How To Reinforce a Shipping Container To Bury It (EMP proof)

Thomas Mitchell
By Thomas Mitchell March 2, 2018 10:29

How To Reinforce a Shipping Container To Bury It (EMP proof)

EMPs are potentially one of the most destructive weapons that could be used against today’s society. Just a single nuclear bomb detonated at high altitude over a major city could wipe out all electronics for potentially thousands of miles around.

If you find yourself the victim of an EMP attack, you’re likely going to be living in the dark ages for quite a while. All the skills that came so naturally to our ancestors like hunting, fishing, trapping, and growing food will have to be sharpened, if not re-learned completely. So, here are 5 things you need to do when there’ll be no rule of law.

We often lose track of just how many machines and services run on electricity nowadays. Almost every aspect of modern life is influenced or controlled by electronics, and they’re all vulnerable – so life after an electromagnetic pulse attack would be a lot different from what we’re used to.

Long distance communication would be difficult, if not impossible. So, here’s how to make a tin can directional WiFi antenna to extend your communication after an EMP. Similar to life in an Amish community, we would have to start over from scratch and make do with only mechanical tools.

That is of course unless you’re able to store a disassembled, complete electrical power generation system for your home inside something like a Faraday cage.

What does it take to defend against an EMP?

A Faraday cage is an enclosed space that is completely shielded from the effects of an EMP – whether that be a small box covered with aluminum foil, or an entire shipping container fortified to withstand an EMP attack.

Obviously, if you want to fit something as big as a home electrical generation system inside of your Faraday cage, you need a big space to do it in.

You could store electronics you don’t want to be compromised in it as well, but without the ability to generate your own electricity these devices won’t do you much good.

Thus, you need a buried shipping container big enough to accommodate such a system, and the right reinforcements to keep everything inside protected from an EMP.

How Exactly Should I Reinforce My Shipping Container?

The fact that your shipping container is already a few inches in the ground already means that it’s grounded. It needs to be grounded so the EMP will flow through the soil with the least resistance, the same way a lightning strike would. Being grounded will also help remove potential stray fields that could be present.

Depending on what the shipping container is made out of, you won’t need to do a whole lot of sealing up. You’ll likely want to flip it upside down though. The roof is thicker than the floor, and you want a thicker floor to prevent warping of the container when it settles in the ground.

Once it’s in the ground you can fill it up with the electronics that you want to protect. The shipping container itself should work as long as it’s sealed up, but if you want to you can nest some containers inside.

Nesting is similar to Russian nesting dolls, except with Faraday cages. It’s putting cages inside of cages inside of cages. Ammunition boxes work for this, as well as microwaves and metal trashcans with sealed lids.

For sealing up the doors, some people choose to simply create a stainless steel or copper mesh wall over the door. This can then be easily broken down once you need to get back into the container.

You could also choose to solder the door shut completely which would be the safest option, but likely unnecessary. Door seals made of copper braiding will also do the trick.

One thing to remember about storing stuff inside your shipping container is that all the items need to be kept away from the metal walls. The walls of a Faraday cage exposed to EMP will carry a pretty substantial current while the pulse lasts, and anything in contact with them is probably going to get damaged. The floor counts as well, so you’ll want to lay down some thick carpet or rugs.

Buying a shipping container with a wooden floor would also work, as long as nothing inside is touching the metal of your container.

Things to Remember

It’s not necessary to use a full shipping container as a Faraday cage unless you intend to use all of that space. As stated before, using it to store a full disassembled power generation system is your best bet if you want to have electricity after an EMP attack.

It’s also a good idea to store something like a motorcycle or a four-wheeler in one of these. You could even store a full truck or car in yours, but a motorcycle or similar sized vehicle will take up much less space.

Related: 12 Essential Things You Can Scavenge from Cars when SHTF

If you intend to solder your doors shut, make sure you have the right tools to get it open in case of an EMP attack.

There’s a quick and easy test to see if your container is completely EMP proof. Simply place a cell phone inside the container, and close it up. Then as you’re standing outside the container, call your cell phone from another phone. Place your ear to the container and see if you can hear it ringing.

If you CAN hear it ringing, your container will NOT protect your electronics from an EMP. If you can’t hear it working, there’s a good chance your container is EMP proof.

This isn’t completely foolproof but it’s the only way to test your container without setting off an actual EMP.

EMP attacks can be destructive and downright deadly if used on a wide enough scale. In order to protect your electronics from an attack, you’ll need a Faraday cage.

Placing a shipping container in the ground and sealing it up completely works as an excellent Faraday cage. It’s naturally grounded, and large enough to store very important items like vehicles or self-generating power equipment.

In event of an attack, you will likely be the only one around for miles with any working electrical equipment, which puts you and your family at a huge advantage in an area that’s been plunged back into the dark ages.

You may also like:

Emergency Bag to Keep in Your Car in Case of an EMP

You Will Not Survive An EMP Strike Without This (video)

The First Steps You Should Take Immediately After a CME

US Official Procedures Before SHTF. How to Know Before It Hits

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Thomas Mitchell
By Thomas Mitchell March 2, 2018 10:29
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  1. peter March 2, 15:14

    the title is “How To Reinforce a Shipping Container To Bury It” but it does not tell you How To Reinforce a Shipping Container To Bury It???

    Reply to this comment
    • Briar April 12, 01:19


      Reply to this comment
    • vocalpatriot April 13, 03:50

      you do NOT want to bury a shipping container…Period.
      Don’t do it.

      Reply to this comment
      • Enigma April 14, 13:35

        VocalPatriot is correct. Use soil-cement or concrete instead.

        One way to bury a shipping container (or a semi-trailer) is to first cast a concrete shell, then insert your container inside. Settling moist earth crushes side walls and roof of any ordinary shipping container.

        If there’s a natural large and deep overhang or cave, a container or containers may be parked inside. Realizing however that an earthquake or nearby nuclear detonation may truly bury/crush your container(s).

        May expand minds to visit 1700s and 1800s vintage coastal forts and examine how those bunkers, magazines, and gun-chambers got constructed. Usually there are such forts near the mouths of bays, such as Mobile Bay.

        Reply to this comment
  2. mszip March 2, 16:30

    Good article with lots of good info, but data does not address subject title. No info given on how to reinforce container, just how to use it as a faraday cage.

    Reply to this comment
    • Armin March 2, 17:10

      Hi, mszip. Reinforcing a shipping container shouldn’t that difficult if we try to keep it simple and not bury the container too deeply. By the photograph at the beginning of the article the container is just beneath the soil. Personally what I would do is build a strong wooden frame around it first using at LEAST 4X4’s and then lay a two block thick layer around it using something like concrete blocks. In other words the concrete block system would be laid in such a manner that it would be self supporting (two blocks thick) and resting against the frame system against the container itself. The wooden frame would be a buffer against any shocks the earth itself could throw against it and the concrete blocks would provide the strength to resist any earth movement. Sound good? Let me know. Have a great day. 🙂

      Reply to this comment
      • Al March 2, 22:54

        you are missing the point about burying it in the first place.
        During an EMP Thousands of amperes of electric current will pass thru the metal for the short duration of the pulse. It needs the best possible ground contact to safely shunt the current away into the earth and not radiate into the interior. placing cinder blocks or wooden frames defeats the ground.

