air is facilitated through the screened air outlet at the highest point in the shelter where it exits the shelter. This is the most efficient geometry for exhausting, spent air especially when power consumption is critical. Six 12-volt deep-cycle lead acid batteries are stored in a fiberglass battery box in the upper deck. The normal loss of battery power is approximately 1.5% per month. A photovoltaic panel (solar panel) can be used to maintain the batteries if desired. A 30-amp controlling battery charger is mounted in the shelter to maintain the battery charge from outside power. A 50-foot battery charging cable can also be connected from the batteries in the shelter to the battery in a car to allow the car alternator to charge the batteries.

    Air Filtration

    The air is purified through a three-stage aluminum filtration system in a single TIG welded aluminum housing located under the floor. The first stage is the HEPA (Highly Efficient Particulate Air) filter. This filter intakes air from the air plenum inside the hatch dome at ground level and physically removes dust and airborne contaminates including radioactive fallout and biological warfare agents aerosols. The HEPA filter system is specifically designed to operate in severe BC environments. To change the HEPA filter requires removing the aluminum cover assembled with 14 stainless bolts. The HEPA filter flat sheet material is rolled up and placed in a plastic bag and thrown out of the shelter hatch. The HEPA filter housing will accept any flat material such as a blanket, sheet, etc. in the event that actual filter material is not available. The second and third stage of air filtration takes place in the carbon layers directly under the HEPA filter in the same aluminum housing. In this carbon filter housing, two layers of carbon are used. Activated carbon is used to remove radioactive iodine gas and Whetlerite carbon is used to remove chemical agents. The 40 cubic feet per minute air blower is mounted on the bottom of the carbon filter housing and draws the air through the carbon layers and then forces fresh filtered air out under the floorboards. This allows a complete air change in the shelter every 12 minutes. The SP6 Owner’s Manual details specific safe procedures for replacing contaminated HEPA and carbon filters. Both air inlet and outlet have aluminum valves and screens. When the shelter is not being used, the air valves are closed.

    Plumbing System

    Sink-  The fiberglass counter contains a 2-gallon sink. A foot pump brings in water from the internal water tank through a water filter and into the sink where dishes and clothes are washed. The sink drains into a 1-gallon gray water to be used by the toilet.

    Gray Water Tank-  the sink drains into a 1-gallon gray water tank on the counter wall.

    Toilet-   The SP6 is equipped with a chemical toilet. The SP6-NBC uses a flush-up toilet powered by a manual hand pump and uses water from the gray water tank. The sewage is pumped up to the leaching septic tank through an internal hose.

    Shower-   A shower bag is filled at the sink and hung on the wall to be used for showering. A plastic tray is supplied to stand in so the water can be collected and dumped into the sink.

    Fittings-   The shelter entranceway contains two ¾ inch NPTF pipe thread outlets 1 foot below ground level, for connection to outside 110-volt power or external solar panel to recharge the batteries.

    Gas Agent Tester Housing (GATH)-  This aluminum unit is installed on the incoming airline and is located on the ladder. It allows visual confirmation of chemical warfare agents without exiting the shelter. The GATH is also designed to collect and drain condensation from the incoming air hose.

    Hatch Cover Exterior Lock

    The SP6 hatch can be locked from outside when it is not being used. The pad lock and locking bar can be removed from the hatch cover and dome and taken into the shelter to prevent a person outside the shelter from locking shelterists inside.

    Hatch Cover and Interior Lock

    The hatch cover is connected to the hatch dome by an external recessed hinge. This allows fast and easy submarine type entry. The hatch cover is recessed in the hatch dome which has four drain gullies to allow water to drain away from the hatch cover. A stainless steel rope hoist with an automatic brake is used to secure the hatch cover while standing on the shelter floor. This system is designed to resist 3000 lbs. of uplifting force caused by the negative pressure of a tornado or explosion. The average time it takes for untrained or inexperienced people to enter the shelter is approximately 8-10 seconds per person.

