To me, there’s no question serious survivalists should consider installing an underground bunker on their properties. It’s just a no-brainer. Packed under the earth, a sturdy shelter provides an ample defense against a wide range of potential threats. Minimizing the chances you’re hurt in a natural disaster like a tornado or a hurricane, or even man-made threats that put the lives of you and your family at risk.
But even more than the protection a bunker offers, is how well it’s hidden. Once you’re inside, you are rather vulnerable to anyone who is knocking on the other side of your bunker doors. They can trap you inside, sabotage your air and water systems, and generally make life for those inside the bunker extremely miserable. Maybe they’re just trying to break in and steal whatever supplies you have, or maybe they want to claim your bunker for their own use. Whatever it is, the best defense is to keep your bunker well hidden. If the bad guys can’t find it in the first place, then you’re in the clear. Here’s how to do it.
Consider the front door
For starters, comes the front door. The access point into your bunker. Depending on your setup, you’ve likely got a set of stairs leading underground, or a manhole cover and pipe that leads down to your bunker. No matter what, this needs to be concealed. What we did was install a small garden shed on top of our bunker, and the access point is hidden in the base of a cupboard inside. To anyone not thinking there’s a hidden bunker underneath, they’d never notice the hinged bottom that lifts to reveal the manhole entry point below. If that’s not possible for you, you could also use camouflage netting, or encourage natural greenery to grow and provide some level of obstruction to the doorway. Just make sure it’s safe, and not an open pit for yourself, or your kids to accidentally fall into.
Consider the vent pipes
Running power, water, gas and air into your bunker is no small feat, and while you can bury many of these pipes underground, the one that is key is your air. You will need adequate ventilation, which means a pipe sticking up out of the ground. I’ve seen these turned into garden features as a way to hide their true nature, like a bird feeder or a statue. But what we did was simply incorporate it into the garden shed, so it looks just like a simple ventilation pipe coming out the roof of the toolshed. It’s pleasantly surprising just how well this works, to anyone not paying attention they’d never guess what the true use was for. Plus it means we’ve got plenty of air circulating in our bunker below.
Consider the shelter roof
One area many survivalists forget to protect is the view from the sky. Unfortunately, burying a large structure underground can change how that bit of your yard looks from the air, and the last thing you want is bombers targeting your bunker because it’s obvious what it is if there’s anyone watching from the sky. You need to encourage the grass and plants to regrow over the bunker, or use camouflage netting so it’s indistinguishable from the surrounding area. We’ve got a greenhouse and gardens growing above ours, and while I was initially concerned about seepage and any additional water that might flow in because of it, we’re deep enough that this doesn’t seem to matter at all. And from the sky, you’d never even know what our greenhouse was actually shielding from view.
Consider the structure
In the wild, anything that’s man made or constructed in either a circle, square or a rectangular shape can stick out like a sore thumb. There’s also radar scanning tools that can be deployed in drones to identify any hidden structures. I see this as a real risk, and it’s one of the reasons that our greenhouse sits on top of it. More than just giving us a bit of shelter when we’re coming and going from the entrance in the shed (in case anyone is watching the property), I see drone threats a real risk when the SHTF. Cheap and capable of covering vast distances in just a few minutes, the bad guys who have half a brain will be scouting out targets from the sky before even venturing onto a property. By sticking a greenhouse over our bunker, hopefully we’ll fool anyone who is looking. And plus, we needed to build it anyway, as part of our sustainable living plans, and the freshly laid slab of concrete set above our bunker provided a great base for the foundation.
Consider a decoy shelter
Finally, and this one is a bit wild but we did this for the kids so it was a bit of fun. It’s the construction of a “fake” shelter. We’ve done all we can with OPSEC to keep our prepping under wraps, but you never know when you’re going to slip up. So with that in mind we’ve built a second shelter in a more exposed location on our property. It’s quite obvious when I look at it, but many of our guests have failed to see it. And inside it’s pretty-well equipped as a backup. There’s some food stored, a small kitchenette and beds, even a few defensive items like pepper spray, so and for all-intents and purposes looks just like the real thing. But it’s a fraction of the size of our proper bunker. In a SHTF situation this decoy shelter gives us the ability to “fool” anyone who may venture onto our property that it’s been pillaged already, so they don’t continue looking any deeper.
There’s no point investing in an underground bunker if you’re not taking adequate steps to hide it from view. Otherwise you’ve just constructed a fancy tomb for yourself when the bad guys turn up at your door. Follow this advice and make sure no one can find your underground bunker, and you’ll be safe to ride out whatever crisis comes your way.