        Reply to this comment
        • Armin March 3, 02:47

          Hi, Al. No I don’t think I am missing the point. It was very early in the morning when I was writing this and I was just throwing some thoughts out about it. I don’t know that much about emp but what I’ve heard is that it produces quite a high voltage but not much amperage. That’s why you really don’t need much insulation on the inside of your faraday cage. If you would have read further along on the page you would have seen that I developed my concept to include a thick ground wire connected between the container and a grounding rod buried deeply in the soil. Even in this first draft I said nothing about putting cinder blocks under the container And even if I would have put concrete blocks under the container it would still provide quite an adequate ground between the container itself and ground. You misunderstood what I wrote and instead of jumping on my case so quickly, a little bit more constructive criticism would have been more helpful. In the first draft the wooden frame would be on the sides and the concrete blocks on the outside of the wooden frame to provide compressive strength against earth movement and the wood to help absorb sudden shocks. And the more that I thought about it my final concept would include a bed of gravel under the container to help combat moisture. The container itself painted with zinc oxide to help combat corrosion and enclosed in a fairly heavy timber frame. Then on the outside (not underneath!) of that frame a double course of concrete blocks to provide the strength to push back against the earth. And of course the grounding cable running between the outside of the container and a grounding rod. And of course some kind of insulation on the inside of the container. That’s only my humble opinion on how I would do it and every one is entitled to build things any way they wish. I’m not going to argue with someone that just wants to pull me down. Have a great day! 🙂 As regards EMP created by a nuclear weapon what I get from the article is that the first component of the blast produces the most damage when the pulse produces an electrical current which INDUCES a substantially high voltage in LONG CONDUCTORS. The longer the conductor the more voltage produced in that conductor which means that if some fool were actually to explode a “proper” emp weapon over North America then all the high-voltage transmission lines would have the potential to produce crippling voltages. What I don’t know is if the alternating current running through those cables would actually be able to at least partially negate the effects of the emp blast. The only saving grace is that the first component of the pulse that causes the most damage is VERY quick. The pulse typically peaks in about 5 nanoseconds. Then drops off to half strength in about 200 nanoseconds and after about 1000 nanoseconds it’s all over but the crying. Apparently cell phones are small enough that they will survive. And also because a metal container doesn’t look anything like a long conductor there should not be the extremely high voltages induced in it by the blast. But I’m sure the voltages would still be high enough to damage electronics that were touching the bare metal sides of the container. Which as preppers we would all be smart enough to avoid. 🙂

          Reply to this comment
  3. Armin March 2, 16:55

    That’s a good article, Michael. I’ve thought about shipping containers for a along time.

    Reply to this comment
    • Buddy March 27, 14:42

      You can bury if you pour concrete walls..
      use the container itself as an inside form. BRACE the inner wall while you pour!
      Just like bracing the outer form that you’ll have to build.
      Rebar or fiber filled concrete.
      Set it on a poured concrete slab that’s wide enough to hold the new walls.
      cap with concrete ..
      Depending on how deep you’ll bury.. will determine how thick the concrete will need to be.
      To minimize the thickness of concrete you can reinforce the walls with beams and bracing.
      But.. that’s just going to take up space and probably cost more than you might think.

      Install grounding points into the concrete. Maybe a grounding rod or two.

      Build all inside boxes on wooden racks with no nails. Glue and ties to be a buffer.

      Maybe wealing one door solid unless you have a car or truck in it. This way you only have to concern yourself with sealing up one door

      Also.. build a small cage in the house to put a hand full of radios inside. This way you can keep a few always sealed while you’re using one. Incase there are more than one emp..


      We will make it.

      God will come again.

      Lastly.. do not use a smart phone 🙂

      Ditch it!

      Reply to this comment
  4. left coast chuck March 2, 17:10

    For many of the readers of this site, having enough room on one’s property to have a storage container is a problem in itself. I would think that more of the readers of this sit live in an urban setting with limited lots mostly taken up with our homes. I would certainly love to own 40 acres in an unincorporated area where I could successfully ignore building codes and build what I desired without seeking the imprimatur of the local building department. Then there is real life.

    I would agree with Peter and Mizip, the article does not address the headline. Here is a suggestion: Lay wooden flooring and put in studs. I would suggest glueing them to the sides of the container. I would suggest 12 inch centers as opposed to the standard 16″ centers. The reason why I suggest glueing the studs to the walls of the container is so that the metal of the container walls remain intact and unperforated. Before I buried the container, I have it covered with automobile undercoating to preserve the skin, unless it was an aluminum container, in which case that would be unnecessary. I would finish the inside with 3/8 or half inch plywood. That would help insulate the inside. I would also make sure there was significant drainage around the container in the ground to keep the soil from collapsing the container as we have seen in another article on this site.

    All of the above is just the way I would approach it. Someone with experience in installing septic tanks, underground propane tanks or other such items might be able to offer more direct experience as I have no experience in buying large metal object. What I have outlined is the approach I would take if I were unable to obtain professional advice.

    Reply to this comment
    • Armin March 2, 17:27

      I like the idea about auto undercoating. I would suggest one step further and that is to spray the entire container with zinc oxide before burying it. They use zinc oxide in the airplane industry to resist corrosion so there must be something to it. 🙂

      Reply to this comment
      • lc65 March 2, 20:59

        These containers are made of special corrosion resistant steel. They are transported on the decks of ships across oceans.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck March 2, 23:11

          That is quite true, however I am a suspenders and belt kind of guy and some soils are quite acidic, so a protective coating just puts a pair of suspenders on the trousers already adorned with a belt.

          Reply to this comment
          • Ckkiescout March 3, 02:51

            Chuck, the Undercoating would be great except that it defeats the grounding effect of the metal to earth contact. I do like your idea of installing a stud & skin system & I have had some limited experience with buried containers, Most shipping containers do have wooden floors so unless you got one of the few solid metal ones I would not turn the container upside down. I don’t know but I believe that a container even with a wooden floor buried should protect the contents. I base this on the fact that the EMP will be coming mostly from above & the sides plus the bottom would have the earth ground to help protect it. I know I am laying myself open to be torn apart but I am a big boy so bring it on.

            Reply to this comment
            • Armin March 3, 04:18

              Seriously, scout? They do have wooden floors, not metal ones? That’s a revelation. If they just have wooden floors and they’re stored on the deck of a ship in heavy seas wouldn’t that wooden floor let in water and flood whatever is stored inside?

