Neutrons are emitted only during an active fission process, such as that taking place in a nuclear reactor or at the actual moment of an atomic explosion. Neutron activation that is structurally significant takes many years, and is only a concern in materials that will be used to construct things like nuclear reactor vessels. This is in no way a concern when choosing structural material for a shelter.
Furthermore, steel shelters, which are typically 3/16- 1/4 of an inch thick, need to be buried DEEP, in order to provide the proper comparative level of protection against radiation. They are typically installed with 8-10 feet of earth covering the top and this presents a considerable number of challenges with regard to the costs for excavating, the need to hire a crane and other issues.
Just because we are all gonna die does not mean we need to eat junk …. ditch that high carb and super processed junk food. There are many choices of decent food out there … particularly the foods packed by Mormon canneries. Do a google search for where to find the best deals. Really, get rid of the raman noodles, progresso soups, spagetti-o and other junk … you’ll have enough problems living through SHTF without killing you gut microbio ….
Here are some basics are things that can be essential to a successful shelter: wood matches, lots of rechargeable batteries for flashlights, battery charger, candles, siphon pump, head lamps, lanterns, lantern oil, generator and generator fuel, a solar panel as a backup source, large gas cans (like 14 gallon), zip ties, chainsaw, shovel, rope, rake, steel pots and kettles for boiling water, large car batteries, and hand saws.
Thanks for another helpful article, Pat. I’d been wondering about long term food for my preps. I’ve never had MRE’s, although I have eaten “C” & “K” rations (remember those battleship gray-green cans?) an older relative brought home. My question is, how do I determine the best taste/value for my dollar? My goal of having 6 months to 1 year’s worth of food for a family will be significant in terms of money spent. Do you know of any “survival food” vendors who have trial offers for people to taste test BEFORE they plunk down 4 figures for boxes of… Read more »
A quantity of gold or silver may be a contentious inclusion for some people, but like cash, things will have to be dire indeed before both lose their appeal to humanity. A handful of gold or silver can be converted into just about anything of equivalent value, anywhere, in a hurry and gold especially can secure you a favor that you otherwise may not be able to get.
I can’t agree with your solution for water purification. If the argument is to “also” include scenarios where boiling isn’t practical, there are other options that fit the bill. For us, we’ve been using a Berkey filter system in our home instead of something that needs water pressure or power to serve in both bug out and Flint, MI like scenarios. We use it day to day today. Not cheap upfront but the cost per litre/gallon over time is a fraction of what you’ve proposed – with all due respect.
Basic Dining Utensils- A stash of disposable plates, cups, napkins and cutlery will help reduce water usage and maintain cleanliness. Keep a set of reusable camping style cutlery and mess kits around in case you run out of the former. You might want to keep a small set of steel pots or bowls with your stash to ensure you have suitable vessels for meal prep.
Rice. This is an old standby. It can form the base of many tasty and nutritious meals. Be aware that although it requires no processing, it does require quite a bit of water to cook. It is most economical to buy rice in 40 lb bags and repackage it into buckets yourself, a 5 gallon bucket will hold a 40lb bag. For a bit more you can find rice sold pre-sealed in buckets from a number of sources.
115. Generator – Generators are great in emergency situations, especially if power is crucial for medical reasons. Long-term however there is debate at how viable generators can benefit as you will need a constant supply of fuel as well as fuel storage. Not to mention if the power has been down for months and would-be scavengers are rummaging the neighborhood when they hear the sound of a generator running?? If you do plan on getting one, look for tri-fuel generators.
The man is Robert Vicino, of Del Mar, California. During the past couple of years, it has been widely reported by the Journal and others that Vicino's company, The Vivos Group, is trying to lease 575 former military munitions bunkers in southwest South Dakota to doomsday preppers, for use in case of an asteroid strike, a nuclear war or any other catastrophic event. Lease prices are as much as $25,000 upfront, plus $1,000 annually thereafter, and lessees are expected to outfit the empty bunkers themselves.
