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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched all the categories before posting so if this is in the wrong section or a repeat, I apologize.

Has anyone built, is building, or would have any knowledge or ideas on how to build an underground bunker? Not just one that would protect from intruders or looters, but one that could withstand maybe a nuclear strike? No a direct hit of course but you know what I mean. :)

I am thinking about one that has its own water supply via well underneath the ground of the bunker with hand pump instead of electric pump. And of course with water you will need drainage/sewage so that would be another challenge. (How far down does radiation penetrate into the ground/ground water?) And one with an electrical source, most likely generator, that could be secured under ground away from the eyes of others and out of the reach of someone that could simply vandalize it. All while maintaining a toxic free environment underground and all components working as they should.

Maybe this is just a pipe dream or maybe this idea exists and I am living under a rock without knowing it LOL.

I would love to hear any and all ideas, especially the ones that dont end up ripping a gigantic hole in my wallet. :)
 

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Well general rule of thumb is you should be 10 feet below ground. That does not mean 10 feet deep it could be above ground level but cover with 10 feet of packed ground.
Going below ground has issue water no madder how well it is made water can be a problem you really need to know the historic water table in the spot you plan to build.
Sewage a burn system works best Your friends at FEMA built places to protect them self. Now you will never build what they did but you can get ideas from them.
I will try to find the link I had to one of their hide outs.
It aint going to be cheap to go that far with living under ground
 
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Before the floor was poured for it
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@Smitty901 - I cant really tell by the pic (may be me gettin old lol) but I was wondering if those are solid concrete walls or blocks? I was thinking of using cinder blocks (concrete blocks), running rebar through the holes then pouring in concrete to make it solid. Havnt really done the calculations on prices with solid vs rebar/blocks but the block idea would be invalid to look into any further if it is not stable enough to hold up. Thoughts?
 

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All poured concert plenty of rebar and 2 inches of foam on out side walls. It will be around long after we are gone.
Block can hold up if done right the block is filled with a pour I prefer poured walls and can be done at a lower cost depending where you are.
Plus pouring is much faster
 

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Try the book "How To Implement A High Security Shelter In The Home". It uses the blocks, with R-bar, and filling the blocks, like you are thinking. It is what I used, and am happy with it.
 

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Keep in mind while we prepare if we are lucky we may never need to use much of the work we do. Sure natural disasters may bring about temporary need .
Look for ways to get common use out of the things you build. Nothing says it must be used for one thing. Our one underground room currently is a storage room/shop for the bikes.
It can be converted back to it's intend use in minutes.
 

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I have recently been pondering this.

You can get an 8'-6" tall see container/shipping container for less than 2500. A good older camper that does not have slide outs, can be purchased for $4500 +_, if you look at them and measure carefully they will slide right into a shipping container if you cut the axle off you can slide them right in.

A hand pump well could be sent down through the floor, drill well of course before placing, line up would be imperative.

I am unsure of how much earth pressure a shipping container could with stand. I believe thirty inches of cover is sufficient for 10 miles from center of detonation. especially with a four inch concrete cover over the top.

A 40 foot container with a 24 foot camper would give you room in the front for 12 volt battery storage, switch gear and water containers.

Please comment on this idea, I have been pondering.
 

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About two years ago our little Mutual Assistance Group went to another MAG in southern Illinois. We were invited there to review an underground shelter that they were about 90% finished. At that time we were considering building one but have since changed our minds (for now). In August 2012 I got a chance to go back to see the finished project. Very nice.

Here's a sketch of what they have. Each of the private rooms is gigantic for an underground and the commons area is even bigger. They have an entrance/exit in each of the private rooms and short passageways to and from the commons area. Four of the private areas were fully furnished and two were used for storage. Each private area has it's own wood heating stove, toilet and sitting area. I didn't show them on my sketch but there is a shower room at the "T" in the passageways at each end of the commons area. There are two big picnic tables and several chairs, a six burner propane cook stove and also two propane refrigerators in the commons. All the walls are poured concrete with 2" foam insulation on the outside.

I was just as impressed with their OTHER UNDERGROUND PROJECT . . . they call it their "war room". All I can say is that they are more ready for almost anything than any I've ever seen.

We're not insiders by any stretch but there seems to be a well developed network of serious preppers all over IL, MO, KY, AR, and TN. These folks are really serious. We thought we were doing pretty good until we met some of these folks. Now we feel like beginners. :?

underground 001.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have recently been pondering this.