              Reply to this comment
              • Cookiescout March 3, 14:39

                I have had to make repairs to several over the years & they do have plywood floors. It is marine grade about 1-1 1/4” thick. They have metal cross members & removing sections of the floor is tough. They are put together very tightly to prevent the water logging you mentioned.

                Reply to this comment
              • Pre-prepper May 31, 00:18

                the wood deck inside sits on the metal framing

                Reply to this comment
              • Gramma May 31, 02:02

                Hi Armin,

                A shipping container is constructed of metal. As you can see from the exterior view, the metal is corrugated. Inside, a wooden floor rests on the bottom of the container, against the corrugated metal.

                However, this wooden insert is treated to resist moisture and bugs including fungus. We have two 40s on our property, and they have a warning sticker inside the doors:
                “Use only with adequate ventilation. Avoid prolonged exposure.”

                In Beirut, we always propped open the doors… and the rust holes appearing after a few days helped move more air. So there is that.

                Reply to this comment
            • Armin March 3, 04:35

              I think I misunderstood you, Scout. What you’re saying is that these shipping containers do have a VERY solid metal floor to support all the weight that can be loaded into it but laid on top of that metal floor is a wooden floor which is not connected to it in any way so that if you did want to turn one of these upside down you would first have to take out the wooden floor. Have I got this right now?

              Reply to this comment
              • Cookiescout March 3, 14:46

                No, they only have metal cross members & the floors are very solidly attached. They are thick marine grade plywood & sealed very well to prevent leaking on the sea crossings.

                Reply to this comment
                • Armin March 4, 15:31

                  Thank you for that, scout. I appreciate the info. Learn something new every day. Who would have thought that the floors of those shipping containers were mostly wood. THANK YOU! So then we forget about flipping them upside down. And if we do want to bury them against an emp attack then we have to take the wooden floor and the weak top into account. OY VEY! LOL! This is getting more complicated by the minute. I was just thinking, scout, as I was writing this. If we did want to make something like a faraday cage out of these containers and they already have a wooden floor designed for sea voyages would it not be just as easy to lay something like aluminum sheet metal on the floors connected to the metal sides of the container even with something like conductive tape and then make sure the doors are also electrically sealed? I have another question, scout, and that is if there are doors at either end of these containers or if one end is sealed and just one door at one end? Again, thanks for sharing your info and have a great day! 🙂

                  Reply to this comment
                  • Cookiescout March 4, 18:36

                    I am still not totally convinced that the floor would have to be lined since it will be buried & most of the radiation will be coming from the top & sides but why take a chance. The light aluminum or galvanized sheeting should work fine but why not go ahead & either put an angle iron or break a lip on the edge of the sheeting & screw it in rather than tape?
                    Doors, They come both ways, some have doors on each end but most do not. They are hinged on both sides with the normally double cam lock latches. Most of the containers that you get now are disposables. They are built for one trip because it is cheaper to build a new one than ship them back. This means they are not as ruggedly made as the older ones & unless they are owned by one of the major shipping companies like SEA LAND they don’t go to the expense.
                    Like has been mentioned before, all their strength is in the corners & a little less in the floors. The tops & sides have much less comparatively. Since that is the case they can’t be buried very deep & if they are being buried I would reinforce them from the inside. If this is done with wood this would take care of the insulation for the inside also. Hope you are getting something out of all this.

                    Reply to this comment
                    • Armin March 5, 15:03

                      I am, scout. And exactly, why take the chance if going to all the trouble to safely bury one of those puppies. I’ve heard strange things about emp radiation and who knows how it reflects once through the first few inches of soil. Thank you for taking the time to explain it to me. Most of us, especially once we get into the 70’s and 80’s know quite a bit but obviously can’t know everything so I’m always grateful when someone like you takes the time to explain things to us. I’m always willing to learn as long as someone is willing to teach. Have a great day and thank you! 🙂

                  • Carter March 8, 01:05

                    Bury a magnesium anode bag with water in a hole beside the container, which will help protect against rusting for 20-30 years. connect the wire from the bag directly to the container on a good shiny surface. They can be purchased from most all propane companies who bury tanks. I’m a propane and oil service tech and they are not that expensive. You dont really need any kind of reason for purchase either.

                    Reply to this comment
            • Pre-prepper May 31, 00:20

              the undercoating only prevents water and moisture

              Reply to this comment
              • Rev Buck May 31, 01:33

                Hi Pre-Prepper,

                You are correct about undercoating. It reduces / slows corrosion. But the things still rust inside from humidity caused by cooking, showers, and breathing.

                Ventilation is essential. Air movement (aka ‘wind’) from fans or convection does the trick to extend their usable / safe life, but that is still too short compared to properly-engineered concrete.

                On the Pacific coast of north America near Frisco, Fort Cronkite stands solid after seven decades.

                Mediterranean concrete stands solid after centuries.

                Burying a shipping container? That wouldn’t be my first choice.

                Reply to this comment
          • Frenchy March 3, 12:55

            Haha good call there belt suspender man!

            Reply to this comment
        • Armin March 3, 02:56

          I understand that IC. But here we’re talking about burying that same metal container in the ground which is a much different environment than on the deck of some ship where even though they regularly get soaked the water is able to wash off of them. I would rather err on the side of caution. Especially after going to all the effort and expense to bury one of those suckers. The new shipping containers are quite pristine but after a number of years they DO get quite rusty. I know this from personal experience. Doesn’t hurt to go to the trouble to add that one extra layer of protection whether it is some kind of undercoating as Chuck suggests or my idea to paint it with zinc oxide.

          Reply to this comment
      • Tom January 14, 21:39

        Zinc oxide works great and repels tust. Welded pieces of 1/2 inch angle iron every two feet sides and top will make this bunker last a long time. It will strengthen the structure for bunkers use. A good steel door and escape tunnel and off you go?

        Reply to this comment
  5. left coast chuck March 2, 17:14

    Darn it, I wish I could teach myself to proofread before I hit send.

    Please note the following errata in my original post: “Readers of this site. . .”

    “”I have no experience in burying large metal objects . . .”

