How To Build An Underground Survival Bunker From Scratch
Every serious survivalist dreams of having their own underground survival bunker. A haven where we can escape to in the event of an emergency – an underground shelter where you can take refuge.
Whether you call it a survival bunker, an apocalyptic bunker, a bomb shelter, nuclear shelter or fallout shelter, it’s a place you can survive with plenty of clean air, fresh water, and food in times epic disaster.
If you are serious about protecting your family in the event of an emergency – natural, or otherwise – it can be done. That is if your willing to invest the time, effort and cash to build an underground survival bunker.
Bunkers also serve as a good place to store food caches, ammunition, and survival supplies. It’s like having a walk-in closet unit for all your stockpiles and preps.
Getting Started On Your Underground Survival Bunker:
To be successful, you should work everything out in detail before you begin. Blueprints, permits, contracts, floor plans – all recommended before you break ground.
The first step is to get a permit for the project. Yes, believe it or not, in most circumstances you can’t just start digging a massive hole in your yard.
In populated areas, it’s for a good reason. There are pipes, electrical wires, gas lines, all kinds of underground utilities.
But to those of you that may have about a half acre of land somewhere this is as good as it gets.
Finding The Perfect Bunker Spot:
This step raises some important questions:
What kind of soil is on your property?
Are there natural gas pockets below you?
How deep is bedrock?
Is there water below? If so, how deep?
So selecting the right spot for your bunker is key. You need the right soil composition, and somewhere you can access quickly.
To get the excavation done in a timely manner you’re going to need some heavy machinery. Of course, if you want to cut costs, you can do it the old-fashioned way and use a shovel.
You can rent the excavation equipment, or you can hire contractors to do it for you. Either way, excavation costs will be a significant chunk of your bunker building budget.
Fresh air is critical if you intend to stay down there for an extended period of time. Especially, if the disaster event is a nuclear attack and you’re dealing with the fallout.
As you’re excavating, make sure to leave room for the air vents. Not only will this provide necessary fresh air, but in hot weather, it will serve to keep the bunker cool with airflow.
Buy your air filtration system in advance, so you know the specs, and can stock up on air filters.
Invest in a high-quality gas mask and a bunch of filters in case you’re forced out of your bunker when the air is still unsafe to breathe.
Make sure to disguise both vents at the surface with rocks or bushes later, but make sure to have at least two.
Some people might prefer to install a water tank with their bunker. While this is a valid idea in theory, in practice it presents some problems.
Foremost, the tanks will eventually run out – and you will need something to refill it. Further, large containers are bulky and hard to conceal unless buried – which adds to the cost of excavation.
Ideally, you can tap into the water table and draw and filter from within the comfort of your bunker. Since you are already underground, digging further to make a well isn’t too much of an endeavour. But it will require more permits, permission, and more funds.
If there’s running water nearby, you may be able to set up a way to channel it near your underground survival bunker. Or you could devise a rainwater harvest system to replenish your supply.
No matter how you do it, having clean running water is essential to preserving your survival. If you still want a tank, by all means, get yourself one. But they work better as backup forms of water supply.
Having a supply of food in your bunker seems obvious, but it’s important, so I didn’t want to skip it.
Digging an extra room strictly for food storage is a good idea.
Underground bunkers are the perfect place to store your emergency cache of food. They are underground, so they stay cool; just make sure to keep them dry as well. You can even store the it a safe which can double as a weapons safe
. They’re also out of sight thus making them difficult to rob.
Every survival bunker needs an abundant supply of non-perishable food items at the ready. Canned goods, dehydrated meals, food stored in mylar bags, anything that has a long shelf life is perfect to hoard.
If you don’t dig yourself an escape route, you’re digging yourself a grave.
If you only have one entrance/exit and it gets blocked by debris or dead bodies, then you’re trapped. Which, essentially becomes your tomb.
An alternative escape route is something people forget to include in their bunkers all the time – don’t make the same mistake!
The material you use to structure your bunker with is up to you and your budget. It’s possible to line the thing in thick tempered steel like a bank vault – but that will cost.
Here are some other great options for adding interior structure to your bunker:
Using thick sheets of metal welded together and supported by tube steel create the ultimate underground bunker. It’s strong, its moisture resistance and not susceptible to infestation. 4mm metal sheets, are good enough for the job.
Wood is cheap, easy to get, easy to work with, and sturdy. But it is also extremely prone to weathering and rotting if not treated.
The wood starts decomposing once wet, which will structurally compromise your underground survival bunker. Even pressure treated wood will break down over long periods of time and can become susceptible to insect infestation.
Using bricks or cinder blocks to support the walls and floor can be very effective material. Bricks are relatively cheap compared to a lot of other materials. They are sturdy, they do not decompose, and you can install them without too much difficulty.
Bricks are great insulators; meaning they keep hot air in during cold weather and cool air in during warm weather.
Concrete is the best material to use for your survival bunker. Concrete is durable; so it doesn’t take forever to install.
Most modern homes use concrete as their foundation, and it’s the choice for military bunkers as well. If you are investing in a long-term survival bunker, I recommend using concrete. It provides safety, security, and durability with the smallest price tag.
Once you have the structure in place, your bunker is starting to look like a bunker. Now consider covering it with a waterproof layer before burying it.
Water and moisture are your greatest enemies underground. So anything you can do to keep them away from and out of your survival bunker a good investment.
Concealing Your Underground Survival Bunker:
Concealing your bunker is important for several reasons. Firstly, you don’t want other people to know that you have an emergency safe-house buried in your backyard. Second, if strangers find out you’re storing ammo, food, and survival gear in your bunker, they will steal it.
The easiest and most efficient way of doing this is landscaping. Cover the bunker in local dirt and plant local fauna. Try to make it blend in as much as possible.
You can use rocks and bushes you dug up during excavation to disguise your air vents. Somefolks put the entrance to their bunker inside of an old shed, or in the back of an innocuous looking survival outhouse.
Get creative when you get to this step. The better disguised, the better it will be for protecting you and your survival cache. You can’t rob or attack what you can’t see.