    Hatch Dome

    The S.T.A.R.D. (Stealth Terrestrial Attack Resistant Design) national leader of underground shelters60-inch diameter hatch dome at ground level is aerodynamically smooth. The 24-inch diameter manhole allows very large people with a 75-inch waist to enter the shelter quickly. The hatch dome contains the recessed hatch cover and is designed for severe impact of high speed flying debris. The angle of incidence of the hatch dome is only 20 degrees to allow flying debris to glance off. The hatch dome and hatch cover are designed to resist a non-shattering 3-inch diameter hail ball falling straight down at terminal velocity (87 mph) and impacting directly at a full 90-degree angle of incidence. The hatch dome is also designed to resist a non-shattering 3-inch diameter hail ball traveling horizontally at 150 mph. In addition, the hatch dome can resist a solid 2 x 4 wooden stud impacting the hatch dome like a battering ram or javelin at 30 to 350 mph depending on the hatch class. Some debris, depending on the size, shape, angle of incidence, and mass, may damage the hatch dome. This can be easily repaired with fiberglass repair kits available at marine and automotive supply stores.

    Tornado F-Scale F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
    Windspeed (mph) 40-72 73-112 113-157 158-206 207-260 261-318

    The hatch dome is made of a material called "Combat Composite" which is a structural fire-and bullet-resistant laminate developed by Radius Engineering Inc. The hatch dome for the SP6 is also designed to protect the shelter from a fire reaching 1750°F for 30 minutes while maintaining its structural integrity in compliance to ASTM E119. This design and material makes the SP6 very stealthy. It produces little or no thermal signature, little or no metallic signature, and little or no radar signature. When the shelter is installed in the ground, all that can be seen is the dark army-green hatch dome at ground level. This makes it almost impossible to be detected by modern target acquisition equipment. It is designed to resist 350-mph winds and more than 8.5 on the Richter Scale. Although the hatch dome is not impenetrable, it is specifically designed to resist seven basic assaults from people trying to break into the shelter in compliance to P.O.P.

    Hatch Dome and Hatch Cover

    The hatch dome and hatch cover are manufactured according to The National Institute of Justice NIJ standards from Class 0 (standard on SP6) up to Class IV to resist penetration by various threats. The material and thickness vary as the threat level increases. The classes listed below are based on resisting 90% of all the bullet types at various velocities listed known as (V-90). The barrel length, feet per second (fps) or meters per second (mps) for the test are noted.

    NIJ Threat Level Hatch Material (V-90) Threat/Bullet Type Barrel Length (inches) fps mps
    Class 0 Structural Fiberglass-self-extinguishing (standard) Light Hammer and hatchet assaults, 3 in. dia. Hail @ 87-mph vertical, 150-mph horizontal 2 x 4 stud @ 30-mph NA NA NA
    Class I Combat Composite
    .22 Cal. 40 Gr. LR
    .25 Cal Auto 71 Gr. FMJ
    .32 Cal. Auto 71 Gr. FMJ
    .380 Cal. Auto 88 Gr. JHP
    .38 Cal Special Lead 158 Gr. RN
    .38 Cal Special 158 Gr. SWC
    2 x 4 stud @ 70-mph
    Class II Combat Composite
    .41 Mag. 210 Gr. JSP
    .44 Mag. 240 Gr. JSP
    .44 Mag. 240 Gr. Lead SWC
    .357 Mag. 125 Gr. JHP
    .357 Mag. 110 Gr. JHP
    .357 Mag. 158 Gr. JSP
    .357 Mag. 158 Gr. Hornady
    19mm 175 Gr. Silvertip
    9mm 124 Gr. FMJ
    9mm 115 Gr. Silvertip
    2 x4 stud @ 100-mph
    Class III
    Combat Composite
    7.62 NATO Ball 150 Gr. M-80 steel Jack
    7.62 NATO Ball 150 Gr. m-80 FMJ
    30.06 PSP 180 Gr.
    .30 Carbine 110 Gr. FMJ
    12-Gauge Rifled Slug
    .223 (5.56mm) 55 Gr. FMC
    7.62 x 39 Ball
    2 x4 stud @ 200-mph
    Class IV
    Combat Composite
    30.06 A.P. M-2
    7.62 mm NATO A.P. 308 Win
    SS 109 FN NATO .223 (5.56mm)
    7.62 x 39 Russian/Chinese A.P.I.
    2 x4 stud @ 350-mph


    The SP6 is not impenetrable but is difficult to break into while shelterists are inside.

