DIY Storm Bunkers

Building Your Own Survival Bunker

underground hideout

Tornadoes have destroyed so many parts of Oklahoma and the surrounding states,  EF5’s have ripped across hundreds of kilometers of the countryside, murdering hundreds of people and destroying hundreds of millions of dollars of property over six states. This is the catalyst (among other things) to create a storm/ shelter/origin cellar/bunker. You can check out some of our Tornado Shelters here at

This isn’t the simplest way or possibly the ideal way construct a shelter, but it worked nicely for me and my funding. First I reside in an area of the nation where I’ve slopes to dig into. So I select a place close to the home, not too much off, in the close running distance.

survival shelter below groundI dug out (together with my tractor) that a twenty-foot broad swatch and twenty-foot back in the face of the mountain. I left the base of the hole around eighteen inches over the valley floor flat, that’s in the front of the pit. This can help retain any water flowing to the valley, from this construction area. To also help assist in water drainage, I cut on a scoop wide trench over the structure region, therefore water coming out of the ridge over is redirected away.

Digging around the outside of my recently dug hole, in which the “survival shield” was to be constructed, I inserted a French drain. A French drain is essentially a shallow trench using 6″ septic drainage tube, with holes around the top which lets the water to flow out and down. A nylon sock surrounded the pipe to keep dirt and debris from it. This trench has been dug by which using a downgraded outside flow. This French drain will direct water away from the construction and down to the valley. Then I added about 8 inches of stone over the drain and also at the region where the shield was to be put. This again allows for improved drainage of water from beneath and around the construction.

underground bunkerI contacted a regional cement septic tank contractor and explained exactly what I had been doing. With a couple of pen sketches of my shield, he managed to add additional reinforcement steel where necessary and portholes for incoming and outgoing air. He put a four-inch porthole in the base the left front corner to get incoming air and you in the top right front corner to get the incoming atmosphere. In addition, he took the opportunity to Dam at the base of the tank for me at no additional charge.

The 10 foot by 6 foot by 6 ft high, 1500 gallon tank cost $750. Delivered in position. The tank arrived in 2 pieces and weighed a total of twelve million pounds. The pliers pieced together using a V groove along with a thick rubber tacky material that behaved as a seal all the way around. I inserted hydraulic cement onto the seam to assist waterproof that it a little more. Before I cut off the doorway, I put two coats of Dam Tight and 3 coats of plastic material on four sides and the rooftop.

I leased a concrete saw, and then cut on a doorway to the construction, leaving the base of the doorway four inches over the shield floor. Again helping prevent any water from arriving in. The thickness of this tank is four inches, with rebar and cable throughout the construction. “A vehicle could drive over this arrangement with no difficulty”, according to the manufacturer. Not that we will attempt it, but adding dirt into the roofing does include weight so this was somewhat reassuring.

below ground shelterConstruction the doorway took a little preparation. I used four-foot by eight feet, 1/8″ thick steel plates which could rise 2 feet above the roof line. The steel door gap clip will be 1 inch larger all the way around compared to the pit cut into the concrete construction. This way once the door shuts, it is going to have a tight rubber seal to close on. I contemplated using 1/4 inch steel plate, but the weight could have been double the 1/8 inch steel that still weighs 300 lbs or better. The inner lock hasn’t yet been welded but will probably be performed close to the end of the job. There’s an exterior door lock welded on already. The doorway will be Red Headed on the concrete construction.

Ahead of filling, I inserted pink foam to get just a tiny insulation over the back and sides using Liquid Nails. Now the rear filling starts. In the stage, I shot the images, with the rear and sides being stuffed in. When the door is set up I shall put 4-inch by 4 inch PT posts piled upright behind the door, on the roof, so the dirt includes somewhere to stop.

That’s the reason why the door is two feet higher than the roofline. The dirt on top of the roofing will probably be roughly four foot deep on the rear side along with two foot, on the other hand, to maintain the slope of this ridge how it was. Obviously, those 4 x 4 articles will probably be nailed, glued and screwed together as this holding wall has been constructed. From the deadline of the following guide, I truly don’t know whether that structure will be whole, as a result of rain, snow and the cold, however, I shall entail the remainder of my programs like that I just did.

Before backfilling the roof, it’s going to have insulation, plastic substance plus roofing material which will help maintain water off the roof and lead it one foot or even better beyond the surfaces of the shield. This is going to be set up until I backfill out the roofing area. Backfilling the distance over the roof and supporting the construction will require almost 83 cubic meters of dirt. I guess I left the hole somewhat larger than I actually needed. Little oversight I am confident that you can fix!

Together with the door in position along with also the 4 x 4 timber on, and also the roofing backfilled, today comes the front part of the construction. I’ll do exactly the exact same type retaining wall (like on the roof) on the faces of the doorway. I select the identical timber, 4-inch by 4 inch PT articles which will pile upright and move six feet out from the arrangement. All these wood retaining walls are going to be on every side of the doorway, attached to the doorway and will hold dirt which is going to be covering up the front part of the construction.

Using the septic maker again, he pours this two foot by 2 foot by four-foot broad concrete reinforcement blocks that weigh one ton each. I plan on piling this four-foot out away from the construction. These can be piled high, which makes a six-foot top wall facing my construction. Sure that is overkill, but this is my middle name! Following those cubes snug up from my 4 by 4 timber retaining walls along with the doorways, I shall backfill that place with grime. This may give me a 2-foot thick concrete barrier with 4 ft of dirt before my construction. Obviously, I’ll paint the concrete cubes to match with the surrounding foliage. When that is complete I shall grow grass and ivy on the roof space to help keep the soil in place and combine and bushes from the front to conceal it.

Now for the interior, I select a thin coating of insulation to your walls and ceiling. This is going to keep the echoes down indoors and keep from receiving a knot on the head once I stand up! For the ground, I enjoy the industrial rubber flooring mats, since the dirt drops beneath the mat through the holes. In terms of the venting, I’m exploring several choices with no choice made yet.

Of course, by today, I’ve all the essential survival food, tools and gear set up and prepared to proceed in. We do not get a tornado…we do not possess a mass extinction event…today I have a fantastic root cellar and a fort for my own 5-year-old to perform in. Overall, it costs about $2000 plus a few gas for my own tractor to construct. Not bad…for an old country boy at the hills!


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