    Reply to this comment
    • Armin March 2, 17:23

      Hi, Chuck. Don’t worry so much about little spelling mistakes. We CAN forgive those. They’re not that important. What’s more Important is the message and as long as we can understand that we’re good to go. 🙂

      Reply to this comment
  6. Armin March 2, 17:17

    The only other thing I would mention is that if you want to use a metal container as a Faraday cage then you HAVE to remember to insulate the INSIDE of the container as eddy currents will be generated in the walls of your container in the case of EMP. As something as large as a shipping container I would think even half inch plywood would work. Hope this helps. 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  7. lc65 March 2, 17:35

    “……You’ll likely want to flip it upside down though. The roof is thicker than the floor, and you want a thicker floor to prevent warping of the container when it settles in the ground…..” Seems to me the roof not buckling under load is more important than the floor warping due to settling.
    No info on reinforcing, Since I am a structrural engineer, I can figure it out myself though.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Armin March 2, 17:40

    Sorry, guys. I keep thinking about more things as I’m writing these thoughts down. As regards reinforcing it I would first put in something like a two foot layer of compacted gravel to set the container on. It would give you contact with ground and drainage at the same time. And Chuck, I don’t think you would need to glue the wooden structure to the container itself. Just frame the container as you would frame a house. And thinking about that a little further I would first build a wooden floor to set the container on first as it would provide the rigidity and strength for the side walls. But still set the whole thing on a bed of gravel and run a thick ground wire from the container to a ground rod buried deeply in the ground. I’m sorry for the rambling bit this is more a stream of consciousness thing than anything else. I keep thinking of more things as I put my thoughts down on paper so to speak. And this, of course, works only works if you have more than just a suburban backyard.

    Reply to this comment
  9. doot() March 2, 19:06

    Your comment about flipping the container over because”the roof is thicker than the floor” are patently false. The roof of a shipping container will flex when walked on… And is not designed to be load bearing (the loads of the container are carried at it’s corners only). The floor, however is design to hold the 10’s of thousands of pounds of freight hauled within.. and is usually covered with 3/4 to 1″ plywood.. might want to learn about the containers before making false claims… Or better yet, actually build what you’re recommending others to build.

    Reply to this comment
    • Spike March 2, 23:10

      To the best of my knowledge, the wooden floors of a shipping container are just that…wooden. That will not stop an EMP, especially it they are flipped upside down.

      I will look into building a faraday cage of chicken wire(all 6 sides) within another building.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck March 2, 23:16

        We have six shipping containers at the local range and while I haven’t been inside all of them recently, my recollection is that the wooden floors are on top of the outside metal of the box. Most of the boxes I have seen have some kind of rails or feet on the bottom to make it easier to lift with a forklift or run cables under the box for crane lifting. Not all of our containers have wooden floors. Some are plain metal.

        Reply to this comment
        • Spike March 4, 02:30

          I checked my container that is maybe 20 years old?. It’s floor is wood over 4″ C channels on maybe 12″ centers. No solid steel to stop EMPs. Yes…not all of them have wood floors. Mine might had been made before they went to CorTen steel which is more resistant to salt water spray.

          Reply to this comment
      • Armin March 3, 03:22

        Hi, Spike. I would tend to think that the floor of a metal shipping container would also have to be made out of metal otherwise how would the whole thing hold together? A wooden floor on the inside of it also makes sense because of all the goods constantly going in and out of it. Much easier to replace a wooden floor than to do maintenance on a metal one. As for your idea about a faraday cage made of chicken wire apparently it doesn’t work as the damaging components of the pulse are small enough to easily go through something like chicken. You need something more solid like even aluminum foil. Or aluminum sheets. If you want to protect any of your smaller electronic components then get a metal garbage can and all you need to do is insulate the inside with some rubber matting. That would give you enough protection so that your electronics wouldn’t short out.

        Reply to this comment
        • Claude Davis March 4, 16:02

          Hi Armin. The strength of a shipping container is in the frame and floor; the sides and roof are mostly there to keep the elements out. Makers try to reduce weight there as much as possible because a heavier container means less load capacity. That’s why some (not all) of them have wooden floors. If you plan to bury one look for a solid steel floor, but my own feeling is that you don’t need to worry about warping or buckling too much – those frames are really tough.

          Reply to this comment
          • Armin March 5, 15:20

            Hi Claude. Thank you for that input. That’s what most others are saying on this page. So it’s no use planning to bury one of these things too deeply unless you want to go to an awful lot of extra expense. And like you say somewhere else on this page, the picture does show the container just below the soil. Not ten or twenty feet under. I have seen instances where they are using those containers stacked on top of each other for housing. Most notably in England. Cheap housing but it works. Also as someone else has mentioned that the neighbour’s container (in the open) was compromised just from some snow on the roof. Doesn’t look like they are meant for places that get a lot of snow because of the relative weakness of the roof. So for myself, up here in snowy Canada, I would most definitely have to take the weather into consideration if I actually wanted to bury one of those even just under the soil. Our igloos are great to live in because they’re basically a geodesic dome and nothing really fazes them. Warm in the winter and cool in the summer. LOL!

            Reply to this comment
      • Enigma April 14, 13:52

        Chicken wire mesh: That’s the cheap and practical way to create a Faraday Cage.

        If renovating a house for new (renewed?) occupancy, all drywall, paneling, floors, carpets, and ceiling materials may be removed, chicken wire used to cover all 6 sides, soldered/wired together, grounded via straps at multiple sites, and then interior surfaces replaced.

        However, henceforth nobody will be listening to radios, viewing antenna TVs, using WiFi, or using cell phones inside such a renovated structure. Not without external antennas and cables to conduct signals inside.

        Reply to this comment
    • Armin March 3, 03:12

      Thanks for that, Doot. Didn’t realize the rooves of those things were that weak, But it makes sense. Why go to the trouble and expense of beefing up the roof when you don’t need to. It IS the floor, after all, that carries all the weight. And when they stack them, they do so by interlocking the corners. So it’s the corners that are the strongest to take the most weight. So if we do bury those things then we have to find some way to protect the roof or if we do decide to flip them then some way to provide a stable base for what is now the bottom, which was the roof. And I’m assuming that the sides aren’t that strong either. Am I correct in my assumptions? You’ve just added another factor into this scenario which we will have to consider if shipping containers are the way to go.

      Reply to this comment
  10. george b March 2, 22:38

    The title of the article doesn’t match the information shared.

    The best way to reinforce a shipping container to to build walls inside that supports the side pressure from the dirt

    Reply to this comment
  11. peter March 2, 23:01

    I agree with doot() as a longshoreman I have walked on and in sea cans and the floor is stronger than the roof. as for you say; (You could also choose to solder the door shut completely which would be the safest option) Faraday cage the cage is made of wire mesh so you do not have to seal it air tight.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Big Boy in MO March 2, 23:49

    I’m not a structure engineer at all, but as a former Tool & Process Engineer in Aerospace and a Construction Contractor for the last 20 years I would highly encourage anyone wanting to bury a container to consult an Engineer due to possible “Life Safety issues”. Be Smart and Safe!!!

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 3, 00:13

      There is another article on burying containers and the article mainly deals with a collapsed container where the walls and roof were unable to resist the force of the earth on them and they buckled inward. Fortunately, no one was inside the container at the time or at least no injuries were reported in the article. Viewing the picture, it didn’t appear that the container completely collapsed but it sure was ruined. I think the suggestion of retaining a structural engineer is good advice if one is going to be burying a container in the ground. Even in the picture accompanying this article there is considerable dirt piled on top and on the sides of the container.