    1. Intruder trying to break into hatch using sledgehammer, hatchets, and guns. Class 0 Hatch resists light hammer and hatchet assaults
    Class I -IV Hatch resists all assaults
    2. Intruder trying to clog the air intake/outlet to suffocate the shelterists thus forcing them outside. Shelterists can open up hatch and reach over to unclog air intake or wait in safety in the shelter for many hours in sealed shelter atmosphere while the intruder is exposed to the outside danger.
    3. Intruder trying to suffocate shelterists by creating fire on top of the hatch thus forcing the shelterists outside. All classes of the hatch are resistant to fire and the shelterists can breath normally inside the shelter based on sealed shelter atmosphere.
    4. An intruder trying to run over the shelter or hatch with an automobile or truck. If this vehicle becomes a threat, the Emergency Escape Manway can be used.
    5. An intruder trying to drown shelterists by forcing water into the air inlet/out. The air inlet on the hatch dome are baffled to prevent this type of assault.
    6. An intruder trying to attach rope onto the hatch or air manifolds to damage or pull out of ground. The hatch dome is a smooth design with no projections to easily attach to.
    7. An intruder using a cutting torch to cut the hatch open. The hatch is impervious to a cutting torch.
    All attacks above Release of tear gas through hatch. Details are available only to actual customers.

    Storing survival supplies in a house may be a false sense of security during wartime or major natural disasters. Under the 1978 War Powers Act, the President of the U.S. can order local government officials to use limited force to commandeer necessary supplies such as generators, fuel, food, supplies, etc., from houses recorded on tax records. Even if the location of the shelter were known, it would require much more than limited force to defeat the SP6.

    Storage and Floor

    The floor of the SP6 is made of fiberglass and cedar floor boards. The entire floor is connected to the shelter hull by 6 adjustable stainless bolts to allow for seismic shock. This allows movement in the floor and also allows the floor to be completely removed to access the hull for repair if firearms are accidentally discharged inside the shelter. There are 31 cubic feet of storage under the floor. This allows enough room to store heavy-duty plastic food storage containers plus other storage space. The food tanks are used to store grain, powdered milk, salt, sugar, beans, TVP, honey, etc. and hold approximately 400 lbs. of food, forming a 2 month food supply for six people. The material and thickness of these food tanks allows the much preferred carbon dioxide packing of food as opposed to the nitrogen packing of food. It requires approximately 5 gallons of methanol to boil all the water in the 100-gallon water tank plus all the food in food tanks.

    Sealed Shelter Atmosphere

    When ground fires are present around the hatch, the air blower should not be turned on to bring in fresh air. During this time, the shelterists must breathe in a sealed shelter atmosphere. The safe duration time is based on a 3% carbon dioxide limit. The time it takes for the shelter atmosphere to reach this limit is a function of the number of shelterists, degree of physical activity of the shelterists, and the volume of the shelter above the floor. This duration is shown below for adults performing mild work.

    national leader of underground shelters


    NBC Package

    The SP6 can provide life support in severe biological and chemical warfare environments with the optional NBC Package. This package contains activated carbon (to remove radioactive iodine gas) which could be accidentally released from nuclear plants. Whetlerite carbon (to remove chemical warfare agents), which is manually loaded into the Chemical Filter Housing. A chemical warfare detection kit and radiation survey meter is part of this package.

