When a storm comes your way, or worse, a tornado or true SHTF scenario, it goes without saying that you will need to take shelter. For the truly self-reliant individual, this means creating shelter. While above ground structures are a decent idea for riding out some situations, large flying pieces of debris or serious winds could blow it right off its foundation. For this reason, underground shelters are preferable. Below are some thoughts, pros and cons, on two separate DIY shelter ideas. Keep in mind that to fully complete the construction of either of these models, you will need great deal of planning as well the help of others.
Burying a school bus for use as a fallout shelter is a somewhat common idea among preppers. While the easy access and the low cost of purchasing an old bus is alluring to those who seek to develop this kind of SHTF shelter, there are other things one must take into account. Issues become access, drainage, moisture and (similar to using a storage container in the same manner) adequate ventilation. As a temporary tornado or storm shelter, using a bus is not a bad idea. But as a long term livable shelter, not so much.
Most folks, when they think about creating a solid fallout or storm shelter, immediately take large storage containers into account. This makes sense. Burying a storage/shipping container is fast, somewhat inexpensive, and simple. That isn’t to say it doesn’t take a great deal of hard work, but 20’ and even 40’ storage containers are not difficult to come by. They go for about $1,500 used, and can be found in all conditions. Some even come fully customized to suit living situations in a SHTF scenario (those are a bit pricier though). The drawbacks of burying a storage container are rooted in proper airflow, and taking into account the weight of the soil you’re burying it in. Heavy soil can cause the sides of a container to curb. Remember, shipping containers are designed to carry weight in their corners. One way of reinforcing a buried container is by pouring concrete forms to support the weight of the earth pressing against its sides. A more economical way to reinforce the container would be to use Gabion baskets.