Very useful information. Thank you for sharing that. We are hunters as we as grow a garden, we can most everything. I also have fruit trees and bushes, and that is canned as well. We have emergency kits stashed in a few locations, undisclosed, and money. I pray we will never need to use any of it but I am prepared. I really appreciate your helpful articles and will make sure to tell others about this site.
Thanks for the comment “Barn Cat”. I do agree that storing canned beans makes it much easier since they are already prepared. That would be a huge help when you need something to eat in a hurry. I am inclined to say that having both dried beans and canned beans would be ideal for food storage. Canned items typically do not last as long. Another fact is that you can also sprout dried beans and it increases the nutritional value. Wheat can also be sprouted, ground into flour to make bread and cooked to make a hot breakfast cereal. Wheat, if stored properly can be stored up to 25+ years. I personally like to have a variety my food storage.
3. Basic bulk ingredients with long shelf lives are a must.  Wheat, rice, and beans are versatile, when you add a variety of spices, herbs, and other ingredients and will last for decades.  There are food shortages around the world, droughts here in the U.S. that are affecting food production, and it’s likely we’ll experience either shortages, much higher prices, or both in the future.
At one, a prominent venture capitalist was said to have told fellow diners of his escape plans. In the garage of his San Francisco home, he told guests, is a bag of guns hanging from the handlebars of a motorcycle. The bike will allow him to weave through traffic on the way to his private plane, and the guns are for defense against encroaching zombies that may threaten his getaway.
One thing younger preppers may want to consider too is babies. Assuming prescription birth control will not be available, it will be important to have other methods on hand to ensure that you can prevent pregnancy (if you want to). Additionally, some people may want to network with local midwives and doulas (or even become one yourself!). This is an invaluable skill to have in an emergency SHTF scenario. Every family is different, but as a currently pregnant woman, it’s something that I’m thinking about right now. 🙂
Each of us has personal fears. It might be poor health. It might be a precarious job situation. There are a great number of individual calamities that can befall us, however, the fact that you have just been fired from your job, while I am concerned as I would be for anybody who has lost employment through no fault of his own, it doesn’t affect me. It doesn’t affect my neighborhood. It doesn’t affect the distribution of food and utilities.
In the event of an EMP situation, I fully intend to band together with my neighbors to protect our neighborhood from outsiders who may to try to loot or worse. I fully intend to share resources if they are into that. I fully intend to share medical supplies, knowledge, recipes, seeds and more if necessary. I know for a fact that my neighbors and I differ greatly on political issues, and especially political candidates from every election since we’ve lived here. But in a SHTF situation, we’d all be in it together. Please remember that before jumping down each other’s throats in the comments here. We are all interested in being prepared, because we are all alarmed and or scared of what may happen in the future, because not everything is in our control. But our behavior toward each other is absolutely within our control.
Canned goods are some of the items that disappear first in a crisis. It is normal behavior because everyone wants to add meat to their diet. You should stock up in advance on cans of tuna, ham, and chicken. These canned goods are an excellent source of protein and they should never miss from a survival pantry. Even when you do some last minute shopping, chances are you will still be able to get your hands on a few cans of Spam. Make sure you also look for dried meats like beef jerky. These foods have a long shelf life and they will be a tasty addition to your survival pantry.
We can build up our stockpile all we wan’t but what happens when Martial law takes effect and they want what we have, as a christian I don’t believe we should kill anyone in order to protect our stuff , what is a christian supposed to do if we feel to prep now only to have it taken from us then? Should we hide our preps in places away from our home? Thank you

I purchased a 30 day supply for 2 people of freeze dried food – that was when I had a basement to store it in. Now i live in the Arizona desert with no basement. I considered purchasing additional food storage but then realized, I for some reason I have no power, it’ll most likely be very hot (especially if summer time), therefore not way to regulate temperature. Any storage food I did purchase would be ruined ( I assume). Anyone else have this issue when thinking about the unthinkable?