    Radiation Shield1

    Radiation shielding in the SP6 is provided by earth, crushed stone, and/or steel plates, to protect shelterists from fallout gamma radiation. The 24 inch earth cover over the shelter ceiling provides 4 Half Value Layer Thicknesses with a Protection Factor of 16. This means that’s the radiation dose inside the shelter is equal to 1/16th of the outside dose in rems. If the shelter is backfilled with crushed stone or pea stone (125lbs/ft3) over the shelter ceiling or crown, the HVL increases to 5 with a protection factor of 32. Another HVL can be added using steel plates that are 1.25 inches thick increasing the protection factor to 64. A second layer of steel plates will increase the Protection Factor to 128. The SP6-NBC is designed to operate approximately 5 miles directly downwind of a 1 MT surface burst.

    The fallout doses expected outside of the shelter are shown in the graph below. Note the radical decay in radiation doses after the first week.

    national leader of underground shelters

    The first or top line in the graph below shows the acute or daily radiation dose inside the SP6-NBC during the first week when the shelter is backfilled with earth. The next line shows the radiation dose when the shelter is backfilled with crushed stone (C Stone) or some material weighing 125lbs/ft[3]. The +1HVL is one steel layer in addition to the crushed stone and the +2 HVL is two steel layers. For example: Inside the SP6-NBC located 5 miles directly down wind of a 1 MT surface burst and backfilled with crushed stone, a shelterist would receive approximately 54 rems daily during the first week. The radiation entering the shelter through the entranceway adds about 2 rems/day during the first week. After the first week the daily or acute radiation doses are a fraction (3%) of that experienced during the first week. By the fourth week, the radiation dose on the ground is very near normal. Nuclear weapons detonated as a ground or airburst, smaller weapons, hilly terrain, and rain will greatly reduce these radiation doses. Terrorist’s nuclear weapons can be expected to be sized at less than 20 KT which would reduce these doses to 50%.

    national leader of underground shelters



    0-25 REMS/Day

    The human body can tolerate a radiation dose in this range without observable effects even in the blood formation and sperm.

    25-50 REMS/Day
    This level of radiation dosage produces marginally observable effects on the human body. These effects are found most significantly in the blood and at a level, which the human body can adequately deal with and tolerate. The recipient of this level of exposure will continue to function normally.

    50-200 REMS/Day
    In this range of radiation exposure, symptoms such as nausea and vomiting may occur within 1 to 3 hours. These symptoms are also accompanied by malaise (bodily weakness), loss of appetite, and fatigue. Only approximately 5 percent of the people receiving a dose in this range will require medical attention. The most significant, though not obvious effect is in the blood formation system. At the upper end of this dose, the body becomes more taxed in its ability to produce white blood cells (leukocytes); thus, leukemia may result. Without enough white blood cells, the body has a difficult time healing and dealing with infection, which often accompanies radiation injury in the upper range of this dose. Infections, which the human body can normally deal with, may prove fatal under conditions of radiation sickness where no medical help is available.

    200-450 REMS/Day
    For this dose, reduction in white blood cells is significant and a change occurs in the platelets, a constituent in the blood largely responsible for blood clotting. Platelet formation declines rapidly after radiation exposure in this range. A normal count of platelets in the blood may not return for several months. With this level of radiation, external injuries would probably prove to be fatal. Half of the people exposed to this level of radiation would die within two to four weeks. The other half would probably survive with medical treatment, if no external injuries are suffered and no secondary infections develop. Above 300 rems, epilation (loss of hair) will begin approximately two weeks after exposure, although this condition is not permanent.

    450-600 REMS/Day
    In this range, serious radiation sickness will result. Bodily weakness, loss of appetite, fatigue, vomiting, loss of hair, diarrhea and fever will occur. Death will result in more than 50 percent of the people exposed to this level of radiation within 1 to 3 weeks.

    600-1,000 REMS/Day
    At this level, spontaneous internal bleeding will result and the human body will deteriorate. Approximately 90 to 100 percent of the people exposed to this level of radiation will die within two weeks.

