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Fun Guy
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I've been working on toughening up my home security to prevent simple things like a break in. But how is a good door or window going to protect me from the zombie apocolypse/roving bands of thugs/nuke/whatever?

I've decided an underground shelter is what I am going to do.

I have a large backyard surrounded by a nine foot tall privacy fence. I can pretty much do what I want without being bothered by city employees, as long as the noise isn't too crazy late in the day.

Ok, the plan. (I would appreciated suggestions on CONSTRUCTION, interior and stocking can be discussed later.)

Rent a trackhoe and dig large hole (about 12'wX50'lX14't). cover the bottom with about 6" of gravel and pour a 6" steel reinforced monolithic slab. On this slab goes a 40' shipping container.

Now I know, buried steel containers don't support weight very well and rust will be a problem.

3M makes a spray on rubber coating (like the rhino liner in your truck bed) for waterproofing basements. I'll spray a layer of that on all sides of the container.

Next, rebar a cage around the container and put up concrete wall forms. Pour a 6" steel reinforced concrete "box" using the container as the interior form. Cure for a while. :) Spray another layer of waterproofing on the exterior of the concrete.

Backfill the hole (I'm hoping for about 4' of earth on top).

Now a few details: I will run electricity from the city grid to it. I will install pipes for air in and air out directly to the container before I begin pouring concrete.

Entry will be through a strong steel door on the side. hatch will let you climb a ladder down to it.

ANY tips or experience you can offer will be appreciated. And if it's a better idea than what I've got here, I'll change my plan.

I'm reserveing the next two posts for updates and photos.
 

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Survivalist
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9 Posts
I have always been a firm believer in working with what you have. Any work you do will draw attention from the neighbor's. They can still see alot of the stuff you will have to bring in there. As far as working with what you have there is a lining similar to window tint that you can get for your windows and glass doors that makes it incredibly difficult to break them. You can wail on them with a crowbar for 10 min and not make a scratch. Also you can get hurricane proof shudders. They are a bit pricy but can be installed on your interior so when the SHTF you just roll em down and lock em up and you are secure in your house. There are flaws to this plan but it is the one that draws the least attention from the neighbors and the zoning office.
 

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Fun Guy
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yes, the window film I've looked into. TAP plastics makes a good one.

I'm going to have an underground SHTF shelter. Nothing else is on topic. Just how I'm going to construct it.
 

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1,771 Posts
Just some thoughts

Have you considered how to power your bunker when the grid goes down?

Are you going to filter your ventilation for biologicals?

How long are you going to stay hunkered down? Waste disposal is something you may want to look in to.

Maybe an external antenna? I don't know how radio reception would work from inside a container.

Could you incorporate a Faraday cage in your construction to guard against an EMP attack?
 

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Fun Guy
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Have you considered how to power your bunker when the grid goes down?

Are you going to filter your ventilation for biologicals?

How long are you going to stay hunkered down? Waste disposal is something you may want to look in to.

Maybe an external antenna? I don't know how radio reception would work from inside a container.

Could you incorporate a Faraday cage in your construction to guard against an EMP attack?
Absolutely to all of that. :)

Electricity when the grid goes down really hasn't been top priority for me. That could be a future addition, but for now I'll just have to hand crank that vent fan and use batteries for the other stuff.

Filtered air will be a big priority.

Waste disposal...hmmm I've got options there. Unless the stuff really goes bad I imagine I could do that outside of the shelter. However, you have a point. If I put in a septic tank it would have to be very deep. Perhaps some type of storage that could be dumped later would be better?

As for an external antenna, yes, way up in a tree. With an extra on hand should that tree get blown down or burned up.

As for the EMP, I'm counting on 4 feet of dirt and 6 inches of concrete to take care of that for me.
 

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Have you considered how to power your bunker when the grid goes down?

Are you going to filter your ventilation for biologicals?

How long are you going to stay hunkered down? Waste disposal is something you may want to look in to.

Maybe an external antenna? I don't know how radio reception would work from inside a container.

Could you incorporate a Faraday cage in your construction to guard against an EMP attack?

These are great suggestions. How about cost??? And when you bring that container in and concrete trucks, your neighbors will surely wonder what you are doing.
 

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Fun Guy
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
These are great suggestions. How about cost??? And when you bring that container in and concrete trucks, your neighbors will surely wonder what you are doing.
It's 400$ for eight hours on the big trackhoe. That's drop off and pick up too.

Another 400$ for a dumptruck of gravel

About 1,000$ for a used 40' connex. I might be able to get one cheaper.

I have not checked on the price of that spray on waterproofing, but it can't be too expensive.

As for the concrete, I haven't worked out how many yrds I'll need.

And again, this is not about my neighbors. They probably won't notice. New houses and construction all over the place. Concrete trucks and containers full of household goods are the norm for now.
 

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Fun Guy
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I would definitely add an extra escape hatch/ladder in case the first shaft caves in or is otherwise blocked. Heck maybe even a para-scope

I'll work another door into the other side of it then.

Perescope? Perhaps. I was thinking of a perescoping air intake and outflow. In the case of a bomb anything sticking up obove ground level will be sheared off.
 

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I don't care what you think about your neighbors, they are going to see something going on at your home and get noisy. So be upfront with them. Tell them you are putting in radient heat. You have to dig a big hole in your backyard for the pipes that will go from your solar heating unit to your house.

