Do You Need a Survival Bunker?

| April 1, 2014 |


When you hear the term “bunker” what come to mind? Crazed cammo clad men sporting evil black rifles, living in a converted missile silo? Or do you think of your root cellar?

Bunkers can be many things to different people, but according to Webster it is a ship’s storage place or an underground bombproof shelter. I would define a bunker as a place of refuge during an emergency.

With that in mind let’s look at some different types of bunkers, then you can decide if one is right for you.

Missile Silo
Yes you can still buy old underground missile silos and convert them into homes. They make good bunkers since they were hardened to withstand enemy attack and still function.

Drawbacks include cost (while they can be cheaper than you think) and the conversion work involved. A hidden drawback may be that they are targeted by former soviet missiles.

Prefab Bunker
There are several companies that offer prefab bunkers on the market. Many are self contained units that you simply bury on your own site. The ones I have seen are pretty slick. While they come in at less than a missile silo they can still be cost prohibitive.

Somewhat cheaper is buying a section or two of large diameter culvert. You then bury it on your site and outfit it they way you want it. This will save you quite a bit over a prefab unit but will take much more work and time to complete.

Shipping Container
You can use a shipping container in the same way as a culvert. Or if you can bury it you can set in on site can cover it a little at a time. They are relatively inexpensive and plentiful or at least attainable in most areas.

Root Cellar
The old standby is the root cellar. It is a safe haven from bad weather and a decent bomb resistant shelter. If you live in the country you should have a root cellar anyway so this is a good way to go.

Basement Shelter
A basement or crawlspace shelter may be you best choice in some places. It is a simple matter to reinforce a corner to make it a safe place to hunker down.

Expedient Shelters
If you are away from your home here are a couple expedient shelters to think about.

– Man Hole
A manhole doesn’t lead to an underground city but is a nice hole in the ground if you need it.

– Car
Civil defense plans give good advice about turning your car into a bunker in the event of a nuclear attack. You park your car in a place where you can dig beneath it. Then you use the dirt to fill the gaps between the tires. Then the car is the roof to your bunker.

– Ditch
Even a ditch can serve if you have nothing else.

As you can see bunkers don’t need to be expensive to be attainable for the everyday prepper. And to answer the original question…in my opinion, yes you do need a bunker of some sort, even if it is just to be used as a tornado shelter to ride out a natural disaster.

Category: Survival Guides

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  1. Nice list. I like the idea of using a shipping container if possible, but the basement is oftentimes more workable if you can find a house with one already there.

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