It may sound paranoid, but having a fallout shelter in your home is a serious problem. Nobody can predict when a missile will fall in a terrorist attack or war. This was the reason why in the 1950s, during the Cold War, many Americans decided to prepare for a disaster. Knowing how to build a fallout shelter in your basement may be the knowledge you don’t use very often, but it never hurts to know.
The first time that emergency shelters were needed was shortly after the height of the Second World War during the so-called Cold War. Shortly after the outbreak of the Cuban Missile Crisis, another nuclear confrontation loomed.
Although the demand for such accommodation has declined since the end of this conflict, you can rest assured that it is still possible to build one in your home.
It never hurts to have a safe room
First, we need to understand what a safe room is. As the name suggests, this is a space designed to protect people from various eventualities. Safe rooms are common in places prone to tornadoes and hurricanes, but can also be found in extreme weather regions.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a room is considered safe if it offers almost complete protection and prevents the death or injury of its users.
The construction of this type of room is thanks to the investigation of the various natural disasters. If the specified regulations are followed, it should be able to withstand even the greatest dangers.
Even if we never use it, it always helps to have a room that meets the parameters to be safe.
The types of safe spaces
We can differentiate between two types of secure rooms, depending on the people who can access them. The first type is the public animal shelter, in which busy areas are built and into which everyone can enter in an emergency.
The second type is private shelters. Individuals or families build these for personal use. Usually these types of shelters are in a basement to build walls of considerable thickness.
A basement fallout shelter requires a moderate budget to build and maintain. The price is also affected depending on whether you need to build a new basement or just overhaul the basement that has already been overhauled.
How do I build a Fallout Shelter? You first need to know how radiation works. This is like heat or UV rays; Although we cannot see this, we feel the impact they have on us. However, they cannot get through solid objects directly, but instead transfer their energy through radiation, causing them to heat up.
Nuclear radiation works similarly and emits what it reaches to continue its journey. This can be avoided if the distance between the point of irradiation and the other end is large or if there are enough things to receive the radiation until it dissolves.
In the case of shelter, the thicker the wall, the less likely the radiation will reach the center of the room.
As soon as we know the building conditions, we have to prepare for the care of the shelter. In an emergency, you cannot leave it for a while. Although there is no exact calculation for the radiation, at least in the event of natural disasters, it is recommended to store 3.5 gallons of water per person in order to last two weeks. In contrast, if a person doesn’t eat for two weeks, there isn’t a big problem, so food rations aren’t that important (though that doesn’t mean you have to rule them out).
The best option is to hide underground
When it comes to protection, the best thing is an underground shelter. We have declared that we can build thick walls. Nowadays, threats are becoming increasingly destructive, so we can’t afford to try if we can survive with surface protection.
How do I build a fallout shelter in your basement? As with any underground construction, we first have to make sure that no water escapes. It is recommended that the basement or basement of our house is on a slope in the opposite direction of the room, which will push the water.
If the adjacent area is already prepared, the next step is to determine whether the basement lining is strong enough. Although the basics work well as a protective barrier in hurricanes, they are not as effective with nuclear radiation.
It is advisable to reinforce all basement walls (including the ceiling and floor) so that they have an additional thickness, which allows us to be protected from radiation. This includes removing land and possibly expanding the foundations of your home (for projects that cover the entire basement).
Our personal protection
Would you like to know how to build a cheap fallout home? Then you have reached the corresponding section. The secret is to know that you don’t have to condition your entire basement to provide effective protection. If you only want to protect a small group of people, you can set up a 50 square meter space in your basement to build a small shelter for five people.
The location of this room is crucial. Ideally, it is located in a corner of the boundary walls, so that there is an additional space for protection. You should also choose the area that is most buried because areas above the ground are more vulnerable.
The shelter will have a triangular shape. The easy way to do this is simply to measure 10 feet on each wall from the corner. Draw a line to connect the resulting points and you have the area that is theoretically suitable for nuclear disasters.
The corner walls can be coated with masonry, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to increase the resistance factor. It is also recommended to insulate the ceiling and floor.
For additional protection, you should stick as much as possible on the corner and on the floor. For this reason, it is recommended that you sit or lie in your “DIY Fallout Shelter” as much as possible.
Carry out a preliminary inspection of your basement
Before you supply your basement for emergencies, you need to be sure that its structure is strong enough not to give way to disasters. The roof and floor are the most fragile places, so it is recommended to reinforce them.
You should also check that the basement shows no signs of moisture or mold. These agents are harmful to health if we breathe them for a long time. Since moisture is a recurring problem (which causes the birth of fungi), it is recommended to use a method to control it if it occurs while we seek protection in our fallout protection.
We shouldn’t die from lack of oxygen
What people often forget in underground construction is ventilation. In a basement, a small system is sufficient because it is only used for a short time. The same thing doesn’t happen with a Fallout Shelter.
Now that you know how to build a Fallout Shelter in your basement, don’t forget to install adequate ventilation so you don’t run out of oxygen. A person needs at least ten cubic feet of oxygen per minute in cold regions, while in hot conditions the amount increases to thirty cubic feet per minute.
Believe it or not, oxygen does not require a complex cleaning process in the case of radiation. The most basic designs are enough to purify the air.
As with fires, air filtration can be done with a damp cloth. Also keep in mind that there must be openings for carbon monoxide to leave the shelter, otherwise you could be poisoned. However, these cannot be extremely large in order to prevent the penetration of radiation.
Although the shelter must have openings for air circulation, the remaining basement construction must be airtight.
If you want to be sure that you don’t lack oxygen, install air purifiers and place some plants to absorb carbon monoxide (without exaggeration, as these can be fatal even in enclosed spaces).
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