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Underground Rooms for Survival

shelterIt’s no coincidence that we use the term “go to ground” when we speak of taking refuge in an emergency. The earth has always provided us with shelter and always will, if we know how to take advantage of it. In the modern world, an underground structure is a great way to utilize the earth’s protection and provide a safe place for you and your family to weather the storm, be it natural or manmade. If you’re contemplating an underground shelter, here are a few things to consider.

Size

Your structure should be big enough to comfortably house you and your family for an extended period. Several days in the shelter may be necessary, and you will need the space to store the necessary supplies as well as areas for sleeping, eating and stretching. While living space is nice, and even a necessity, the bigger you build the more complicated the construction becomes. It’s also harder to hide large underground structures, which leads to the next consideration.

Clandestine Construction

The best underground room is the one that only you are aware of. If they can’t find it, they can’t hurt it or you. To accomplish this, you’ll have to do the work yourself. Many jurisdictions also have strict rules when it comes to construction, requiring permits. If you choose to keep the construction of your room a secret, then keep in mind you may be violating local zoning ordinances.

In an urban environment, keeping a construction project of any size will be a challenge. One way to accomplish the work, under the noses of your neighbors and the government, is to disguise the construction by doing it along with another project, such as remodeling a room or adding on to your house.

Building Materials

Since this structure’s main purpose is protection for you and your family in an emergency, you should use the best materials you can afford. When it comes to strength, there is no substitute for rebar reinforced concrete. A well-made concrete room can be built to withstand anything short of a direct bomb hit (or even that, if you’re willing to put in the effort). Keep in mind that anything other than a small hide site will require a lot of concrete. This will add to the difficulty of camouflaging the construction as well as the cost. Consider using concrete blocks reinforced with rebar and backfilled with concrete instead of poured concrete. You will sacrifice a little strength, but gain in terms of simplicity and the ability to keep a low profile.

Ventilation

Even unsealed underground rooms require supplementary ventilation, especially if they will house several people. Fans can provide the needed ventilation, but require electricity. Make sure you can power the fans with batteries or even manually if necessary.

Flooding

If you live in an area with a high water table or an area that receives a lot rain, you must consider flooding. The best solution is to install a sump pump during construction. Most sump pumps are electrically powered, and since electricity might become a luxury in a survival situation, you’ll need to plan a backup. A pump that will run off battery power is an option, and can be integrated with installed solar or wind power. A good hand pump should be included in your supplies.

Entrance

The entrance/exit to the shelter is an important consideration. Make sure that the entrance allows all family members to enter the shelter quickly and easily. If you have an elderly family member or someone incapacitated, the entrance must be designed with them in mind.

As important as entering the shelter is, getting out is even more important. Consider anything that might block the exit after a storm or attack. Any overlying structure or large trees can collapse on the exit and trap you inside. Some people prefer to have a backup exit. If your shelter doesn’t allow for this, make sure that you will be able to dig your way out if required.

With these basic considerations in mind, you can begin to plan a room specific to your needs. Once your shelter is in place, if you ever need to “go to ground,” you’ll be ready.

© 2008-2014 Off The Grid News

One comment

  1. Finally we have a do it yourself book that is worth the paper it is wriettn on! After months, indeed years of worry and fretting about the End Times, the total or near destruction of earth, the end of civilization and such stuff as that, I have found here a book that is truly helpful! Ask yourself what you are going to do if a massive asteroid hits earth. What happens if the polar ice caps should suddenly melt? What if we are invaded by aliens from another galaxy? What if we suffer a take-over by hoards of mind dead zombies? What if a plague kills off 99 percent of mankind? What if the Mayan legend is true and our time is up on December 21, 2012? Oh what to do, what to do? Well W.H. Mumfrey has given us excellent answers here; provided us with a plethora of game plans to meet just about any contingency. With this survival handbook we learn such things as how to avoid ravaging bands on cannibals, excellent methods of looting and plunder, how to make a cave home like, what we should be stock piling in our hidden hide-a-ways/bunkers/boats/sewer systems/ and just about anywhere else we choose to live. We are given good advice on how to identify our neighbors stashes and how to raid them and of course how to dress, what weapons we will need to procure or make, and even how to wear our hair and tips on post apoplectic hygiene. I have to tell you that this book is a hoot. The silly illustrations alone are enough to bring a smile to your face. The author has a very quirky sense of humor and writes quite well. The author has actually done a very neat job here of drifting from practical reality to whimsical fantasy. Some of his advice is actually accurate and practical, yet still and all, even the very practical stuff is presented in a very tongue-in-cheek way that will bring on chuckles. We start with a brief history of doomsday prophecies down through the ages and their results. The author then gives us scenario after scenario as to just how mankind might meet his final end. Asteroid strikes, nuclear war, Devine intervention, gigantic volcanic eruptions, earth crust shifting, solar storms, plagues, alien invasions from outer space, zombie invasions, global flooding and super novas. Best of all, the author gives some priceless tips on how to set up a new civilization after the Fall which includes proper breeding techniques to save our species, out surviving the other survivors and even how to set up your own new religion with you as God, if you so choose. This is a quick and fun read; well wriettn and does have a morbid half truthful logic to it just enough that some folks I know will take the whole book rather serious. I will be truthful with you. I was already pretty well prepared in almost every single area; every possible event the author covered and felt quite confident. Only in the area of zombie invasion was I weak. Thanks to this fine writer I now can’t wait for those mindless flesh eating critters to cross my path when the time comes Bring Them On! Oh, and I was a bit shaky on what do do if we are invaded by robots I still am this was the one weak area of this book. The author is just about as clueless as I am. Perhaps if Mumfrey would do a bit of research he could give us a bit of help with an updated version of this work on say December 22, 2012. Don Blankenship The Ozarks

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