How to Build an Underground Bunker

How to Build an Underground Bunker

Nuclear repercussions. The Great Plague 2.0. A swarm of hungry zombies is scurrying for your stuff. What can keep you safe from all three? A bunker beneath the ground. Underground bunkers (also known as bomb shelters, fallout shelters, or survival bunkers) are foolproof solutions to survive at least one apocalypse. But they don’t come cheap; in fact, building subterranean bunkers takes a lot of time, planning, and money.

Although you can purchase a prefabricated underground bunker, they are pricey and may not suit all of your requirements. Follow these instructions to create an underground bunker to protect yourself and your loved ones from a disaster.

Why You Should Get an Underground Bunker?

Underground shelters have survived long periods of war and peace for good reason: they are designed for survival. These shelters can protect you from a wide range of natural and man-made risks. Should you get yourself a bunker? Here are a few reasons why you should get one:

Nuclear Weapons and Fallout Protection

Despite the fact that the Cold War ended decades ago, the threat of nuclear war lingers over everyone like a gigantic shadow. North Korea, Russia, and China all have access to hundreds of nuclear weapons that they can use whenever they want. And if you believe that international law, such as the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), can protect you from nuclear warheads blasting you to kingdom come, you’re dead wrong. And illiterate to boot.

Staying in an underground bunker would be one of the only methods to escape a nuclear war and the accompanying fallout. Underground bunkers are constructed to withstand nuclear blasts, prevent radiation, and withstand the resulting shockwave.

During Times of War and Civil Disturbance, This is a Safe Haven.

If you can’t bug out, the next best alternative is to hide in plain sight. Underground bunkers built beneath ordinary backyards allow you to hide from looters and the zombie horde. It also safeguards you from disease outbreaks and biological warfare.

Weather Protection is Provided.

The United States has more tornadoes than any other country in the world, with an average of 1,200 tornadoes every year. And, no, Dorothy, this isn’t limited to Kansas or Oklahoma. Tornadoes and extreme weather can strike any place in the United States, so if you’re in their line, you should think about acquiring your own storm cellar or creating a DIY underground bunker.

Additional Storage Space.

Underground bunkers, if nothing else, make good storage rooms. The temperature and humidity levels in underground shelters remain constant, preventing the rotting of your food cache. The absence of heat and direct sunshine also helps to improve the shelf life of your products. You won’t have to worry about mice or pests as long as you maintain it dry and clean.

Can you just Buy an Underground Bunker?

If you have some spare cash, you might want to consider purchasing a ready-made subterranean bunker. These range from simple essentials like air filtering systems, beds, shelving, and plumbing to enormous underground palaces with swimming pools.

There are companies that will assess the site, custom-build, or provide ready-made underground shelters that will meet your requirements. These types of shelters often cost at least $50,000. Another cost is excavation, which can range from $5000 to $10,000 depending on the size of the shelter and where you live. Typically, the cost of obtaining permission to install the bunker is not included in the quote.

If you don’t have enough space, you can buy a spot in one of the subterranean survival villages that have sprung up all over the place in recent years. Vivos, a California-based firm, operates a number of bunker communities across the country and refers to its network of underground shelters as “the backup plan for humanity.”

The company recently purchased a decommissioned military station in South Dakota and converted all 575 underground bunkers into survival shelters. Each bunker in this community costs $35,000 (plus yearly and monthly dues) and can accommodate a couple of dozen individuals. If purchasing modular or ready-made shelters isn’t your thing, you may always build your own subterranean bunker. But be warned: this isn’t your average backyard fort. But are we going to teach you how to create it? Yes, absolutely.

How Long Would You Have To Stay In A Bunker?

Consider that the unthinkable has occurred, and a nuclear strike has forced you to enter your subterranean bomb shelter. If you are unable to obtain emergency information via radio or television and have been without power for two weeks, it is vital to leave your shelter for a brief period of time to assess the safety of your surroundings and determine whether it is safe for all occupants to leave.

The individual who leaves the shelter first should be the one who is physically weakest—that is, not elderly, pregnant, or otherwise infirm. Radiation levels are estimated to have dropped significantly by two weeks following the incident.

As you go away from Ground Zero, the radiation level is more likely to have been decreased to a safe level. Still, take all precautions you can: avoid breathing in any dust or ash that may be present. It will be difficult to determine how much radiation is there if specific equipment and experience are not available. As a result, your goal should ideally be to gather public health data or to determine where you might go for a more secure haven.

You should avoid coming into contact with any dust/ash material until you have accurate information on the level of radioactivity still present in fallout. Shake off any dust particles from your hair and clothing before reentering your shelter, then cover all of your clothes in large plastic trash bags. A dosimeter, if available, will tell you how much radiation you’re exposed to and if it’s safe to return to your shelter or continue through the region

How to Build an Underground Bunker?