      How are ammo bunkers constructed? I have seen many pictures of ammo bunkers and I believe I have driven by bases where the ammo bunkers could be seen from the road. They all appear to be partially buried. Is it poured reinforced concrete or merely concrete block construction? How do they keep water from seeping into the bunker?

      Please don’t respond with guess work. If you have actually worked on construction of an ammo bunker that would be very helpful. Guessing at how they are most likely constructed — I can do that. Or I can look it up on Wikipedia.

      Reply to this comment
      • Big Boy in MO March 3, 00:24

        Having been a follower on the site for some time I respect your opinion and input, it has always been on point as is this time.

        Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck March 3, 00:27

        Well, here we go from Wikipedia — at least how the British did it in Hong Kong:
        Owing to their intended purpose, the Bunkers are located approximately 20 meters below ground with 1-meter thick concrete walls and 12-meter long entrance passages.

        Each bunker has been created in a similar design including an entrance corridor measuring 31 feet (9.4 m), an internal width of 24 feet (7.3 m) and a length of 40 feet (12.2 m), the only difference that some bunkers have is that they have an extra (false) brick wall inner-lining against the 1 meter thick wall since they had been planned for high explosive. The reason for this false wall’s construction is to reduce the potential impact of an internal explosion.
        The corridors are angled in an S-shape to turn aside the explosion wave of a possible burst of munitions. In addition, there are channels built into the corridor walls inclining from ceiling to floor at 45 degree angles. The purpose of these channels’ construction is to capture the blast wave of a burst and force them to descend onto the corridor floor at 90 degree angles to the side walls thus preventing the blast waves from exiting the passageways.
        A second smaller corridor which measures 1.25 meters in height and 50 cm in width can be found at the entrance to the bunker cavity. This smaller corridor travels around the outer wall of the bunkers thus creating a moisture trap which is essential as the bunkers are located under the water table for most of the year. This design of bunkers allows the inner concrete walls to stay free from being humid and therefore keeping armaments and ammunition dry.
        A pair of 1.27 cm thick steel entrance door which opens up into the bunker area measures approximately 3.3 meters from the ground floor to the lowest point of the ceiling. The ceiling features rugged, wave-like design that rises and falls around 40 cm and it is covered in steel. This design is used again to minimise the effect of possible explosion and to benefit blast wave deflection.
        Inside of the bunkers, escape hatch measuring one meter in diameters runs horizontally for 5 meters and then perpendicularly until the surface on the top of the bunkers. The metal structure and additional brick has been constructed on the slope to make escape easy under possible explosion or fire. In addition, “breather pipe” has been built to open up into a hidden structure above the slope for the case in which the troops be trapped inside of the bunkers.

        Now that is a bug-out bunker! I wonder how much money it would cost to build something like that today? Sixty feet below ground level. That would take a direct hit from a bunker buster bomb to penetrate. Well, I guess I can forget about building something like that in my back yard. I wonder if my neighbor would mind if my semi-buried shipping container extended into his yard?

        Reply to this comment
        • Armin March 3, 03:43

          Holy crap, Chuck! You sure have done your due diligence. WOW! Thanks for all that info. With all the concrete involved (and the associated re-bar) and being that far down I am sure it would cost you a VERY pretty penny. You could always ask your neighbor. LOL! Let him know he could also store some of his stuff in there. I have heard of some people picking up de-commissioned missile silos for what is relatively a song. Now there is a bug-out bunker! LOL! I’m sure when they were built their cost probably ran close to a million or more in the dollars of the day. But then they’d have their own power gen system, water and air purification and all the rest of it. Which of course would add to the cost of building one of them.

          Reply to this comment
          • Enigma April 14, 14:01

            Iron rebar in concrete generally a bad idea except tfor ‘temporary’ structures. If/when water infiltrates concrete, rebar starts to oxidize more rapidly, expands, and breaks concrete apart.

            In some places, ‘reinforced’ concrete exposed to elements and salt drops giant ‘flakes’. Kind of like flaking caused by ice in stones above mountain roadsides.

            Roman Pantheon (circa 1,500 years old) built of concrete using only natural fibers and a special volcanic rock filler.

            Reply to this comment
    • Armin March 3, 03:30

      You’re absolutely right, Big Boy. Safety should always be our number one concern.

      Reply to this comment
  13. Gman March 3, 00:35

    You want to reinforce a container here is one way. Go inside and weld 2 inch H-beam or I beam equal distance from the sides. Weld 1/4 by 3 inch channel on the top edge flat side to the wall- do long tacks to the part your touching the metal. Don’t weld it so you burn thru. Go down the sides and weld 3 inch channel to the sides midpoint. (half way)
    Depending on your load on top you may want to put post using 2 or 3 inch pipe midway on each H-beam or I beam. depending what ever is the best price.If you put post be sure and weld plates 1/4 or 3/8 to the bottom of them.( 8 or 10 inches square). Be sure and bevel the edge so it not a tripping hazard.Lag it in place to keep it from slipping. When you put your post in place I would pre-load them. Do this by taking a hydraulic jack with a post for lifting up enough to cause a slight bow. Put your post in and weld to your beam.
    When you back fill don’t shove your dirt all against one side . Fill a little at a time around all sides until it about a foot from the top.Let it settle by watering it so it will compact. A small sprinkler will work. When the back fill is settled cover and finish with your dirt or what ever you are using.
    Depending on where you are put your container it will determine what you need to do to the top.You may want to cover it with a heavy type of cover, use asphalt emulation , treated wood if so use treated 2X4’s in the groves to nail to. These are just some of the ways to do it. When your top is covered back fill the same as you would the sides. I would put 3 to 4 foot of dirt over the top. Your entry will determined by you location of your container. Be careful where you put in penetrations.Be sure you won’t have any leaks. Good luck.
    PS if you can’t weld find some old welder and he will show you how to do it.

    Reply to this comment
    • Spike March 3, 01:45

      A person will have so much money in buying a container and reinforcing it with steel. Why not do poured concrete walls or blocks which you could learn to do yourself.

      I’ve never heard mention of a bunker out of treated lumber. They make basements for houses out of treated wood which you could do yourself also.

      Neither of these would be EMP proof though but I don’t think you need a whole room for that unless you want a vehicle in it.

      Reply to this comment
      • Big Boy in MO March 4, 18:28

        Hi Spike,
        I have been thinking down the same lines as yourself but instead of concrete block, using ICF (insulated concrete forms). They would provide a same structural strength as poured concrete walls without the forms and be insulated when your done. A structural concrete roof can then be poured. Most of the ICF stacking can be a diy project.

