How to Build a Fallout Shelter in Your Basement (Before the Bombs Go Off)

how to build a fallout shelter in your basement before the bombs go off

Have you ever wondered, how to build a fallout shelter in your basement? Or if building your own fallout shelter is too difficult? Well, during the 1950’s hundreds and thousands of Americans built and maintained their own fallout shelters. If it was possible during the Cold War to build your own fallout shelter, then it is still plausible to build one now.

nuclear fallout shelter design

As basements are primarily underground, there is a natural ground protection that will help block radiation from getting into your shelter. If you want the safest and most protective shelter, then it is essential to build in an area with some natural radiation protection, in an area that can withstand the necessary fallout shelter modifications.

Find the Right Corner

When converting your basement into a fallout shelter it is important to find the strengths and weaknesses of the area. Find the right corner, about fifty square feet, to be the build site for your fallout shelter. This is key to building an efficient shelter, the corner needs to have little to no external wall exposure, this reduces radiation contact in a fallout situation.

Once you have determined the corner of your basement that has the highest external ground level, you need to plot out and measure the space for your shelter. From the corner, measure out ten feet along each wall. Then, you create a triangle by drawing a line connecting those two points. This fifty square foot space will sufficiently protect up to five people, with potential to tightly squeeze in a few more.

It’s All in the Ceiling

Most radiation leeches in through the roof and ceiling, as the roof is externally exposed and incredibly vulnerable. Modifications to the ceiling above the designated shelter corner are necessary as they will shield you and your family from unwanted radiation seeping in through the roof.

Acceptable shelter from fallout radiation can be provided by adjusting the ceiling construction. The ceiling area above the chosen corner can then be fitted with bricks and concrete blocks to reduce potential radiation. These are placed in between the existing beams above, providing overhead protection from radiation. This effect is like the natural defense from the ground for the external basement walls.

It is also important to have the placement of the concrete blocks or bricks to exceed to about a quarter of the entire ceiling area to ensure optimal protection and safety.

Walls Against Radiation

Additional internal basement walls can be installed to create additional safety and protection in a fallout situation. Masonry walls will provide protection around your fallout shelter in case any of the basement walls are externally exposed or if the ceiling around you is leeching radiation.

As your corner is still exposed with some ceiling protection it may be important to construct masonry walls on the two exposed sides of the basement corner; turning the fifty-square foot triangle into a square. The masonry walls can cut down the amount of ceiling reinforcement that is necessary, as long as the walls go up to the ceiling so they can block any entering radiation.

Are you Ready?

Readying your home for emergent fallout situations is vital to being fully prepared to take on any challenge and to adequately protect yourself and family. Creating a permanent fallout shelter may take work but it will provide safety and protection for those in your home. It is possible to create non-permanent shelters that will provide some protection against fallout radiation but they are not as safe as building a permanent fallout shelter in your basement.

If you are unable to turn your basement into a fallout shelter, then try keeping around materials to create a planned structure in the event of a fallout situation. Materials that will block radiation should be stored on hand, in the event of a radioactive situation you should be able to access the materials quickly and construct an improvised shelter. However, if you are looking to be fully prepared and ready, it may be time to put in a permanent fallout shelter.

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