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Discussion Starter #1
Happy Labor Day All!

I am a beginning prepper and have gotten some GREAT advice from everyone here on this board. Here is my situation:

I have an in-garage, below-grade, 8’x10’x6 ½ ‘ concrete storm cellar. The concrete on top is 8” thick from what I can tell. There are no cracks in it. It has wooden stairs and a metal door leading down to it. It is on the northwest side of my garage. For ventilation it has a 4” metal schedule 80 metal pipe extending up through the concrete into the garage above. The pipe stack has a flat-cap on top of it. It also has a single light socket and a single 110 volt outlet built-in. I have also hauled down there a 4-Section stackable “barrister bookcase” with 3 shelves and a dunnage stand.

Ventilation seems to be an issue with this cellar. What I have begun doing is I will drop a dryer vent hose down to about 2 foot off the floor and put in a 4 inch inline duct fan at the top with a timer on it so it will run at night to vent the cellar. On the storm door I was going to put a 10”x2” vent register as in inflow for the ventilation. I closed this cellar off and kept door closed for about 2 years and water had condensed on floor and accumulated. Mildew and mold also accumulated. I had not put anything in the cellar that was damaged.


I have created a BOB with as many items as possible although I doubt I will ever bug-out. Sheltering in place is more likely as I live in the country with 10 acres (of mostly mesquite trees) as well as a ¾ acre pond that is about 5 feet deep stocked with catfish, blue gill, and perch.

I have begun collecting food grade buckets of various sizes from our local bakery for free, and also began to purchase food staples recommended on this board. Would you store items like rice and beans in the buckets down here or store in a freezer until needing to move them down?


My question to you all is this:

If you had this storm cellar, what Prep work would you do with it if cost was not an issue? How would you prep it for SHTF? What would you stock in it (non-food items…I already have great ideas from this board as far as food)? I have 3 people in my family.

My mindset is that this is my safe and saferoom.


My BOB contains:

Katadyn Pocket Microfilter with add-on charcoal filter
5 gallon collapsible water jug
Crank Radio with Light and USB Chargers
Single-Burner Propane Camp Stove with 4 small propane cylinders
550 Cordage
General Fluid Pump
Tape, Bungee cords, tent, sleeping bags, twine
Glow sticks
(3) Dynamo lights
Fire starter and lighters
Camp shovel
Fishing kit
Compass
18 mile range walkie talkies
Utensils/Can opener/Mess Kits
Emergency blankets
Survival knives
Water purification tablets
Suunto Vector wrist calculator
Tents/Sleeping bags
.22 Ruger LR with high capacity magazines with 1000+ rounds
Mossberg 12 ga shotgun with 120 roads
“Deringer-Type” .22 LR 2 shot
.25 cal Pistol
Sig .40 cal
10 aluminum water bottles
Eye dropper bottles for bleach/iodine
Potassium Iodide

THANKS ALL IN ADVANCE!
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Never Give up
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I would clean all the mold. Seal all the walls. Pack it tight with LTS and cement over the entreance. Then build something else that you could use for a shelter. I think we are headed to a time that we are in more danger of starving then a Nuke attack but you never know. But I do know everbody needs food. So I would stack it deep and seal it up. That way if people came looking you could just bug out and come back after they figured there was nothing of value to them. Then you would still ahve your food. THE BEST WAY TO WIN A FIGHT IS TO AVOID IT. Second is to ambush them. Remember always try to fight on your terms not someone elses.
 

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I would clean all the mold. Seal all the walls. Pack it tight with LTS and cement over the entreance. Then build something else that you could use for a shelter. I think we are headed to a time that we are in more danger of starving then a Nuke attack but you never know. But I do know everbody needs food. So I would stack it deep and seal it up. That way if people came looking you could just bug out and come back after they figured there was nothing of value to them. Then you would still ahve your food. THE BEST WAY TO WIN A FIGHT IS TO AVOID IT. Second is to ambush them. Remember always try to fight on your terms not someone elses.
I understand your thoughts but I still need to use it for a storm cellar as I live in the heart of tornado alley.
 

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I think you have a 50's or 60's "duck and cover" nuke bomb shelter there my friend. I would do the same thing as Rascals advised. Fill it with all needed supplies you can find, and seal it, make it go away. When you needed it the most, it would still be there. I also believe the best gunfight is one I was not in.
 