        Reply to this comment
        • Big Boy in MO March 4, 18:32

          Wikipedia says; Insulating concrete form or insulated concrete form (ICF) is a system of formwork for reinforced concrete usually made with a rigid thermal insulation that stays in place as a permanent interior and exterior substrate for walls, floors, and roofs. The forms are interlocking modular units that are dry-stacked (without mortar) and filled with concrete. The units lock together somewhat like Lego bricks and create a form for the structural walls or floors of a building. ICF construction has become commonplace for both low rise commercial and high performance residential construction as more stringent energy efficiency and natural disaster resistant building codes are adopted. ICFs may be used with frost protected shallow foundations (FPSF).

          Reply to this comment
        • Armin March 5, 15:27

          Hi Big Boy. I’ve also been looking at ICF’s for quite some time now and really like the concept. Strength and insulation all in one. If ever I were to have a new house built that’s the way I would go. Good idea. Again. That’s why I like forums like this very much. It’s a sharing of info and we all learn if we’re willing to listen. Thanks!

          Reply to this comment
    • lc65 March 3, 17:16

      GMan you have the basic concept correct. Not sure about the details of member sizes and locations. The details are covered in Dr, Omar Blodgetts’s book on Reinforced Steel Construction Design.

      Reply to this comment
  14. Jay March 3, 01:43

    just google, “what happens when you bury a shipping container”. they collapse.

    Since most of us don’t have the space to bury one, can we get the same benefit if its sitting next to the driveway? what about an enclosed metal car hauler. way more practical and I don’t need a semi to pull it, or a crane to maneuver it.


    Reply to this comment
    • Spike March 3, 01:48

      Car Hauler…good idea and has a purpose too. The wood floor still won’t be EMP proof and the door would need sealing.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck March 3, 03:21

        The advantage of a car hauler is that it is on wheels and can take off and your vehicle will probably still be running if it was inside the car hauler. The same with a metal building. If your car is in a metal building it will be protected.

        Dr. Arthur Bradley who has a Phd in electrical engineering has written extensively on EMP and CME. He has actually conducted tests on leakage and what is necessary to create an effective Faraday cage. Why not pop the money and get his book. At least he has done actual physical testing and listed how he did the experiment and the test results, so you can see for yourself whether he knows what he is talking about. He states that it isn’t necessary to shield 100%. All that is necessary is to reduce the electron flow to below the level at which your equipment will short out. If you are talking about the charger for your cell phone, it will burn out sooner than the old fashioned knife type switch you see in the old Frankenstein movies — or the electrocution scenes in old crime movies when the lights in the big house go dim as they electrocute Edward G. Robinson or whomever.

        Rather than take advice from someone like me, who hasn’t done any testing and is far from a Phd in E.E.— haven’t even gotten my bachelor’s degree yet, get Dr. Bradley’s book with info you can actually rely on.

        There seems to be a dichotomy of opinion about whether the cage needs to be grounded or not. Common sense seems to tell me it should be grounded. On the other hand, there is some evidence that I consider reliable that says it shouldn’t be grounded. There is a reason given, but I cannot recall what the reason is as I write this. I am going to have to go back and reread Dr. Bradley’s book.

        It seems like I am shilling for his publication. I’m not really, it is just that there is so much unreliable urban legend type information around that when I find someone who, (a) has the educations background to know what he is talking about and (b) has done testing that he describes in detail so that you can replicate his tests yourself and verify that he knows what he is talking about, I tend to put more credence in his opinion about what works and doesn’t than I do in the opinion of Joe the TV installer who not only doesn’t read Popular Mechanics, he’s never heard of it. Or thinks it is the hot looking female wrench down at Sam’s Garage.

        Reply to this comment
        • Armin March 3, 03:50

          “hot looking female WENCH”? I like it, Chuck. Good one! LOL!

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck March 3, 05:44

            Armin: That is not a typo. It is female wrench. In bicyclists’ terminology, a “wrench” is a mechanic. So I was talking about a female WRENCH, not a WENCH. Predictive did not strike this time. A little effort at humor. I know, other people have pointed out that I should keep my day job and that Jay Leno is quite safe in his title as King of Comedy.

            Reply to this comment
            • Armin March 4, 15:45

              Too bad. I was hoping you were making a joke. And after I wrote the comment I thought to myself that you do mean mechanic. Never heard the term “wrench” used in that manner but it does make sense. Like my interpretation better though. Takes me back to the days of “Home Improvement”. Tim the Toolman Taylor, Heidi and all the rest. Thanks!

              Reply to this comment
        • lc65 March 3, 17:12

          Glad to see someone else has read Dr. Bradleys book. Lot of good info and you cannot beat actual testing.
          He says that grounding a Faraday cage is Unnecessary.

          Reply to this comment
        • Armin March 5, 15:39

          I’ve also been wondering about the grounding part, Chuck. When we’re dealing with ordinary electric circuits they have to be grounded because the utilities that produce the electricity use “ground” as the return path back to the generator instead of running the extra return wire back to the generator so when voltage is generated in a metal structure by EMP where can it really go and why would it want to ground itself in the first place. It has no where to go. Somehow it must just dissipate rather quickly after being created. But, personally, I would still err on the side of caution and ground the structure against emp just to be safe. Maybe there’s some kind of interplay between the surface of the earth and the upper atmosphere which most of us are unaware of. I think Tesla was working with something like that and actually did say something about it but I just can’t remember the details about it right now.

          Reply to this comment
        • Enigma April 14, 14:10

          Current from a nearby lightning strike could enter a Cage via ground straps. Low-order probability in most locales.

          Deep grounds for a Cage a better practice. If someone wanted to ‘go nuts’, could build a ‘floating’ (electrically isolated) Cage within a grounded Cage.

          OP article is misleading – bait and switch.

          Reply to this comment
  15. Armin March 3, 04:05

    Apparently I’m wrong about Faraday cages having to be solid. The one website I’m on is a survivalist blog. They say that a Faraday cage CAN have holes but there are conditions. Yes, as long as the holes are small with respect to the wavelength of the incident electromagnetic wave. For example, a 1 GHz wave has a wavelength of 0.3 meters in free space. As long as the holes are significantly smaller than that dimension (i.e., a few millimeters), they won’t let in much of the incident wave. This is why FINE conductive mesh can be used when constructing your own Faraday Cage. In practice, the cage’s lid or door usually causes the most leakage. Taping the seam with conductive tape helps to reduce this leakage. So according to this you don’t even need to weld the door. Just use conductive tape to seal it. On the other hand a site like PC Mag recommends aluminum foil for wrapping small items or something as simple as a metal garbage can to store larger items. Now we have to find out the wavelength of an emp blast to figure out what kind of wire mesh to use or just bloody well keep it simple and play it safe. Use anything that is solid metal like aluminum foil or garbage cans or large metal containers.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 3, 05:50

      Dr. Bradley in his tests found that plain old duct tape on the garbage can lid actually provided more protection than the special metallic tape that he also tested. His comment went something along the lines of “cheaper is better.”