    1,000-5,000 REMS/Day
    All people exposed to radiation levels in this range will die within 2 to 14 days.

    5,000+ REMS/Day
    All people exposed to radiation levels in this range will die within minutes to 2 days.

    Based on the worst cancer cases (leukemia) from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims, a 10-rem dose may increase the cancer rates from the current rate of 352/100,000 up to 355/100,000. It should be kept in mind that the Hiroshima victims were totally unprepared and uneducated. They were malnourished and already suffering from many diseases during a critical wartime period where food, medical supplies, and other necessities were in short supply. In addition, they were not only exposed to heavy, acute external radiation doses but also internal radiation doses from eating contaminated food and inhaling radioactive fallout. Educated and prepared shelterists can avoid such damaging effects and can determine the radiation levels with a simple radiation survey meter.

    Emergency Escape Manway

    The Emergency Escape Manway (EEM) allows the manway cover to be unbolted from the inside allow shelterists to dig 2 feet upwards to the surface. Crushed stone must be used to backfill around the EEM if the shelter is installed in cold climates where the ground freezes. The Emergency Escape Manway has the following advantages: 1) The shelter can be egressed quickly requiring very little work or heavy lifting. Unbolting the EEM cover and using a small shovel (supplied) to dig two feet to the surface usually requires approximately 20 minutes. 2) If a heavy object, such as a car, comes to rest on top of the hatch dome, the shelterist has the ability to dig upwards and sideways to get around the object. 3) After an emergency exit, the EEM cover can be re-bolted and backfill material can be taken up to the surface using a 5-gallon bucket and rope and re-backfilled over the EEM. Customers have reported that re-bolting and re-backfilling has taken approximately 2 hours. 4) Regardless of the weight and placement of the objects(s) that comes to rest on top of the hatch dome, the EEM is not damaged. Earlier systems of emergency escape using hydraulic and screw jacks were very dependent on symmetrical loading and often damaged the hatch cover and/or hatch so it could not be used again

    Shipping and Installation

    U.S. citizens have a legal right to install a shelter. Under the second amendment of the United States Constitution, U.S. citizens are guaranteed the right to bear arms to provide protection in life threatening situations. Tornadoes, earthquakes, nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare fall under this amendment as life threatening forces. A disaster shelter falls under this classification as a defensive arm. Shelters are shipped by a special Radius Engineering truck.


    The customer hires a contractor to dig a hole with a bottom dimension of 13 feet x 11 feet at a depth of 10. 5 feet. A three-inch layer of crushed stone is spread in the center of the floor of the hole. The top of the hole should be larger to allow for sloped walls. The excavation usually requires approximately 4 hours. A 24,000 pound excavator or larger should be used to dig the hole and lift the SP6 off of the delivery truck and into the hole. If the shelter is installed in a flood zone, the shelter should be installed by berming so the hatch is one foot above the 100-year flood plain. Berming can also be used if the shelter is installed in a location which has ledge.

    1. An excavator uses a chain to connect to the lifting eye on the top center of the shelter and lift the shelter off the truck and into the hole.
    2. The shelter is leveled at the proper height at the bottom of the hole by shoveling crushed stone under the bottom of the shelter until it is stable.
    3. The fiberglass gravity domes and cables are placed around the top of the shelter.
    4. The shelter is then backfilled with 40 yards of ¾ minus crushed stone or pea stone. If sand is used, it must be compacted with a “Jumping Jack”. After this stage, the surrounding soil can be used for backfill and must be compacted evenly around the shelter.
    5. When the backfill height reaches the shelter septic tank, 1/2 cubic yard of crushed stone or pea stone for the leaching field should be placed around the septic tank.
    6. If radiation shielding is required, the backfilling continues with 20-30 yards of pea stone.
    7. When the backfilling reaches 12 inches below ground level, the power line from the battery charger in the shelter is connected through the watertight cable connections in the shelter to the local power supply.
    8. Backfilling continues to the original ground level. Backfilling usually requires approximately 6 hours.

