In the past, survival shelters were something that many homeowners across the country just didn’t see the need for.
However, as modern day threats continuously seem to grow and evolve, many homeowners find themselves wanting to safeguard both themselves and their families in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Whether you want to be prepared against the threat of nuclear pollution or you simply want to have a shelter to wait out in during a storm, having a safe spot that you will be able to go should be a priority for you and your family to have – and one of the best places that you can create a survival shelter is in the basement.
With all that being said, if you are interested in building a survival shelter in your basement but you’re not sure how, rest assured you’re in the right place.
In this day and age – it’s becoming increasingly more common for homeowners to want to convert their basement or cellar into a survival shelter – and the good news is that we are here to show you how you can do it.
Below, we are going to be sharing with you 8 simple tips that will allow you to turn your basement into a survival shelter.
Regardless of whether you have a large basement or a smaller-sized cellar, this article will show you how to safe proof your family and create a survival base.
So, without further ado, just read on!
How To Build A Survival Shelter In 8 Steps?
Step One: Ensure The Basement Is Structurally Sound
First things first, before you think about doing anything else – you are first going to need to make sure that the basement is structurally sound!
It is very important that you ensure to do this, as it will make sure that the foundation and overheard components of your basement or cellar will not break in the event of a disaster such as a storm.
If you find that any area of your basement is not sound, then this will mean that it will be unfit for use as a survival shelter as it is.
To help correct this issue, we recommend that you hire a team of contractors to help fix the problem and ensure that every area of your basement or cellar is going to be structurally sound.
The last thing that you want to do is to invest money into creating a survival spot, only to find that the basement is unfit for you to use.
Along with this, we also recommend that you take the time to check whether or not there are any areas of your basement that have damp spots or mold growing.
It is very important that you make this a priority as, in the event of a disaster or emergency, you might find yourself having to spend time in your survival shelter for days or even weeks.
As mold and damp has the potential to release toxic spores into the air, being exposed to mold or damp for a prolonged period of time can pose a huge health hazard, so it’s important to make sure that you are getting rid of it.
While it might not be possible to get rid of dampness in your basement completely (it is very common for basements to experience dampness) the good news is that there are a variety of products that you can use to help get rid of the majority of it.
We recommend that you use a moisture removing product or mildew remover, and you can find these types of products at your local grocery store!
As a side note here, if you find that your basement is just not fit for use due to structural or severe damp issues, then you can consider opting to build an underground bunker if you have the space in your backyard.
Besides being a lot more affordable than a survival shelter, an underground bunker offers the ability to expand as you establish your survival plan more and more, so they are also a lot more versatile, too.
Step Two: Consider The Air Quality
After you have taken the time to consider whether or not your basement is going to be structurally sound, the next thing that you are going to need to do is to consider the air quality!
While this one should certainly go without saying, we still think that it is important to highlight as, if you are going to be potentially spending days to weeks (or even months in some rare instances) in your survival shelter – you’re going to need to make sure that you are going to be able to breathe safely down there, too.
With that being said, first things first, you are going to need to make sure that you are ensuring all areas of your basement are air tight.
It is important that you ensure all areas of your basement are completely airtight as in the event of something such as a nuclear fallout – you will need to make sure that your basement is secure to prevent any air contamination.
After you have then taken the time to make sure that your basement is airtight, you will then need to move onto purifying the air.
As your basement is a small, contained area – you are going to need to make sure that you are finding a way to both purify the air inside your basement as well as being able to restore the air inside the basement.
One of the easiest and most affordable ways that you will be able to do this is by keeping houseplants inside your basement, as well as using oxygen concentrators to help purify the air inside your basement.
Along with this, we also recommend that you use something that is known as activated carbon filters, which are one of the best filters that you can use for keeping your air quality pure and fresh.
Step Three: Find A Reliable Source Of Water
Along with making sure that you are using the right air filters, it is also just as important to make sure that you are also finding a reliable source of water – especially when you consider that you might have to spend a prolonged amount of time in your survival shelter in the event of a disaster or emergency (Check out How To Desalinate Water For Survival).
Even though it might seem tempting to do so, it is recommended that you refrain from opting to use water from your municipal piping, as in the event of a disaster – these might be contaminated or even cut off.
Instead, it is highly important that you instead opt to stock up on plenty of water that will last you for at least 2-3 months.
You might also want to consider the moisture that is already going to be in the air of your basement.
There are many different products that you can use to help filter the moisture in the air so that it can then be used as drinking water or cleaning water, and these include things like a fan or a desiccant.
Keep in mind that with these tools, you will also have the option of retrieving water from leftover food, cooking and even urine.
Step Four: Stock Up On Food Storage Containers
Here’s another factor to keep in mind when building your very own survival shelter: food containers!