      I believe for smaller items, metal ammo cans make excellent faraday cages. I have a very large ammo can. I believe it is for 20 mm cannon. I would have to check the markings on it. It is about ten inches across by 18 inches deep and about 18 inches high. Also weighs quite a bit as the metal is very heavy duty. Lid clamps shut like most ammo cans but has clamps on both ends unlike the smaller .30 and .50 caliber cans with the hinge.

      Reply to this comment
  16. doot() March 3, 04:39

    Ugh, man. Sorry for the sarcasm here but after reading all the replies from this article, and my comment above, I just wish more people knew how to google and do a little research on things. It’s really simple.. seriously.

    These containers can hold over 60,000 lbs.. when I mentioned (above) they had plywood floors, I was referring to the interior JUST TO COMPARE that they’re stronger than the roof panels – which are not designed to bear any loads.

    The sub-floors in these containers are metal, container multiple metal I beams, covered in plywood that is bolted to the sub floor beams. They, are, solid.

    The roof, is not. You can walk on it and hear/see/feel it warp. It’s lighter gauge steel than the sides and it’s barely corrugated / stamped. Again.. google it.

    Do NOT flip a container over in the hopes to gain a more solid flooring… you’ll see why, if you do.

    It’s articles like this that spread ignorance and it’s perpetuated by the lack of initiative of some readers to just do a little research… this is easy stuff guys.

    You can learn a ton just by hitting Wikepedia – eg. these containers are typically made with standard dimensions, steels and lead bearing points ( though there are companies that custom make any type or shape of container you want..

    I speak from experience, and a ton of research, in that I own a container (a 40′ High Cube I use for storage) and I’m in the process of building a vacation home out of three of them!

    You want to build an EMP proof storage / shelter / container? Yes, make sure it’s grounded.. maybe build a faraday cage inside with a closable gate, use smaller metal enclosures… all the above. BUT. DON’T FLIP THE CONTAINER OVER THINKING YOU’RE GETTING A ‘better floor”… seriously. If that were the case, don’t you think every tom, dick and harry shipping millions of pounds around the globe would be flipping them over ??? ROFL.

    Kills me.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 3, 05:54

      Adding to this comment, I know that we had to do repairs to the roofs of a couple of our containers because they had leaks and were allowing rain (Yes, we do occasionally get rain in SoCal, like every 19 months). to get into the container. I think we used Henry’s Roof Patch but I would have to check with the workday chairman to find out just exactly what was used. Won’t see him until the 14th of this month.

      Reply to this comment
  17. grayfox114 March 3, 12:25

    Anyone reading this and following the instructions will have a tomb for whatever they put inside……..the container WILL collapse! Had a friend that bought three containers, and didn’t bury them, but left them above ground. Tricked out the insides with light studding, insulation and thin plywood, electrics, lights…….It snowed that year, about 18″ of heavy wet……first thing, the door he had installed on one wouldn’t pen, had to pry open the doors on the other. Them the roof and walls of the tricky one folded, in and down, breaking the light studs and cracking the plywood…..he had to go through a major straightening and redo! Containers are NOT meant to have weight of any magnitude on the tops and sides, period! Go online and see how the military recommends reinforcing shipping containers! They are great for storage, above ground, but only if the roof and walls can be protected or reinforced! Horrible article that will get people in trouble!

    Reply to this comment
    • Armin March 4, 16:08

      Thanks for that, Grayfox. The more I hear people talk about burying shipping containers the more I’m starting to dislike them. The idea of the containers being used in such a manner, not the people. LOL! If we’re not really careful they COULD end up being more of a tomb than anything else. Seems to be more trouble than it’s worth. We may be trying to put the proverbial square peg in the round hole. What I’m hearing is that shipping containers are designed for one thing and that is NOT being buried. They just will not bear the static pressure on the sides and the top. Then let’s make a left turn and think about a completely different solution if we do want to bury some kind of a metal container to be safe against emp. What about burying something like a metal Quonset hut? They already have a curved top which should be strong enough to support a reasonable amount of dirt piled on top of it. They’re already designed as a habitat which a shipping container isn’t. And as far as I know Quonset huts can be built in sections. And those sections should be easy enough to seal against moisture and emp. Let me know what you guys think.

      Reply to this comment
  18. Zadim March 3, 15:15

    The article is good if you have lots of land and ability to dig on the land.

    A garbage dumpster with the steel hinged lids would work just as well (without ‘reinforcing the sides’). Just fix the braided copper mesh seal all around the hinged lids and cinch the lids down tight with plenty of C-clamps all around. It can be slathered with water proofing sealant / material (like the stuff seen on TV) after clamped shut, covered with a heavy tarp and enough topsoil to keep nosy folks out.

    Should work fine especially if it is lined with 3″ thick insulation foam board all around.

    This takes far less digging and much less real estate and can be had for $200 (used / re-conditioned).

    Reply to this comment
    • Bud January 14, 05:09

      Wow. You nailed it. We should pay attention to this! The garbage dumpsters are certainly treated very rough at least once per week via the dumping maneuver, and hold very heavy and messy loads. Yes, cars have been damaged running into the dumpsters. The walls are super thick and steel.

      Reply to this comment
  19. left coast chuck March 3, 18:25

    I went to the PacVan website. They are a left coast firm that sells and rents shipping vans. I went to their photos section and for Kiewit project 03 there was a photo of 15 shipping vans stacked three high, five columns. On top of the stacks was what looked to be two eight inch I-beams. Resting on top of those two I-beams was what looked to be the structural support for some kind of roadway and what I could see was what looked like an 18-inch I-beam with a corresponding I-beam on the other side. The 18-inch I-beam looked to be about 25 feet long and disappeared off the right side of the photo.

    My take-away: There are shipping containers and there are shipping containers. Like so much in life, what you pay greatly influences what you get. Kiewit Construction Company obviously paid top dollar for the 15 shipping containers they were using. I know the gun club I mentioned in an earlier post got a couple of the shipping containers for merely moving them off the site where they were located to the range where they are presently. The others we got for a very nominal cost. I think one was free and the former owner even hauled it to the range for the club because he really, really wanted to get it off his property and we offered the cheapest way to accomplish that.

    Additional take away: Were I to choose using shipping containers for living quarters — and some cities are exploring using them for sheltering the homeless or low cost housing and now that I think about that, they come stacked — or sheltering supplies, the first thing I would do is investigate the marketplace and see what is available. The second thing I would do is not buy the cheapest one in the marketplace if I intended to use it for a permanent installation. If you pay for a Yugo, you get a Yugo. The opposite is not true however, you can pay for a Caddie and still get a Yugo, but if you want a Caddie, you have to pay for a Caddie. You are not going to get one for the price of a Yugo. For the gun club’s purposes, used, beat up shipping containers were the answer. We store target frames and targets and tools for work around the range. Most of the stuff, a little dampness won’t hurt. What we were primarily concerned with was security and we added hasps and locks to enhance the lock-ability of the containers. They are above ground and snowfall at the 3500 foot level in SoCal rarely exceeds an inch or two. I am confident that with battery-operated tools they are not as secure as we would like them to be but considering that the range is pretty rural, it’s a long way to go to possibly steal something that is valueless.