@Consco That’s a very good point. There’s nothing really more important than family. We have to define what we mean by “stuff”. Chuck makes a very good point. All the luxuries that we have today can be done without if we have to. They aren’t that important and can be repaired or replaced, if we want, when things get more or less back to normal. What does need to be defended, other than family, are the things that are necessary for our survival. The food. The water. Shelter. Heat. Hygiene products. Necessary medicines. Etc. The things that will help to ensure our survival in the face of an uncertain future. What I would suggest though, is that, if you have info stored on hard drives that you don’t want to lose fill the drive up with what you deem important and put those items in an EMP-proof container. Even a metal garbage can set up properly will do. And one small computer that’s able to access those drives. No matter what happens, or how it happens, a new civilization WILL spring forth from the ashes of the old and then knowledge will help to rebuild it. If you have important books that might come in handy for helping to rebuild then also find some way to secure those.
An approved NIOSH N95, preferably a supply of them, can help you survive contaminated air. Even beyond a pandemic, you can increase the odds of surviving infected air from volcanoes (yes, the US sits on a massive volcano in Yellowstone), earthquakes that release toxins into the air when buildings crash, and other various threats to the air that we breathe.
My biggest fears our that men, particularly white men, will refuse to grow up, all the while corporations rape & pillage the earth and set working class people here and around the world against each other to their advantage. Men need physical work & activity, craft, not office life. Without that men find themselves frustrated & lash out, unable to define themselves in the world. There is a reason that handcrafted materials are so often better, homegrown food healthier.
The U.S. government is preparing its most direct response yet to the new Ebola outbreak that appears to have begun in April, readying staffers  from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to deploy to  multiple communities in Congo. -- Ebola in the U.S. 2.o?? Returning  medical workers coming back to the mainland again? Without quarantine?  Again. Keep an eye on it.
With that goal in mind, let me say this:  this is not a list of items intended for deep storage. Nor is it a list of items packaged so that they have a 25 year shelf life.  (And in reality, do you really need your stored food to last that long?)  I am also not going to list items that might be foreign to your palate, difficult to find, or too costly to absorb into your weekly shopping budget.
Yup, you’re right about the dehydrated food having around half the daily recommended calorie count for adults – but I still feel they’re valuable if you can afford it. A food stockpile that big will a least help you get by for the year, regardless of whether you’ll be thriving. And it’s easier (in my opinion) to supplement a stockpile than to depend on growing, hunting, trapping, or fishing everything yourself, especially if you’re not used to doing it.

According to developer Robert Vicino of Vivos “We are repurposing the bunkers into the largest survival community on Earth.  With one stroke, Vivos xPoint will accommodate as many as 5,000 people to ride out whatever natural or manmade events may come our way.  With each bunker providing shelter for up to 20 people, Vivos xPoint makes a life-assurance shelter solution affordable to virtually every family and group.  We have already received hundreds of requests from people wanting to claim their own bunker.  The project is now underway, and soon each bunker will be under construction to suit the fit and finish that each family/group requires.  We are even receiving requests to store precious metals and collections from elite buyers, now moving their treasures out of Europe, in anticipation of WW3 across the EU.  “xPoint” was coined as the: Point in time that only the prepared will survive.”
Survivalists' concerns and preparations have changed over the years. During the 1970s, fears were economic collapse, hyperinflation, and famine. Preparations included food storage and survival retreats in the country which could be farmed. Some survivalists stockpiled precious metals and barterable goods (such as common-caliber ammunition) because they assumed that paper currency would become worthless. During the early 1980s, nuclear war became a common fear, and some survivalists constructed fallout shelters.
A popular way of guarding against this kind of catastrophe is storing food at home. This is called Long Term Food Storage, Emergency Essentials, or Emergency Survival Foods and there are dozens of companies selling food specifically for this purpose. The best, including those listed below, have great tasting products with a long storage life at a reasonable cost. 
Some products are no different than a normal box of mac and cheese: you boil water in a pot, mix the packaged product into the pot, turn the heat to a simmer, cook, and serve. Others are as simple as pouring boiling water in the pouch and waiting a few minutes. In some cases, the water doesn’t even need to be hot (although flavor and texture is better if it is).