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It would sure make a good food storage cellar. There's no benefit to storing rice and beans in a freezer, and if you store a long term supply, you'd have to have several freezers for it. I'd pack it up with mylar and O2 absorbers and store it in the cellar.
 

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No need to store rice in a freezer. Buy a vacuum sealer and bag & seal your grains. It'll never go bad. RAW honey. Buy tons of canned goods as well. Store water. Don't forget a filter. Get a good sturdy door. Store some guns down there as well. If you want to make it a fallout shelter, you're gonna have to do alot of building. The ceiling has to be pretty thick, so in the end you will probably have about 4 or 5 feet tops of head space. An expediant way to do this without the building is pile lots of sandbags on the floor above your shelter if you know radiation is coming your way. You will have to store them somewhere until that time and lots of them. Better hope the floor is built strong. Sandbags are also a cheap away to make walls against radiation. Make sure you have a filtered airway as well. :thumb:
 

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I think you have a 50's or 60's "duck and cover" nuke bomb shelter there my friend. I would do the same thing as Rascals advised. Fill it with all needed supplies you can find, and seal it, make it go away. When you needed it the most, it would still be there. I also believe the best gunfight is one I was not in.
I think you are right about the bomb shelter. I also have a 500 gallon un-used/never been attached to anything concrete septic tank that I will plan on using for a cache at some point.
 
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I would clean all the mold. Seal all the walls. Pack it tight with LTS and cement over the entreance. Then build something else that you could use for a shelter. I think we are headed to a time that we are in more danger of starving then a Nuke attack but you never know. But I do know everbody needs food. So I would stack it deep and seal it up. That way if people came looking you could just bug out and come back after they figured there was nothing of value to them. Then you would still ahve your food. THE BEST WAY TO WIN A FIGHT IS TO AVOID IT. Second is to ambush them. Remember always try to fight on your terms not someone elses.

I second the sealing part of this post. Use a product called dry loc to seal the walls after washing with bleach. Improve your ventilation system with a good Hepa TYPE filter. I would use a combination hand crank blower and electric blower. If you lose power you will need a hand crank blower to keep fresh air coming in. I would not seal it up but build a good defense perimeter and make anyone who wants to take your stash pay dearly. If the threat was nuclear or air born disease you wont have to worry about looters and this is why I would not seal it up. You need the protection this little room can give you and your family. You will need a way to dispose of human waste. Urine can be dumped into a pvc tube that goes through the wall into a soak away outside the walls of the shelter. Simply put a cap on the 2 inch pvc tube so the smell does not back up into the room. Solids are the main problem in long term situations. TO install a soak away you will have to dig down beside the wall and pour in rocks(large gravel stones work best) Then bore a hole through the wall and install a 2 or 3 inch pve pipe to pee into or pour liquid waste into. If you had the money you could put a toilet in and have a large tank put in next to the room and both waste problems are solved. A mini septic system so to speak. We have our basement built in such a way. The house was built into the side of a hill and our basement toilet drains into the actual septic system. We sealed part of our basement so it acts very much like your little room. If you do it right your little room can be a safe room during either nuclear, Bio or Tornado type threats. Good luck and remember to research research research!!!! . Kingfish
 

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Use it for a storm cellar but camaflauge it so it is invisible to those who don't need to know of it's presence. Wouldn't be a bad idea to add a second exit if possible. You could still store some stuff in there and still use it for a storm cellar. You just have to make use of every square inch.
 

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Put a better lock system on it and strengthen the door. Clean and seal the walls, mount radios, short wave etc… desk, bed a few board games and books.
Hide the vent pipe coming up through the floor so it is not so noticeable. Run another outlet for power and get a portable A/C indoor unit.
Stock one wall with food and supplies and if you need it for weather you will be set... If you need it for more you can always upgrade and update as you go
 

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I have control issues
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It's a bit hard to tell, but looks like there might be a little bit of a moisture issue there. Get it cleaned and sealed, with moisture barrier first, THEN start stocking it. In the meantime, running a de-humidifier down there would probably help some. I'd put shelving units in along the walls, too, for storage space. You can store dried beans and grains in the buckets with mylar liners and O2 absorbers. You didn't say how many people in your family will be sheltering there...you might want to think about a couple of bunk beds (You can always store cases of canned goods under the bunks).