Now you can use the new building, for your so called heating unit, to house the air pipe for your shelter, as well as your main door to your shelter. Since you are eco sensative, you will want to run this heating unit with a few solar panels (batteries would be stored in the building) that will give you electricity to your shelter. You wont need to depend on the electric company.

You can build a second exit and explain that that hatch is to check on the elctrical unit to the house, or some such story.

If the second exit is close to your house, I would make a 3rd enterance into your home so that you have access to your personal belongings and food and other essentials if need be.

Can hardly wait to see your pictures.
 

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Fun Guy
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I don't care what you think about your neighbors, they are going to see something going on at your home and get noisy. So be upfront with them. Tell them you are putting in radient heat. You have to dig a big hole in your backyard for the pipes that will go from your solar heating unit to your house.
Good one. I will definately add that to my "convenient excuses". I was going to, and probably still will, tell then it's a geoexchange air conditioner.


Can hardly wait to see your pictures.
I can't wait to get started either, but it will be a while. I've just started planning the thing and I want to have 8,000 dollars saved just for this project.

I want to make sure my design is good and that I have enough money to follow through to completion.
 

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Semper Gumby
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158 Posts
I seen somewhere, somebody tried to use a connex box and it collapsed on him when he buried it. How much does the concrete weigh and will you be reinforcing it on the inside first.
Where is your water table at.
Have you thought about using a large drainage pipe instead? There is a company that will make one for you out of pipe, it would take the weight better.
Which ever way you go it would be easier to build the big parts of the inside before its buried and you find out your hatch is too small.
 

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Fun Guy
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I seen somewhere, somebody tried to use a connex box and it collapsed on him when he buried it. How much does the concrete weigh and will you be reinforcing it on the inside first.
Where is your water table at.
Have you thought about using a large drainage pipe instead? There is a company that will make one for you out of pipe, it would take the weight better.
Which ever way you go it would be easier to build the big parts of the inside before its buried and you find out your hatch is too small.
Absolutely it will collapse without reinforcement, Becky :) . The concrete on top will be steel reinfoced to hold the load. However, during the pour I will reinforce the interior surfaces with 2x4 vertical and horizontal braces.

Water table is nowhere near where this thing is going.


I looked at the large drain pipes and decided against it. Too much prep work to use them. Also a cube shape is a better use of space.

The problems with using a shipping container are, like you said, weakness away from the edges and corrosion. I believe my steps to deal with these problems will be enough.

Hey, spot on about the large items not fitting the hatches. I'll add that to my growing list of considerations :) .
 

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Have you read Life After Doomsday it has some good information and Ideals You can find it at Palidin Press . And for your other needs look at the sunmar composting tol.
 

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Fun Guy
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Bobjr, thank you. I never knew there was such a thing as a composting toilet before that.

Ok, I'm still working on the design and I've got a few questions.

1. Vent and exhaust for the air. Should they be on opposite sides of the shelter?

2. Should I have more than one of each?

3. I've read in several shelter planning guides that a shelter with a family in it can get quite hot, even with proper ventalation. Should I run the air intake ductwork through the ground in a looping fashion to cool the air down before it comes into the shelter?

4. Water source. Should I go ahead and plan on a well? Or should I just store water? Or both?
 

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Time for Common Sense...
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132 Posts
My proposal is this:

“ Remember, one of the best ways NOT to be noticed is to hide in plain sight…if they don’t know they should be looking, chances are greatly increased that they never will… “

Dig in the yard as little as possible; the neighbors are always watching…

( Aside )
IF YOU’D LIKE MY STEPS FOR BUNKER CONSTRUCTION THEY’LL NOT KNOW EXISTS, EMAIL ME PRIVATELY AND I’LL RETURN IT TO YOU PRIVATELY ( YOU ASSUME ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN CONSTRUCTION )…title your email “ information request please “

Regarding a few particulars…

Electricity
Have an electrician you trust run a pigtail connection to your main house panel in your garage for a emergency generator / power inverter to the remote panel in the shelter. Also install a few solar panels on your roof for limited backup for 12v lighting system and small appliances.

Waste
Composting toilet, wash stand and basin,
Divert rain water to a waterproofed steel underground tank on the exterior wall of your bunker. Install an overflow runoff pipe and a spigot pipe with valve thru bunker wall. Draw water into 33 gallon garbage cans for purification / filtration. Charcoal, water tabs, bleach, iodine ( careful ) will purify and cleanse water as you feel necessary.

Air / ventilation
Screen and gooseneck your intake / exhaust air piping and hide it well…perhaps even run a distance away from home to make it look like a rain water discharge pipe a grade level. If nosy neighbors ask about the trench / pvc pipe, tell them you had foundation water problems lately. Perhaps add a pvc canister with crushed charcoal in it moistened to draw toxins / particulates into it and out of the airstream. A heap style filter bank will also catch nasties.

Hope this helps you
 

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a composting toilet with solar fan to vent works fine in a situation like yours.

I would think about solar panels for powering led lights fans, and shortwave radios.
All electronics would be inside the underground bunker to hopefully shield them from any EMP from nuclear blast.
Set them up outside after the blast is over for power.
just my thoughts.
 
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