Today, the property would be of interest only to the most ambitious apocalyptic rehabbers. It consists of a launch control center surrounded by three-foot thick concrete, plus the main silo—measuring 180 feet in height and 52 feet in diameter, most of it underground—which the owner can repurposed as needed. Water has leaked into the property for years, but the latest listing states that it has been “cleaned and dewatered.”
Been thinking about stockpiling some long life food as been a carer for my wife for 14 years and after 12 years of nothing we managed to save $10K which was going to be to fix up the house but decided to put all into the stock market. Well, I have managed to turn it into 140K and although we are well under deeming cutoffs and amount where we lose some pension I was thinking about getting $20K in the long life food with 25 year life span. Just looking at the way food prices have gone up I’d estimate in 10 years the same food will be double.
Many books were published in the wake of the Great Recession from 2008 and later offering survival advice for various potential disasters, ranging from an energy shortage and crash to nuclear or biological terrorism. In addition to the 1970s-era books, blogs and Internet forums are popular ways of disseminating survivalism information. Online survival websites and blogs discuss survival vehicles, survival retreats, emerging threats, and list survivalist groups.
These individuals study End Times prophecy and believe that one of various scenarios might occur in their lifetime. While some Christians (and even people of other religions) believe that the Rapture will follow a period of Tribulation, others believe that the Rapture is imminent and will precede the Tribulation ("Pre-Trib Rapture[41] "). There is a wide range of beliefs and attitudes in this group. They run the gamut from pacifist to armed camp, and from having no food stockpiles (leaving their sustenance up to God's providence) to storing decades' worth of food.
Edible landscaping provides another potentially important supplement to your storage foods. Instead of planting ornamental trees, plant fruit trees. Instead of ordinary shrubs, plant blueberry bushes. Fruiting vines, blackberries, and things of this nature are great to have around in the best of times, they can be life savers in the worst of times.
I first read this article two years ago, and started laying in the suggested items over a period of several weeks. Reading other articles on this site led me to start stockpiling water, vitamins, and personal-care items; I also took on a second part-time job to add to my emergency savings account. Unfortunately, I lost my full-time job several months ago with no warning and am still job-hunting, but I’m not worried about it. This experience is so much less stressful with a fully stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry, the aforementioned other supplies, and plenty of cash in the bank. Only a few family members know that I prep…everyone else can’t figure out why I’m so calm. Thank you, Gaye!
I believe that the only real weakness in this article is the insistence that needing to add a lot of water is a downside to a particular food. Water is life. If you do not have an essentially unlimited supply of water, you will die when it runs out, and food is entirely irrelevant. If there isn’t an essentially unlimited supply on your property (well, stream, lake, etc), nor a nearby supply you can lug to your property, then you need to abandon your place and go somewhere that has water.
“Title-1 schools are on the free-breakfast and free-lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I’m not talking about a glass of milk and a roll. But a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make the Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. (Our tax dollars at work!)
Buy the best flashlight models you can afford, and focus on a blend of output and runtime. Variable mode and output lights are more complicated to use, but their power-saving features and different color LED’s may be worthwhile. Lights are useful for signaling anytime there is low or no light, and powerful ones can be easily seen for miles, so don’t skimp on output.
Great article! I’ll be trying out several of these soon, since my family is in a tight spot financially and I’ve made the decision to stop buying dry goods or canned foods for the next several months in order to reduce spending. So we’re eating from long term food storage whenever I can incorporate ingredients into meals — one of our family favorites is canned meat fried up with rehydrated potato shreds & eggs & cheese to make sort of a corned beef or Spam hash! And we’ve already had good experiences with using cheese powder & dehydrated potato slices from the grocery’s “bulk food” section (very similar to the same items in our long term food storage) to make au gratin potatoes.
I originally had the same idea until I did some research on Google. I found that overseas containers are NOT suitable for underground placement. Besides the metal being prone to rust over time, the units are built for strength in the corners to support lifting. The sides have very little strength to withstand inward pressure created by backfilling. Depending on size, location and delivery, the containers will cost $2000 and up. I bought 17.5 cu yards of redimix, fiber reinforced concrete for $2100. Just a thought.