    Building Vs. Buying

    Advantages of purchasing a commercial underground shelter:

    1) With shelters built on site, cost overruns are the rule, not the exception. Many well-intended handymen and contractors have constructed shelters which ended up running well over budget and still did not produce an operable shelter. When a shelter is built on site, you really don’t know what you will end up with. The SP6 shelter allows people to deal with known costs and a proven shelter system.

    2) Shelters built on site require extensive, time consuming, and expensive research to develop a “shelter system” capable of providing dependable life support—fresh filtered air, blast protection, clean water, light, corrosion resistance, toilet facilities, air filtration for radioactive fallout, chemical and biological agents, etc., all of which should meet - PRINCIPLES of PROTECTION, U.S. Handbook of NBC Weapon Fundamentals and Shelter Design Standards, by Walton McCarthy, is available for $50.00 from The American Civil Defense Association, (TACDA) Starke, FL (800-425-5397). Even good architects or mechanical and civil engineers, do not have the expertise to develop a good dependable shelter system especially when it must function without local electricity. The SP6 shelter system is based on the ES10 and P10 shelter, which has over 12 years proven field experience and complies with all P.O.P. standards.

    3) Concrete shelters built on site are not able to be excavated and re-installed at another location and they are very hard to make waterproof, especially under the floor. The shortcomings of steel underground storage tanks are: a) They may require registration because its intended use is for storage of petroleum and/or chemical products. b) A horizontal cylinder is a poor structural shape because it behaves as flexible conduit. c) It must also be cathodically protected or fiberglass coated. d) Steel underground structures suffer from condensation on the inside walls. The SP6 is designed strictly as a shelter and can be excavated and re-installed at some other location if desired.

    4) Shelters built on site require a building permit and confirmation by a local professional engineer because it involves actual construction, including a septic design. The SP6 is a commercially available, professionally engineered disaster shelter with a formal Owner’s Manual reviewing all operations. If required, it is much easier to secure a building permit for installing the SP6 shelter than it is for constructing a shelter on site.

    5) Shelters built on site often require many days or weeks to complete construction. During this time, children are exposed to the danger of falling in the hole and curiosity seekers are afforded ample time to see what is being constructed. The SP6 can be installed in one day.

    6) Shelters built on site have no established market value. The SP6 has a known commercial value which allows financing by banking institutions.

    7) Large shelters built on site to protect many people present the following problems: a) A separate piece of land must be agreed on by the shelterists and purchased. This piece of land may have to be commercially zoned. Local land may not be available; also, a caretaker may have to be appointed. b) A professional engineer and architect must be consulted for the design. c) A commercial building and septic permit must be issued. Even a single-family shelter is difficult to construct unnoticed. This is rather difficult to obtain because the building code requirements do not apply to underground structures designed for disaster environments. The technology for modern shelters is very different than that of standard building structures. d) Underground and above-ground storage tanks designed to contain fuel and water must be registered and approved by local and federal environmental protection agencies (EPA). e) Notification to the local fire department of the exact location of all fuel tanks must be made. f) Financing such a structure by a local bank is impossible because it has no resale value due to its custom nature. g) To make matters more complicated, the applications for all the above permits are a matter of public record. The only solution in the United States is to install a commercially available single or dual family shelter.


    Radius Engineering Inc. Warranties that the fiberglass parts of the SP6 Disaster Shelter will not leak, corrode, or structurally fail for a period of 10 years provided that 1) the shelter is not exposed to excessive overpressure 2) The structural parts of the shelter are not modified 3) The shelter is inspected, off-loaded, assembled, backfilled and installed in accordance with the company’s installation instructions.

    The warranty does not apply to the parts and equipment that Radius Engineering Inc. does not manufacture. These items are covered by the individual manufacturers. Radius Engineering Inc. is continuously improving its product and therefore reserves the right to change any specification without notice.