You can get an 8'-6" tall see container/shipping container for less than 2500. A good older camper that does not have slide outs, can be purchased for $4500 +_, if you look at them and measure carefully they will slide right into a shipping container if you cut the axle off you can slide them right in.

A hand pump well could be sent down through the floor, drill well of course before placing, line up would be imperative.

I am unsure of how much earth pressure a shipping container could with stand. I believe thirty inches of cover is sufficient for 10 miles from center of detonation. especially with a four inch concrete cover over the top.

A 40 foot container with a 24 foot camper would give you room in the front for 12 volt battery storage, switch gear and water containers.

Please comment on this idea, I have been pondering.
Sounds like an idea that could work if planned out right. I dont know that I would spend the time cutting off the axles of the camper and sliding it in as you mentioned. Although all the livable structure would be pre-constructed in this case, but I would be too worried that it may be taking up a lot of usable space (maybe I'm wrong). My idea also used a shipping container as the base protection structure yet I wouldnt feel safe without encasing it in concrete. The pump idea was another aspect I had thought of using myself, I am just unsure as to how safe the water would be in the case of an attack of the nuclear type.
If you can work with the spacial limits of sliding a camper into the shipping container then my opinion would be to go for it. :)
 

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A bunker for protection against storms and looters is a good idea. Nuclear strike..., I think you would be best to sit in you're lawn chair and watch the show. A quick death by vaporization would have to be better than the after effects of radiation. Google hiroshima survivors, or chernoble.
 

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Unless you are less than 25 miles from ground zero you can easily survive a nuclear blast. Four feet of earth or sand will protect you from direct radiation and you are out of the blast and heat zone. If it doesn't rain for a couple of days after the bomb then you are pretty much free and clear as long as you don't venture into the blast area. You basically need a minimum of 200 pounds per square foot on all sides and top to protect you from the instant radiation. If you have to deal with fallout then you should stay under cover for at least two days and if you go outside for a week foloowing that you should wear disposable clothing and shower before you enter your shelter. Stay away from any canned goods or any food with metal in contact with it that was exposed to the radiation. It will most probably contain deadly radioactive elements like Strontium, and Cesium. Any vegetables in the garden should be havested and disposed of at a discrete distance. If you want to plant a garden after the event then you need to clear at least a foot of soil away and cover the ground with impermeable fabric or plastic. Then use home-made dirt with clean organics and feces from plant eating animals that show no signs of illness 6 to 12 months after the blast. It might just be easier to move to a place that was at least 50 miles from the blast and up wind from it.
 
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I've researched the ocean containers for a while and here is some info on them.
1. You can't burry them as is because only the corners are designed to bear weight, the roof itself doesn't have enough weight bearing potential to be safe.
2. Usually the amount of work it takes to construct a roof system + the container cost, exceeds the cement block system shown earlier.
3. Ventaliaton is a big factor living underground, just sticking up a couple pipes will probably kill you. In order to do it right you will need to actively move air with fans not only for fresh air but to remove moisture. The input and out put air vents need to be well camouflaged and elevated to avoid sabotage or natural disasters like flood or fire.
4. A filter system to guard against radiation will cost more than the shelter, you will get radiation poisoning, it's just hard to tell how much and weather you die of thyroid cancer or grow another leg.

That being said I am jealous of you all and will be building one for storage and a panic room set up. Thanks for the ideas.
 
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I just read another post where "according to forum rules" our discussions can't contain any comments that could be contrary to law. Therefore I feel the need to point out that anyone interested in constructing a structure should research their local building codes and obtain a building permit before constructions begin.
And yes, that was intended as sarcasm. Somebody please call the cops and have my comments removed.
 