Buy dry foods, canned goods and peanut butter, then use the oldest on a regular basis and rotate new stock into the pantry. Too many people buy foods that they will only eat when the SHTF and then since you’re not using it on a regular basis, it’s gone or going bad. If however you buy many of the foods you currently eat for SHTF planning then you can eat the oldest food and rotate new stock into your holdings as a routine part of your meals.
This is a very basic guide to bunkers. Many areas such as bomb blast related pressure as it relates to entry door integrity really deserve much more coverage. And the section on construction techniques completely miss the point on culvert strength which is primarily related to earth arching and not the strength of the culvert material - look at the huge plastic highway culverts that are a few feet underground and support multi ton trucks. This book is a start but you need much more information to plan any kind of shelter.
We tend to take the power grid for granted, until it fails us. And 'tis the season. “While we love to get outside and enjoy warm weather it's fairly common to experience pop-up thunderstorms and inclement weather,” in the summer, said Liz Pratt, a spokesperson for LG&E and KU, the utility provider in my city. “Utilities, speaking broadly, are continually investing in our electric systems and equipment to make them more resilient. However, during storms, strong winds and storm debris are major culprits that can cause power outages.”
I haven't used them yet since they are in my apocalypse bag (which more people should have and less people should make fun of because I mean seriously in what way is it dumb to be prepared, even if it becomes a hobby...an expensive hobby...a hobby that caused my wife and children to leave me because I woke them up constantly at 5:13am with homemade alarms to run threat drills in case bandits with grenades came or whatever) but yeah anyway I'm gonna be really glad they are there even if it's just for piece of mind!
In the previous decade, preparedness consultant, survival bookseller, and California-based author Don Stephens popularized the term retreater to describe those in the movement, referring to preparations to leave cities for remote havens or survival retreats should society break down. In 1976, before moving to the Inland Northwest, he and his wife authored and published The Survivor's Primer & Up-dated Retreater's Bibliography.
When country leaders fail to stop a nuclear war or a mad scientist spreads an airborne virus that can turn every living being into a flesh-eating zombie, a perfectly shielded underground place filled with complete amenities is exactly where everyone would want to be trapped into. Surprisingly, such dreamy, luxurious, and sci-fi-like underground bunkers exist in different parts of the world.

FEMA, the FCC, and NOAA’s vision for improving the EAS is incremental, which means testing the readiness and effectiveness of the EAS as it currently exists today is the first step. A more effective and functional EAS requires continual testing to identify necessary improvements so that all levels of the system can better serve our communities and deliver critical information that will save lives and property.
Thanks for the tips! I was actually thinking of doing a post on this but tweaking it to fit ranches. We had a major freeze this year that left us without power for over a week, and the freeze burnt our pump so we couldn't water. We also had several major wildfires that left us without cell service b/c a tower was disabled. I was totally unprepared. I thought we were going to lose everything in our freezer, I couldn't wash clothes or dishers (not a great experience if you have a house full of kids) and no way to communicate with anyone. And that is when a friend recommended your site. It's been so helpful! I think in addition to your list, one could also use a HAM radio or emergency radio, a solar pump if you have a well, and alternative light sources.
Atlas Survival Shelters takes pride in finishing out your shelter to the means you are used to living in your home. Any wood materials used in an Atlas Shelter is either a hard wood or kiln-dried to ensure longevity. Making a shelter feel like you’re in the county jail takes away the normality you would need to survive long term underground in a survival shelter.

With nearly 90 percent of our critical infrastructure in private hands – most of it interconnected – intelligence top brass said there is a  growing crisis that requires government and private companies to work  together. “We are in a crisis mode,” Department of Homeland Security  Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told those gathered for the summit. “A Cat 5  hurricane has been forecast, and we must prepare.”


Rice. This is an old standby. It can form the base of many tasty and nutritious meals. Be aware that although it requires no processing, it does require quite a bit of water to cook. It is most economical to buy rice in 40 lb bags and repackage it into buckets yourself, a 5 gallon bucket will hold a 40lb bag. For a bit more you can find rice sold pre-sealed in buckets from a number of sources.
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