February 26, 2015 at 9:21 pm #37421
Our new home is great whe have a front and back yard a barn and a basement whe can enter without leaving the house ,working hard to get the door reinforced ,fixed the concrete floor with an epoxy bassed repair mix , made shelfs too store our food and water suplies ,extra butane tanks for cooking and saving money for a chemical toilet ,stocking up rice beans pasta and canned vegatables next week i get a big freezer also i got an awesome deal on some lamp oil. ….i also wanna build a safe into the wall …..slowly where getting stronger too outlast a small shtf……prepping for a big one .February 26, 2015 at 9:47 pm #37426
Viking, Don’t go overboard on the basement unless it has a viable emergency exit that is hidden or protected. If the house is on fire how will you get out? Basements are death traps. If you are forced out of your ground floor you must have an escape route.February 26, 2015 at 9:53 pm #37430
You mentioned getting a big freezer. Think in terms of how you might cook/preserve the meats should the power go out. All of my planning assumes no electricity.February 26, 2015 at 11:02 pm #37446
@ MountainBiker i want too build a meat smoker so when the power is out i still have 48 hours to smoke the meat and preserve it …..i always scout for bargains on meat fish etc so a big freezer is always handy …..also thinking about a generator in the barn too get back up power ,power cable underground into the basement …my brain working overtime over hereFebruary 27, 2015 at 4:22 am #37463
Back when people were really worried, about the US and Russia slugging it out, they used to build bunkers underground next to their houses and connect them with hidden tunnels or doors. You go in the house you wouldn’t have a clue there was a bunker next to it. The entrance would look like a normal wall with shelves or just paneling. These can be quite elaborate with multiple floors. Sometimes the old owners die and the new ones never know its there? I’ve even heard of some with firing ranges. And the best part …the tax assessor doesn’t know.February 27, 2015 at 12:08 pm #37471
I was only in one house that people were building a bunker. In this particular case they didn’t know what they were doing and it went unfinished like a lot of owner built construction. It turned into a rough drank cold cellar.February 27, 2015 at 2:53 pm #37482
I think 74 is right to be very careful about fires. If there is anyway in the future to build an exit outside the house that would be great.
Apart from that you have a great storage area.February 27, 2015 at 4:14 pm #37488
thank you all for the tips i sure can use some …..most information i search on line about ww2 bunkers and story,s about ww2 if you read the story,s there is a ton of information to collect , if it worked for them it will work for me now . learning on the job so to speakFebruary 27, 2015 at 4:32 pm #37490
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.February 27, 2015 at 4:44 pm #37492
Please do not try to use a basement as shelter from a fire. Carbon Monoxide from a fire will fill the basement. Carbon Monoxide is heaver then air and will find the lowest point in a building and fill the space forcing less dense air out. In a large structure fire the building collapses into the basement.February 27, 2015 at 7:14 pm #37509
thanks for the information whirlibird ,
in my part of the world hurricanes do not happen (thank god) earthquakes the same ,
only small ones 3.2 on the Richter scale is the biggest that i can recall , Can someone enter my basement and loot my supplies ? yes if they bust down the front door and walk over my dead corpse they can butt from the outside no the only exit and entrance is in the kitchen ,in the basement self there is a smal window (skylight) that can be opened for ventilation there are metal bars in-front of it ,
moisture aint so bad surprisingly i live in the highest part of the country way above sea level ,(one of the reasons i moved here) 1953 there was a verry bad flooding in holland when the dyke’s give way ….
the only risk of flooding is when the rivers are growing too big by rainfall or melting snow ……
if i got some time i will shoot some pictures and post them …..
greetings .February 27, 2015 at 9:02 pm #37522
I think you will be surprised how many people have got bunkers in The Netherlands. Very Good idea. : ) Maybe look into Hepa filters.February 27, 2015 at 9:19 pm #37527
An advantage that Europeans have over Americans is that within living memory they still have the knowledge of what war means. The US is 150 years removed from up close and personal war. I wouldn’t be surprised is there were a lot of bunkers.March 7, 2015 at 7:48 pm #38163
There are some big bunkers for sale some are in reasonable condition others need tons of work……butt i can never buy one i wish i could i dream about that :))March 7, 2015 at 9:52 pm #38174
Take a look at some of the commercial shelters, what they’re made of, how they’re made and start there.
Friend of mine wanted a tornado shelter for his farm but like the rest of us, couldn’t afford a prefab shelter.
His answer, take a community college welding course.
After taking the course, not only could he fix his own machinery, but he picked up some work with a local welding shop when they’re busy, in exchange for his labor, he gets welding supplies, the use of the welders and metal at cost.
Fast forward a few months, he’s now taken all the ideas from websites, advertising and evennmovies and put it on paper.
Since he figures he can’t afford many of the ways and means the pros use, he figures his own ways.
No crane, no problem, a couple hunks of very heavy pipe cut to attach to the side of a flatbed trailer.
He digs the shelter hole the hard way with a front end loader, from the side moving a whole lot of exrra dirt but creating a ramp down to the bottom.
He purchased an old underground gas tank, in great condition, and when it was delivered, cut off all the vents and anything that would prevent it from rolling.
figuring the size of the tank, the distance from the bottom of the hole he jockeyed the trailer around until the part he wanted upright would end up that way.
He put a couple of heavy beams in the bottom of the pit (railroad ties) and had previously put down a mess of gravel for drainage.
The tank was in place, he pushed it off the trailer with the end loader down the pipe ramps, into the hole.
He messed up his figures a bit, but for the better, he forgot to figure in the extra on the far side of the hole so it over rotated.
The delivery driver was sent on his way and the grinders were pulled out, the rust and scale was quickly removed from the bottom portion of the tank which was almost a quarter turn up. When it was clean, the tank bottom had the “stops” added to the upper side and the entire bottom sprayed with epoxy sealant.
The bottom was allowed to dry while the inside was being prepped.
Chained in place for safety, he went in and cleaned it out again, the company he bought it from had done so previously but he did it again.
Once the bottom was hardened properly, he removed the safety chains and used a small tractor to roll it back upright. While a few feet off from his original plans, it was close enough.
The stops did their part and the tank was upright. An extra safety stop was added on the side that had been down so it couldn’t move and was again chained in place.
He masked off the areas where the vents, stairwell and escape hatch would go, then sealed the inside and outside with the epoxy paint.
He had welded some attachment points to the inside before painting,
Yes he painted before putting the rest on, it was the rainy season and he didn’t want to have a mess inside.
Out of the barn came the stairwell, using the front end loader again to position and lift it, it was quickly welded in place, as were the vents, power couplings and escape hatch.
These were quickly cleaned and painted.
The exterior essentially done he started filling in the hole.
When it was good and level, he put the sod back. He had cut huge chunks of sod with the loader, rolled them and laid them in a field, his kids watered it daily.
He just rerolled it and put it back.
Over the next 6 months he added the interior, plumbing, electricity, floors, including a flush toilet.
He said the paint was the most expensive part of the shelter.
The wood came from construction site drops, the end loader wasn’t in use so the rental company let him keep it at his place and just change the oil before he brought it back, saved them having to move and clean it after its last job.
The diesel fuel was a farm write off, the metal either scrap or bought at cost.
He said he put three weeks of full time work into it, prep to buried, and another six months puttering around with the rest.
He plumbed it into the farm well and the septic system.
Into the power box as well.
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