If you’re going to adequately prepare for the end of the world you should build a bunker, right?
For many people, a bunker of some sort is what first comes to mind when the phrase “doomsday prepper” or something similar comes to mind.
This is because fictional apocalyptic movies and reality TV shows alike almost relentlessly show preppers (whether real or imaginary) having a concrete underground bunker on their property fully-loaded with supplies and ready to outlast anyone in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
So without a bunker, the chances of you surviving a major grid-down disaster must be remote, correct?
Not necessarily. In fact, building a bunker could actually reduce your odds of survival by distracting you from focusing on your real priorities.
Here are a few reasons why you should NOT build a bunker:
Bunkers Are Expensive…Very Expensive
Most people who think about building a survival bunker neglect to think about what the total of the bunker will be.
The cost of building a custom-built survival bunker can vary significantly, but it’s mostly never cheap.
Related: 10 Abandoned Bunkers Across America
On the low end, you can expect to pay between $30,000 and $60,000 for a basic but complete bunker that will provide you with decent living and storage space, and protection against the outside world.
On the high end, you can pay up into the millions for a custom-made bunker that comes with virtually every kind of luxury you can imagine.
This includes multiple rooms and levels, air ventilation, plenty of water, entertainment, complete bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.
Regardless, a bunker is going to be a sizable investment that is beyond affordable for most people.
But let’s say that budget is not an issue for you. Building a bunker may still not be a good idea because…
It Could All Be For Nothing
Let’s say that you do have the budget and time to get a proper bunker built and invest even more into ensuring that the bunker is properly stockpiled with food, water, medicine, and everything else you and your family would need to outlast a grid down disaster.
It could still all be for nothing.
What if you are forced to bug out of your area when disaster strikes? If it becomes too dangerous to stay in your area or you won’t have much of a choice.
And just like that, the thousands (or millions) of dollars that you invested into your bunker would have been all for nothing.
Virtually any survival scenario that requires or forces you to bug out away from the location of your bunker will effectively ruin the entire purpose of having the bunker in the first place.
There Are Alternative Options To Protecting Yourself
For more scenarios than not, building a bunker is probably not even necessary in the first place.
The main reason why people consider investing in a bunker as part of their preparations is for protection. But there are other ways of protecting yourself for an STHF scenario as well.
Here are some alternatives to building a bunker to ensure that you and your family are kept safe and well-fed.
Fortify Your House
A far cheaper and possibly even more effective way to protect yourself
Most homes are very easy to break into, but there are steps you can take to make your home a nearly impenetrable fortress, that won’t even make building a bunker necessary.
Replace all of your doors leading outside with heavy duty metal doors, that cannot be beaten down with axes or sledgehammers. Replace all of the hinges with heavy duty hinges, and replace all of your windows with acrylic glass windows, which a far more durable and cannot be broken into so easily.
These measures are simple and yet will be highly effective at deterring and resisting home invaders. Burglars and marauders will always look for the easiest homes to break into.
When they encounter any real resistance at breaking in most will have second thoughts and move onto the next home.
Install A Safe Room In Your House
A safe room is a hidden room in your home that you and your family can retreat to in the event of an emergency.
Also known as panic rooms, safe rooms should meet the following criteria:
- They should be hidden and not easily discoverable.
- The entrance should be fortified.
- They should have enough space that your entire family can sleep in.
- They should have communications equipment so you can get in-touch with the outside world.
- They should be stocked with self-defense weapons in the event anybody breaks through the entrance.
- They should have at least a seven days supply of food, water, and prescription medications.
Safe rooms may not provide the same level of protection that a bunker offers, but they are a far cheaper solution to staying safe.
In the event that your outer home defenses as described before are broken through, you can retreat to your safe room as a last resort.
Have A Bug Out Location And Survival Cache
As discussed previously, you may be forced to bug out from your home depending on your circumstances. In the event of this scenario, the last position you want to be in is to have nowhere to go.
This is why having a bug out location is so important and arguably a better alternative to building a bunker at home.
And while an entire book could be written about how to find and set up an effective bug out location, you’ll want to make sure the following criteria are met at the bare minimum:
- Be on land that you own (or that is owned by a friend or family member who is okay with you using the land with them as a bug out location when SHTF)
- Located a ways away from an urban area and the ‘danger zone’, while still within driving distance.
- Hidden from view by anyone
- Have abundant natural resources or nearby natural resources (land to grow crops, natural water source, edible plants for foraging, wildlife for hunting/trapping, etc.)
- Stockpiled with more food, water, medicine, and other supplies
Of course, if you decide to end up building a bunker, you could just as easily, if not more easily, build your bunker at your bug out location. Depending on your circumstances, it may be wiser to do this anyway.
A survival cache is simply a secret stash of survival items that you have hidden or buried away from your home.
The idea is that if you are forced to abandon your home and stockpile of supplies there, you have a backup option that you can resupply yourself with. The cache can either be located at your bug out location or en route to the location (or both).
Having a bunker for an end-of-the-world scenario will not guarantee that you survive when such a disaster occurs.
On the contrary, building a bunker could actually distract you from real priorities. The money that you invest into a bunker, for instance, could be invested into food, water, home defense fortifications, supplies, or buying land away from your town or city to use a bug out location.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are potential advantages to having a bunker. If built properly, there’s no denying that a bunker is a highly secure location you can retreat to. And as extreme as it may sound, you’ll likely be safer inside a bunker than outside in the event of a nuclear war or similar catastrophe.
There is another option, however. It’s a secret root-cellar, an ingenious bunker configuration that’s buried just a few feet down in your backyard. There you’ll be able to take shelter with all the supplies you need to survive, not just for a few days… but for a few months should it come to that.
This is a design that’s based on our great-grandparent’s root-cellars, but it’s been improvised so that now it’s closer to a military bunker. What makes this bunker truly unique, is that it’s less than $400 and takes less than a week to build.
Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself if building a bunker is the right action to take to prepare for a grid down disaster. The point of this article is just to tell you that it’s not always a wise move, and that there are cheaper alternatives you can take to protect your family.
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