Gimme shelter?

Published November 5, 2005

You're better off dead, by about a third, than in a Pinellas County storm shelter.

Pinellas has enough shelter space to accommodate 70,000 people in a hurricane. But only if each evacuee, plus blanket, cooler, flashlight, first aid kit, water jug, board game and teddy bear, takes up a spot just 2 feet wide by 5 feet long.

Ten square feet. A funeral casket is 15.2 square feet.

Here's how shelter space compares with other tight squeezes:

Porta-John toilet: 11.7 square feet.

Beach towel: 12.5 square feet.

Office cubicle (Silicon Valley): 30 square feet.

San Quentin prison cell (for two): 70 square feet.

Source of measurement comparisons: www.wired.com)