Step 1: Design, Engineer and Research

00 8x16 Shelter Overview

We’ve designed this fallout shelter concept using an adapted rule of three for survival. We know that humans can’t survive blast pressures for more than 3 seconds, live without air for more than 3 minutes, survive in extreme exposure conditions for more than 3 hours, live without water for 3 days, or food for more than 30 days.

So in the order of priority our shelter design must provide:

  1. Ample blast protection from a relatively close nuclear blast as well as explosives that might be used by raiders during the aftermath.
  2. Air intake and exhaust vents to provide a constant flow of air through the shelter.
  3. Adequate protection from external temperature extremes without any dependence on external energy systems.
  4. Ample water for at least a 28-day stay would need to be pre-positioned inside the shelter.
  5. Ample food for a 28-day stay should also be pre-positioned inside the shelter.
  6. Ironically the last item on our list is protection from radiation. To effectively protect yourself from fallout, your shelter needs to be underground and covered with at least three to eight feet of compacted earth – more depth provides more protection.

Since fallout shelters can also be used for other things like, storm shelters, safe rooms, store rooms, guest rooms, and home offices, it’s important to consider these options when designing your shelter. For example, to make your shelter more easily accessible you might want to build a 68-degree ships ladder, true staircase, or position it adjacent to a basement. A vertical shaft, like the one shown in our design, is not conducive to regular easy access.

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