    While I can’s say it with the certitude that many assert on the internet, it seems to me I recall seeing shipping containers stacked quite high at the Port of Long Beach and Port Hueneme which is north of LA. So, again, my take-away from all the foregoing verbiage is that you can probably buy a pretty darned sturdy shipping container and you can also buy a Campbell’s soup can of a shipping container. If you are going to store target frames and targets in it, pretty much any free shipping container will do as long as it doesn’t snow very much where you are and the shipping container isn’t under any trees where limbs can fall down. OTOH if you are going to store your survival gear for when the world goes to hell, you might want to spend a couple bucks more and get a good quality sturdy container and make sure it is reinforced.

    There. That’s the end of this topic as far as I am concerned. Of course, others may have valid, well-founded information to submit.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Dick March 3, 20:55

    Whoever runs this site should take this article down! No research was done on burying shipping containers. They are built from light weight mild steel and are prone to rusting. They are not designed for the stress of thousands of pounds of dirt or mud on the sidewalls or roof. Don’t ever bury one unless you’re building a tomb.

    Reply to this comment
    • Claude Davis March 4, 16:08

      It depends how deep you plan to bury it. The article does say it’s going to be covered by a few inches of dirt, and the roof will easily stand that. Putting it ten feet down would be a different story. A shipping container isn’t a substitute for rebarred concrete, but it’s a quick way to create a reasonably solid underground shelter.

      Reply to this comment
    • Armin March 4, 16:15

      You’re the third or fourth person to say this, Dick. I’m starting to think that burying a shipping container isn’t the brightest idea. May be more trouble AND expense than it’s worth. Not to mention the small entombment problem. Thanks!

      Reply to this comment
  21. lc65 March 4, 18:58

    For small items, like a cell phone or handheld radio, I have found that an empty potato chip bag works really well. I use one that had 2 lbs of potato chips, about 8″ x 12″. The inside is AL foil, the outside is some kind of plastic. Wrap your cell phone in a plastic baggie, Place it in the potato chip bag. Roll the bag up a couple of times. Put a rubber band around the whole thing. Voila ! You’re protected.

    Reply to this comment
    • cookiescout March 25, 14:15

      The potato chip bags are lined with MYLAR not foil. if you don’t believe it stick one in a vacuum sealer & you can heat seal it just like a plastic bag.

      Reply to this comment
      • another Bill April 17, 01:41

        For what you are talking about, buy a heavy metal trash can, line the inside with cardboard, put your stuff in there, put the lid on and seal the lid with duct tape, and you are good to go, EMP wise.

        Reply to this comment
  22. Rich March 22, 22:48

    How about reinforcing the container on the inside with a framework of metal tubing, kind of like a roll cage on a NASCAR racecar? Just a thought.

    Reply to this comment
  23. grayfox114 April 12, 10:34

    You’re a friggin moron……….SOLDER the doors shut? No one can afford that much solder, and it wouldn’t stick anyway without a month of prep! In addition to the title of your post being wrong, there is no info in the article that’s worth a damn…………

    Reply to this comment
  24. Gramma April 12, 13:32

    Clickbait inaccurate article title

    Thumbs DOWN for not addressing the reason for following the link.

    Burying a shipping container

    We had these as our residences and shops in Beirut. We bulldozed dirt against the sides, then piled sandbags over the top.

    With both ends open for ventilation, we got about six months use before they collapsed from rusting from the inside.

    We had thousands of them available, so replacement was not an issue. As long as you realize these are designed and constructed to be disposable after one ocean crossing, you see the problem with expecting more from them than they can give.

    If we had concrete and engineers, we would go that direction in a sec.

    Reply to this comment
    • snorkus April 12, 17:10

      “As long as you realize these are designed and constructed to be disposable after one ocean crossing, you see the problem with expecting more from them than they can give”

      After retiring from working 27 years at an east coast port I can assure you that a container is not considered disposable after one trip. Containers are inspected and repaired if necessary, then stacked up to eight high in the empty yard in preparation for “stuffing” and making it’s next trip..

      Reply to this comment
  25. Camotruck April 14, 15:13

    one of the comments I read hit home with me and I’m sure several other readers. Most of us are city dwellers, some with no place to bug out to before or after an event. I’ve begun thinking about this for quite a while and think I may have a solution for a limited number of people. If you’re interested in a place where like minded people can gather contact me

    Reply to this comment
  26. Dupin June 19, 18:08

    The articles/videos I’ve seen on successfully using shipping containers underground or earth-bermed, including the top, generally involve building a structure around them so that they are either not supporting any weight or are only supporting the weight on the corners. My takeaway from those was that you could probably dispense with the shipping container completely and still have about the same structure.

    Reply to this comment
  27. Enigma June 20, 11:54

    Dupin’s post states ‘shipping container’ situation succinctly.

    About all a container provides is a very basic interior. If ‘quick and dirty’ is intended, better to get an older single-wide mobile ‘home’, and insert it sideways into a concrete shell cast in a South- / East-facing hillside.

    Designs with all doors on the same side could face out of your ‘concrete cave’. Which ‘cave’ shell should have serious overhang and ultimately some camouflaging vegetation.

    Mobile ‘homes’ ordinarily contain all basic facilities of a house, and are sheathed and roofed using aluminum sheets. Latter can be grounded.

    Prime downside to mobile ‘homes’ is that all of them seem to have tornado magnets attached to their steel I-beams.

    Reply to this comment
  28. Jim October 15, 03:00

    One thing missing from the comments I read is that if the container is being used for a faraday cage, then the shipping containers are not being utilized as a shelter. So perhaps they don’t have to be completely buried. The container could be wrapped in copper braid and be grounded by either ground wire or partially buried. I have seen shipping containers sandbagged, so that is a possibility as well. After the EMP, you would be removing its contents, so unless you are making a shelter with EMP proof interior, total burial is probably not needed.

    Reply to this comment
  29. Flsttop November 17, 02:17

    Hey Guys
    Don’t disregard the lowly metal trash can or 55 gal drum buried in the ground. Seal the lid and cover with dirt. The old cellphone trick works

    Reply to this comment
  30. Bud January 14, 05:18

    A very interesting round of discussions. All around. I came away 50 times more educated on the topic of shipping containers than when I started.

    After all, that is the purpose of these forums. Thanks everyone. Bud

    Reply to this comment
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