Seeker's Survival Prep
The Basics
Permanent Shelter Choices

  To start with, let's look at some rather normal and mundane events that occur on a regular basis around the country as an example of what could happen, and how your survival preparations could benefit you in any of these scenarios...

In most of the continental US the number #1 threat we are likely to see is from tornadoes; on average there are a 1,000 of these potentially deadly storms every year, wreaking havoc and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Unfortunately, the only sure fire defense against these terrors of mother nature is to be underground or in an earth sheltered structure; just recently I saw where a family survived an EF-4 tornado that destroyed their house; the father had constructed a poured concrete safe room in the basement of their home, taking time to drill the floor slab and tie the concrete walls to it. His handi-work saved his family from harm, unfortunately the house was a total loss.

In many parts of the country, especially in the plains states (part of tornado alley) it is not uncommon for families to have an underground storm shelter, usually hand dug and just big enough for the family to huddle in while the storms rage past; these serve the purpose of keeping the family out of harm's way, but do nothing to protect their supplies, clothing, or any of their other belongings.

 Many preppers in rural areas are taking different measures along these lines; one example is located outside a little farming town in Alabama; in an old single lane dirt road that went between two high banks  on this family's property they parked an old school bus then back-filled around and over it, completely covering the entire bus except for the rear emergency exit door; the rows of seats were removed, a small septic tank had been installed below it to facilitate installation of a toilet and a sink, and a plastic 100 gallon fresh water tank installed in case long term use became necessary; they also had the foresight to use it as a root cellar, storing supplies and keeping it rather well stocked in case of an emergency situation unfolding, plus had provisions for heat if needed and sleeping arrangements; according to reports, it has sheltered 2 different families from several tornadoes that have roared thru the area with no issues.

There are many different styles, methods, and configurations for commercially available storm shelters, ranging from fiberglass bubbles with airlock style hatches designed to seat 6-12 people safely during a storm ( if you aren't claustrophobic) which are relatively inexpensive to buy and bury, 10-12' diameter corrugated pipe shelters ranging from 12' to 60' equipped from bare bones basic up to long term usage, solid steel pre-fab NBC capable underground housing units, several different styles and configurations of pre-cast and poured concrete shelters, concrete geodesic domes, up to full scale underground houses. It is a matter of what you decide best fits your needs, and what you are willing to spend.

One of the most cost effective and innovative designs I have seen for the do-it-yourself group is to use steel Connex style overseas shipping containers; they range in size  from 8'6" wide, 9' tall, and come in lengths from 20 to 53' in length; I have seen one installation where an entire underground shelter complex was constructed using four  of the 48' length containers placed around a 20' container as a central hub in a cross configuration; this gave 1700' of floor space and over 18,000 cubic feet in volume. The entrance was a vertical airlock style that descended at a 45 degree angle into the central hub; quite ingenious.

The point about all these different styles of inground shelters is that they are storm proof, fire proof, most can be easily equipped to be Nuclear/Biological/Chemical shelters, sound proof, and very resistant to earthquakes, and for the most part can be constructed by the average home owner without having to win the lottery or rob a major bank to finance it.

All of this is a matter to consider when starting to plan your survival scenario, am I going to shelter in place when the SHTF arrives, or am I going to relocate to another prepared location; if your neighbors know that you are a prepper and have a stocked survival shelter, you can bet that everyone that knows about it will invite themselves to join you,whether you want them to, or not.

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