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Underground Survival Shelters

Underground Survival Shelters

A basement may or may not be an adequate survival shelter

Most underground survival shelters require planning and money, and are usually built and installed by a company specializing in that type of shelter. These underground shelters are designed to protect you and your loved ones in the event of almost any type of natural or manmade disaster.

A basement can be enhanced to provide a reasonably secure shelter by stocking it with emergency lighting, food, water and ability to generate heat. Such an underground shelter might be perfect for surviving a high-wind storm or a power-outage caused by a winter storm.

A normal basement with a wood floor above does not provide a secure enough roof. Ideally a basement shelter should have a concrete roof. These types of roofs are usually best installed beneath the wood framing of the building during construction.

To provide protection from radiation that concrete roof will need to be a minimum of 12 inches thick. You can also use sandbags layered 24 to 36-inches deep as a practical alternative.

When designing and building an underground shelter there are a few criteria to keep in mind. First of all, the standard minimum floor space per person should be 20 square feet. Other specifications include the minimum amount of dirt covering the shelter and the necessity of an entryway that contains at least one 90-degree turn. The entryway turns keeps radiation from entering the shelter because it travels in a straight line.

Some below ground survival shelters are made by repurposing galvanized corrugated steel culverts. Other shelters are created out of concrete storm pipes or even shipping containers. One survivalist that I know of created a large survival shelter underground by burying school busses. A bus or shipping container has to have reinforcement to the top and sides so that it will withstand the pressure of the dirt when it is buried.

For more specifics about underground survival shelters…

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