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For underground use poured concrete with rebar is best but if you want to do it "off the radar" then concrete blocks (8x8x16) is what you need. As you build, start with the floor and make sure it is level and about 6" larger around the entire perimiter than your outside walls. Be sure to dig a trench that slopes away from the shelter and out at least 12 feet and down about 12 to 18" below the bunker's bottom and lay in an ABS pipe with a 1/8" screen between two 1/2" hardware cloth pieces to keep bugs and critters from getting in. Put an elbow on it where it will come through the floor. Lay the concrete blocks for the floor out next to each other. 10" in from the outside edge pound rebar into the ground at least 12" and have each rebar stick up above the top of the blocks 4". Connect each block to the ones on either side from the outside edge to the center with rebar (in the center of each hollow cavity of the blocks). Raise the ABS elbow to more than 5" above the blocks and fill each block with concrete to the top. Use small agregate concrete or "hard" morter for the fill. Place the first layer of wall blocks over the protruding rebar and level them using morter. Lay out your 2x4 frame for the floor on 24" centers to fit the space between the wall blocks with a 2x4 edge on the "open" ends of the frame. Mark the wall blocks for the centers of the 2x4 "joists" so you will know where to nail or screw the flooring. Place insulation between the 2x4 floor frames with the paper backing up. Instead of stapling the insulation in place use liquid nails "heavy duty" and just press the edges into the glue on each board. When you have half the insulation down cut the first half of the 3/4" flooring to fit. Put more glue down over the paper at the joists and place the flooring over it. You will be able to move it into place but you want to be careful to place it as accurately as you can. Then put in the nails or screws to hold it to the floor while the glue sets. Now you can stand on that while you do the rest in the same way. You will be putting on a second layer of 3/4" OSB flooring but save that until you have rest of the walls complete. (it will not get messed up and it will be easier to put a finished floor in). While bilding each level of the wall you will want to keep extendin the rebars as you go and maintain level and plumb walls. Fill each level of blocks as you go and add the rebar for the next level. Remember that you have to allow for your entrance in at least two of the walls and you will want at least four feet on each side of the door. I do not recommend a top "hatch" on a shelter as it is a flag that tells anyone who glances your way that there is something of interest there. It is also very difficult to make it water tight against flood and hard to open if there is debris on top of it. I would place bolts through the wall at intervals that allow you to bolt 2x4s across the door once it is closed. when you are finished with your walls it is time to glue the floors second layer in place. Do this in a stagger pattern so that your seams don't line up or cross. With the walls at full height you should be at least 32" plus the dimension of the rafters that you have to use to support the roof (2x6 for 6 feet, 2x8 for 8 feet, 2x10 for 12 feet, 2x12 for 16 feet) below ground level. So if you have a 12 x 12 foot shelter then you will use 2x10s as rafters so the top of your wall will be 32" +12" = 44" below your "finish" grade or the prior ground level. Place the rafters on eight inch centers with the end boards covering the open ends flush with the outer wall. The tops of the wall are finished flush with the blocks and the rafters are glued to the blocks with Liquid nails heavy duty adhesive. Place your air vents and mark your roof sheathing for them. Cut the hole(s) for the vent pipe(s) and put 3/4" OSB sheathing over the joists glueing and screw or nail them in place. Glue some "drip edges" (OSB sheets that go from the tops of the roof down 4" below the top of the concrete wall on each wall) and screw them to the wooden rafters. Using the Liquid nails as morter place concrete blocks on the wood from one end to the other. (the bottoms are glued to the sheathing and sealed) Place rebar to connect all the blocks to those on either side as you did with the floor, place sealing boot(s) over the vent pipe(s) and fill the blocks with concrete. The vent pipe(s) should be at least 3 feet above ground level, have a180 degree bend so they are facing the ground and a screen of some kind over them to prevent bugs and critters from getting in. You can also build a filter shed and a water-proof filter housing to use 14x3" automotive filters in a stack of from 24" to 48" high.

Copied from my plans - if you would like plans send me an email asking about them and I will get them to you.
 

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There are plenty of websites out there that describe surviving a nuke if you are far enough away from the initial blast. Work during the heyday of nuclear testing showed that if the outside of canned food were cleaned of any fallout type materials, it was perfectly edible. Do some searches. surviving the aftermath of a nuke is easier than you think unless you can't evacuate out of the way of the fallout.
 

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There are plenty of websites out there that describe surviving a nuke if you are far enough away from the initial blast. Work during the heyday of nuclear testing showed that if the outside of canned food were cleaned of any fallout type materials, it was perfectly edible. Do some searches. surviving the aftermath of a nuke is easier than you think unless you can't evacuate out of the way of the fallout.
When I mentioned canned goods I was talking about cans that were exposed to initial radiation - the gamma and X-rays and not fallout but it depends on how long the can was in contact with the fallout and to what levels of radiation the fallout exposed the can. If you don't have a geiger counter and there is any doubt- don't eat it!
 
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