Emergency shelters were mainly thought of in terms of nuclear attack during the Cold War. More recently, with months of bizarre weather, orders for tornado shelters are booming.
But if you live in an underground home, you have an emergency shelter right there – and it’s not cramped, cold or dark like smaller shelters can often be.
Many earth-sheltered houses are made with self-sustainability built-in. Some are even off the electricity grid, which makes them very habitable even after events that disrupt the power supply. If you have the provisions, and stock up when you shop, you can easily keep a stock of food that would last a substantial length of time, if it needed to.
Underground houses have been designed and engineered to last many years, with very limited maintenance. Reinforced concrete as used in earth-sheltered homes is very protective, and you might even explore the option of adding a safer layer beneath your underground home, for emergencies.
Gimme Shelter …
Years of successful research go into every earth-sheltered home, and each one is made with your design specifications in mind. If you wish to employ your house also as a shelter, or add a shelter area below it, these can be incorporated into your building plans.
Underground Home Shelter
If you place your home at a significant depth, it will be more resistant even to nuclear attack. If fact, some abandoned missile silos have been sold to civilians who in turn repurpose them as safe and secure underground homes.
Some companies build homes that are also bomb shelters, using earth itself as a buffer between you and the outside world. Any buildings along surface level could be destroyed by a blast close-by, but you would be protected if you use the subterranean rooms of your house, which are hundreds of feet below the surface.
Primary and Secondary …
The length of time you spend below your primary residence after any type of disaster depends on you and your plan. These deep shelters have room for you, your family and your pets. Full-sized homes of 1500-3000 square feet can also be built deep underground, so they would serve as your primary residence as well as your emergency shelter.
There is good reason to incorporate the option of taking shelter in your underground home in the case of an emergency. Some shelters themselves are thought to be bomb-proof, but the bunkers that are being produced now in that category are in no way suited for everyday life. These shelters sometimes include stockpiles of food and other essentials, but they are not of a type that can be lived in on an everyday basis, like an earth-sheltered home.
The underground homes you might tour today show you that living underground can still allow for a well-lit and nicely appointed home. Homes including bunkers or that could be used as shelters for bombs, tornadoes or chemical attacks are a more comfortable and likely way to live during times of unrest or violent weather.
Some houses that serve as shelters have reinforced roofs and earthen or concrete walls. The living space could include a greenhouse or a courtyard, which would help bring light into the home. Rainwater collection, with drilled wells or rain gutters, will supply clean water to homes, as long as no chemical threats are present. Solar panels can gather energy from the sun, and then have an option to be sealed with steel panel covers if trouble is expected.
Many specialized features are included in underground homes that are designed to be used as shelters as well. Of course, extra fortification may be desired by some, especially Preppers.
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