One change I would DEFINITELY make, though, is the access door. Put in a "hatch" type closure (like you see on ships or submarines) with the wheel latch on the INSIDE, so you can "lock it down". A good air filtration system is a MUST for that set-up.

Just a side note...any way you could build in an "escape tunnel", just in case your main entrance/exit becomes compromised? (Like say, there's a tornado, you're down there sheltering, and the house collapsed, trapping you inside) You need to have an alternate way out (can be hidden behind a set of "swing-away" shelves)
 

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It looks like that staircase eats up a lot of floor space. Could you replace the stairs with a steeper ladder set up? Kinda like the Navy uses on ships. That would free up some floor space.

Since you still need to use it as a storm shelter, I'd consider a bunk bed set up, narrow and big enough to handle a sleeping bag. Stuff could be stored under the lower bunk. As others have said, stock it with lots of preps and a firearm.

Is there any way to hide the entrance?
 

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Man I would love to have a storm cellar! That's actually going to be probably one of my biggest factors when purchasing a home

Location
Land to farm on
Cellar/Basement


While your storm cellar is rather small if you stack things correctly you could store a lot of food. You said it was your safe room are you planning on having to sleep down there? Might be difficult with 3 people unless you get a bunk bed but there isn't much room

You mentioned you had a "Crank Radio with Light and USB Chargers" I haven't seen one that charges USB, can I get the brand name and possibly a link please?
 

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Man I would love to have a storm cellar! That's actually going to be probably one of my biggest factors when purchasing a home

Location
Land to farm on
Cellar/Basement


While your storm cellar is rather small if you stack things correctly you could store a lot of food. You said it was your safe room are you planning on having to sleep down there? Might be difficult with 3 people unless you get a bunk bed but there isn't much room

You mentioned you had a "Crank Radio with Light and USB Chargers" I haven't seen one that charges USB, can I get the brand name and possibly a link please?
Here is a link to radio:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Kaito-KA500-Eme...527?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cf0d7bb4f
 
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Lot's of really good ideas on what to do with it. Congratulations!
I will tell you one thing NOT to do with it......advertise it's exsistance. Do the work yourself to keep prying eyes off of it.
Mums the word.
 

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Thanks for the link, I bookmarked it. I had seen a different crank radio that only charged cellphones and had some adapters but this one looks much better albeit more expensive
 

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For the Rice and Beans storage, try filling clean 2-liter bottles with these grains. they will stay dry and not affected by any condensation moisture that could still occur. We use the 2-liter bottles for LOTS of different storage needs like salt, wheat, corn, soybeans, oats, etc...

We use the plastic milk crates to "stack" the 2-liter bottles in on their sides with the open end of the milk crate on the side too. Just don't go too high if you use the cheap, imatation milk crates like you can buy at Walmart or they WILL bow from the weight and then crack and fall apart, dumping your preps all over the place (ask me how I know this, LOL), but the 2-liter bottles will still be ok.

We live in Tornado Alley too and I wish we had such a shelter in our home, but we don't and the place was not built very well where we could put on in. Our "Tornado Plan" is to evacuate away from the storm's path if given enough time and then return when the event is over. That won't work for a SHTF type event, but we've got our plans for that too.

If I had this shelter, one thing I'd install in the shelter would be bunk beds for the family and a fold-up desk that can be stored up against the wall when not needed and a comfortable office chair. Also, store a porta-potti with plenty of the chemicals and of corse, lots of TP, wipes, feminine products, etc...

I would store decks of cards and board games that the family likes to play and plenty of books to pass the hours away, should you end up sheltering in place. A wind up AM/FM/SW radio is a good idea too.

There are plenty of ways to deal with the moisture problem you have. If possible, leave the door open when not in use. That may allow the moisture in the air to get out of the shelter instead of condensing inside the shelter.

I know that OPSEC is extremely important, but you should consider letting at least one other family that does NOT live with you know the location of your shelter because IF you do shelter inside there during a Tornado and your home gets dropped on top of the door, SOMEONE needs to know that your family could be inside the shelter. A family member or a well trusted friend needs to know where the shelter is located, but they do NOT need to know whats inside it.

You should also have a good set of jacks and sturdy timbers (4x4's) so you could jack the door open from inside if something does fall on top of your shelter door.

Medic 73
 
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