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Shelter: It ain’t what it used to be!

Remember Maslow’s pyramid?

1943: Abraham Maslow published his eye-opening paper, A Theory of Human Motivation, that featured a pyramid of human needs. Shelter, a universal human need fell into the second longest level of this pyramid. That made it a physiological need that had to be met for any human to reach the pyramid’s tiptop level: self-actualization.

In other words, if we didn’t have shelter, we would just be unable to reach our fullest potential.

Shelter then and now

But just what was shelter for the average American in 1943 and in the years that followed? For most of us it meant having a roof over our heads – a reliable one that could protect us from the rain, wind, cold and heat.

Until recently, we only needed protection from normal, albeit sometimes severe, weather in normal, albeit infrequent, times.

That, however, is no longer true. We are being forced to rethink shelter! Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, home invasions and especially earthquakes are doing the forcing. So now we have to decide what is it that we need sheltering for and from.

The enforcers

Just a few days ago a 5+ earthquake hit Oklahoma. There was no warning. There was no earthquake shelter folks could run to. There was no time to evacuate the area or find a hiding place.

In many tornado-prone areas, we have tornado shelters, and we usually have a 20- to 60-minute warning. That gives us time to get to a designated shelter or climb into an underground cell. So that works – unless for some reason you happen to miss the warning!

If the impending disaster is a hurricane, we usually have about 48 hours to get ready for it. Generally, that gives us time to decide whether we want to batten down the hatches and stay put or protect what we can and leave.

Rethinking shelter

Instead of relying on warning systems that you may be able to heed in time and instead of running to a shelter, wouldn’t it be better to be living in your shelter?

That, of course, is what you have in a Monolithic Dome – a 24/7, everyday shelter – a home that can protect you from virtually any natural or manmade disaster that comes your way.

True shelter

In about 1812 the New Madrid earthquake struck the southeast corner of Missouri with a ferocity greater than the famous San Francisco quake. The New Madrid was felt throughout the eastern half of the United States. For some time, it ran the Mississippi river backwards and even moved a major part of it. Counting the aftershocks, it lasted for days.

Geologists who studied the New Madrid say that those earthquakes come by about every 200 years, plus or minus 100 years. Based on those numbers, it’s expected to hit next year or sometime soon. It’s that sometime soon that really gets us, isn’t it? How do we get ready for a sometime-soon event – particularly one we cannot run from?

We at Monolithic are absolutely certain that the safest house you can build is a Monolithic Dome. We don’t want to have a shelter in the backyard that you can run to – if you have time. Some events definitely will not give you that time. Why not make your home your shelter? Isn’t that the truest meaning of shelter?

Last year we built quite a few school buildings that are designated tornado shelters. In the past, when a tornado warning sounded, the school would dismiss its students, and often those kids would be stuck fending for themselves and trying to get home. Or students would be instructed to climb under their desks or hide in hallways,

Now, teachers simply direct the youngsters into the school’s Monolithic Dome, where they stay until all danger passes.

Consider what that means in an earthquake. Children in a Monolithic Dome school can remain safe. And you in a Monolithic Dome home can be truly sheltered because that’s what a Monolithic Dome is able to do.

What about the worst and most common of all housing disasters: Fire? Every year house fires kill and maim the greatest number of people. The average conventional house has no fire safety zone, no hiding place. A fire in the attic can burn down through the ceiling and into every room. A fire in the garage can work its way into the house. A fire in the kitchen that starts while the family sleeps can kill everyone.

Obviously, a fire inside a Monolithic Dome will produce smoke. But the dome structure is made of nothing that will hurt you and it will survive a fire.

So here’s my bottom line: The houses that protected our parents and grandparents no longer make effective shelters for us. Disasters, both natural and manmade, are making it so. We now need to live in a home that is a shelter – consistently and reliably. And that, folks, is a Monolithic Dome.