Fires, tornados (depending on location), hurricanes, all play into the use of a basement as a shelter.
Growing up in the midwest, we had a lot of ‘storm shelters’ in basements.
Some were intended as that, others were full out home grown a-bomb shelters.
Outside entrances are their own problem, handy to stock and enter/exit the location, they give a
new security issue that must be considered. But as a much needed ‘escape’, one needs to consider them.
But some thoughts.
Can someone enter your ‘shelter’ and take all your stuff, first of all.
Numerous farmhouses I know of have basement doors that are seldom locked, easier access in case of storms from the outside. But those same entrances allow easy entrance to the house proper, only a thin door again that’s seldom locked inside, generally at the top of a short stairwell.
I can’t say how many ‘burglaries’ our deputies responded to where the bad guys entered through an unlocked door, be it a porch door or basement door.
Enough of that, since your ‘shelter’ doesn’t have an outside entrance, just food for thought.
This is going to be an issue with any underground shelter, condensation from your own breath can create a surprising amount of moisture that needs to be addressed in longer term issues.
Secondly, moisture that wicks in through the concrete itself, or cracks in the foundation.
Finding a way to vent the moisture and keep the area dry is an important consideration, we’ve all been in underground areas that were ‘musty’ or worse, and that is what you have to look at carefully. And not just sealants, but real ventilation.
Security. Some means to hide this ‘bolt hole’ is serious, keeping the prying eyes of neighbors away is a good thing. Not just because of some belief that they may come to you for ‘help’ but because of neighbor kids or the girlfriends/boyfriends of your own kids that may decide that your supplies/guns/gear can be traded or sold to pay for their ‘needs’.
Some means to secure the area from inside is needed, be it crossbolts, crossbeams or some more complex mechanical needs, one has to be able to keep the unwanted out when you’re inside.
One of the best ‘hidden in plain sight’ doorways I ever saw involved an entire basement of doors. Yup, they covered the walls with doors. Some were real, some were decorative. Some opened to bare walls, others to other doors, it was very artistic and yet highly functional at the same time.
Another ‘bolt hole’ dated back to the Underground Railroad, integrated into the homes storage and such over the years later, it was still hidden unless you knew it was there. It had full heating/ventilation (in 1860 no less) as part of the house, two secret entrances and water/sanitation of all things. The water came off a hidden pipe from the cistern, the sanitation a ‘thunderjug’ that could be placed in the homes dumbwaiter that only went down that far when it was operated a special way.
Congrats on the big freezer, we are looking at one for next hunting season.
With four hunters in the house, we should actually be able to put some serious meat back this year, and save a ton of money. Just have to get the kids to actually practice their shooting this summer.
Canning and dehydrating your own food makes for a great deal of savings and control over what you put on your plate. Store bought foods are decent but you can put back ‘better’ on your own with a little effort.