When it comes to building a survival shelter, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are stocking up on plenty of food storage containers. Why?
Well, if you are going to be spending time in your basement survival shelter, there’s a good chance that you might have to be in there for a prolonged period of time.
Even if you are able to fish/hunt, you’re going to want to make sure that you have enough food storage containers to not only keep all of your food organized in, but to keep fresh and edible for the longest amount of time that it possibly can be.
Step Five: Create A Food Produce Plan
Along with making sure that you are able to successfully turn your basement into a survival shelter, you’re also going to need to make sure that you are taking the time to create a plan of how you are going to be able to sustain yourself and your family for the duration of time that you spend within it.
Along with stocking up on food (we recommend opting for as many canned options as you can, as these offer a much longer shelf life) we also recommend that you consider whether or not it is going to be possible for you to grow your own food and produce.
If you’re in a pinch or have limited resources to be able to grow your own food, we recommend that you consider growing your own mushrooms.
Fungi grows extremely easily in dark, cold places (so your basement fits the criteria perfectly) and it is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of different ways.
There are eleven types of mushrooms (You might want to check out Edible Vs Poisonous Mushrooms – What Is The Difference?) that already come with pre-seeded spores, which means that you will be able to grow them at a much faster rate and with far less effort.
Another common survival option that many people use is opting to eat sprouts.
Essentially, this is when you grow certain types of plants and then eat the sprouts after just a few days old.
Of course, while this method is something that you might not necessarily need to go down, if you are running low on food sources – this is a great option to keep in mind and will help to sustain you.
Step Six: Consider Sanitation And Hygiene
When creating your survival shelter, it is very important to make sure that you are making this step a priority.
Sanitation and hygiene are extremely important when spending time in a contained area, especially if there is going to be a group of you.
Make sure that you have a designated area for cleaning, as well as plenty of hand sanitizer, soap and other cleaning products.
Along with making sure that you are regularly cleaning your survival shelter as well as making sure that there is a designated area for getting clean, we also recommend that you make the investment into either a portable toilet or a compostable toilet (You might also want to check out How To Make A Quick And Easy DIY Toilet For Camping).
These types of toilets will allow you to go to the toilet while also being able to easily and safely dispose of waste.
It is highly important that you make sure that you have one of these toilets, as human waste can be very dangerous if not disposed of correctly, and will greatly impact your living conditions if you are unable to dispose of it properly.
Step Seven: Insulate The Basement
Last but certainly not least, when you are setting up your survival shelter – it is also very important to make sure that you are sorting out temperature control.
You should make sure that you are adding a layer of insulation into your basement so that you can stay warm, while also making sure that you have fans and an AC unit in the event that you begin to overheat inside your survival shelter.
Along with this, we also recommend that you ensure to install a layer of insulation into your survival shelter, as this will also serve as a sound barrier, too (Check out How To Insulate A Tent For Winter Camping).
In the event of a disaster, anyone left above will search basements and cellars for safety as well as to see if there is any food or useful items inside.
For this reason, it is recommended that you try and stay as quiet as possible to prevent anyone from trying to get inside.
Step Eight: Make It Homely
Of course, even though it is very important to make sure that you are following all of the above steps, it is also important to make sure that you are making your survival shelter comfortable and homely.
In the event that you need to use your survival shelter for any reason, you and your family are going to have a much better experience if you are able to make it feel cozy and homely – especially during an emergency when times can feel scary or uncertain.
We recommend bringing down beds, a “living room” area, a cleaning spot and cooking spot to help emulate the feel of your home.
If you have the space, we also recommend that you create designated spots for every person that is going to be inside the survival shelter.
Not only will this help to ensure that your survival shelter is organized, but it will also help to make sure that each person inside the survival shelter has their own area where they can go and enjoy some privacy.
In addition to this, we also recommend that you stock up on some entertainment that you and your family will be able to enjoy and busy yourselves with during the time that you may be required to stay inside your survival shelter.
If you are going to be using electricity, you could consider bringing a TV down into your survival shelter so that you and your family will be able to watch movies, TV shows or even play video games if you have a gaming console.
In addition to bringing a TV down into your survival shelter, we also recommend that you stock up on plenty of books (trust us, you’ll be glad that you did it) as well as board games, card games and other forms of entertainment that will not require the addition of electricity in the event that you lose it.
There we have it! You have made it to the end of our guide for creating a survival shelter out of your basement.
Now that you have taken the time to read through all of the above, we are hoping that you are feeling a lot more confident about how you can go about turning your basement or cellar into a survival shelter.
By following these steps that we have shared with you above, you should find that you are able to create your own survival shelter, regardless of your price point or basement size.
Thanks for reading, and stay safe!