    Our liability under this warranty shall be limited to, at our option, repair of the shelter, or delivery of a replacement shelter to the point of original delivery, or refund of the original purchase price. We shall not be liable for any indirect or consequential damages, labor, or installation costs.

    SP6 Technical Data

    Air blower life 60,000 hours
    Air blower type 8-in dia. Reverse curve centrifugal 12-V, 7.5 watt
    Air blower volume 40-60 cfm @ 1 in S.P.
    Air circulation cyclonic
    Air filter HEPA 99.99% @ .3 u
    Air filter-carbon-activated residence time 0.5 sec
    Air filter-carbon-whetlerite residence time 0.5 sec
    Air manifold circular ring/ baffle
    Armor level class 0 to 4
    Assembly time 0
    Backfill material required gravel or ¾- in. crushed stone (40 yards)
    Backfill material required with radiation shield gravel or ¾- in. crushed stone (50 yards)
    Batteries 6- 130-amp hour deep cycle marine
    Capacity-adults 6
    Connector port to other shelters none
    Duration-blower + light 24hr/day – 6 adults 2.5 days per battery
    Emergency escape removable internal manway cover
    Entranceway diameter 36 inch
    Excavated hole size 13 ft. x 11 ft. x 10.5 ft. deep
    Fire resistance ASTM E-119 30 min. hr @ 1750 F. mechanical
    Floor material 5/4 in. cedar planks
    Floor space 39 ft2
    Gravity-earth 38,800 lbs. with gravity domes at #7500 lbs each
    Hatch cover 28-in dia., 20 lbs. Class 0 standard
    Hatch dome –angle of incidence 20 degrees
    Hatch dome material Combat Composite-by Radius Engineering Inc.
    Hatch exterior lock hasp-removable
    Hatch interior latch quick acting stainless steel rope hoist/brake
    Hatch manhole diameter 24 inch
    Hatch pressure resistance 3000 pound negative and positive
    Hull material structural fiberglass
    Hydrostatic pressure (buoyancy) 26,640 lbs.
    Implosion type non-catastrophic
    Installation time 1 day
    Interior color white, flame spread of 25-50 Type II, ASTM E84
    Ladder 5052 Aluminum
    Lighting 12-volt 15watt florescent 870 lumens
    Manway Dia. 24 in. I.D.
    Max .wind 150 -350 mph class 0-IV
    Max. Headroom 6’ - 8”
    Minimum headroom 5’- 8”
    Overall height 11’ – 2”
    Overall diameter 102 in.
    Overpressure – allowable 15 psi with no earth-arching effect
    Protection Factor Gamma 16- earth, 32 - crushed stone, 64 -1 steel HVL
    Protection Factor Neutron 32-earth, 64-crushed stone, 128- 1 Steel HVL
    Sealed shelter atmosphere- 6 adults 3 hours
    Septic System Manual flush up toilet or chemical toilet
    Septic Tank 20-gallon external fiberglass
    Shape tolerance +/- 0.1 inches
    Shape paraboloid 1:1.24 elliptical ratio
    Shelter Rating- Tornado or NBC
    Shipping weight 2500 lbs.
    Storage volume-under floor 31 ft3
    Thru hull couplings 2- ¾- inch NPTF standard
    Thru hull hookups outside 110-volt, antenna cables, solar, etc.
    Total Rems In Shelter (TRS) 200-0
    Volume-Total 475 ft3 (3,553 gal.)
    Water Pump-sink foot mounted high pressure
    Water Pump 12 volt diaphram type with garden hose threads
    Water table allowable height full water table to ground surface
    Water Tank 100 Gal internal fiberglass tank

    [1] PRINCIPLES of PROTECTION, U.S. Handbook of NBC Weapon Fundamentals and Shelter Engineering Standards, Fifth Edition 2002

    [2] An acute dose is a radiation dose received during a 24 hour period.