A secret subterranean bunker takes a lot of planning and hard work, but it gives you peace of mind knowing you will have somewhere to defend your family if, or when, civilisation as we know it implodes. Here are the important things you need to know to build an underground bunker.

Factors to Consider When Building an Underground Bunker

Making the decision to build a DIY subterranean bunker is akin to buying a new house, therefore you can’t do it on the spur of the moment. If the notion of having your own bunker appeals to you, here are some things to consider:


What is the point of building a bunker in the first place? Is it for the imminent nuclear war and its aftermath? Is your neighborhood at risk of an airstrike? Are you ready for a long-term calamity or simply require a safe haven from extreme weather? The function of your bunker will eventually decide all of the other things that follow, so think about it.


Another important element to consider while building underground bunkers is location. It must have access to resources while remaining largely hidden from discovery. Consider the following questions:

  • Can you construct right in your backyard, or are nosy neighbors such a big risk that you have to build somewhere else?
  • If so, how easy is it to get to? Can you walk there, or do you need transportation?
  • Is the terrain and soil condition suitable for your bunker?
  • Do you have natural gas pockets in your area?
  • Is the water table deep or shallow?

Bunker Dimensions.

How big will your DIY subterranean bunker be? How far do you need to go? Its size will be determined mostly by the size of your land, but you should also consider the number of people who will occupy the bunker, the length of your stay, the type of supplies you’ll be storing, and the overall bunker design.

Layout and Floor Plan

Your subterranean bunker must have an efficient floor plan and layout. This should include entry and departure points, dwelling areas, storage spaces, communication mission spaces, and critical components such as air and water filtration systems. There are dozens of bunker floor plans accessible online that you may download or duplicate for your own DIY subterranean bunker. You can also create your own floor plan and tailor it to your specific requirements. What rooms and amenities will your underground bunker include? How will you make use of your restricted space?


How much money are you willing to invest in your subterranean bunker? The larger your budget, the faster you can complete the project. Even if you don’t have a lot of spare cash sitting around, we don’t recommend cutting corners on your DIY subterranean bunker. Don’t go cheap on supplies, wing your own ventilation system, or avoid hiring a contractor even if you desperately need one. Cutting corners in the name of budgeting can come back to bother you later, so think about your budget carefully before breaking ground.

Building your Own Underground Bunker

Okay, so we’ve covered the fundamentals. Let’s get started on your DIY subterranean bunker.

Obtain Permission.

The most crucial thing to accomplish is obtain the necessary permits. Permits are used to safeguard your and everyone else’s safety during the job. Failure to obtain or comply with a permission can be costly and, in some cases, deadly if you are not cautious. You don’t want to start excavating and constructing an underground bunker just to be halted and fined. In rare situations, you may be obliged to abandon or undo any endeavor you set out to complete.

You must go to your local building department or building authority to secure the necessary permits. You’ll need to show them your plans for what you’ll be doing, so make sure you have your blueprint (more on that later) and a map of where you’ll be working. However, regardless of where you are, you must call 811 before digging to avoid accidently breaking an underground utility line. This can be costly and hazardous to your health. A locater can pinpoint the location of any underground utility in a few of days.

Select a Location.

After you’ve obtained your permits, the following step is to plan the site of your bunker. If confidentiality is important, it should be somewhere safe and quiet. Avoid areas near major bodies of water since they are more likely to flood, compromising the structural integrity of your bunker. Similarly, avoid any flammable environment.

Avoid digging in areas that are densely forested or vegetated. Trenching near trees entails coping with a complex web of roots that is tough to cut through. Cutting through these roots can also be harmful to the nearby geography. Similarly, you must avoid digging into any utility wires. If you dialed 811, you would already know where the utilities are. Avoid excavating on top of the utility line or with 18-24′′ on both sides. If you can’t avoid them, you might want to reconsider where you build your bunker.

Create a Blueprint.

You should create a blueprint for your subterranean bunker, just like you would for a house. However, unlike a house, you are building for protection and security rather than luxury. After deciding where you want to build your bunker, measure the available space (away from the utility lines, trees and bodies of water). You’ll have an idea of how you can create your blueprint from there.

There won’t be much room, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work. You want enough space so that you aren’t hugging your knees everywhere, but you also don’t want to squander any space. Consider it a modest residence and apply the same strategies to maximize space. As an example:

  • Use an open area layout to combine places.
  • Make the most of vertical space for storage.
  • To minimize room, install wall-mounted furniture such as a desk or table.

Whatever you choose, make sure to account for both efficiency and comfort. You may be constructing a bunker for protection, but that doesn’t mean it has to feel claustrophobic. FEMA advises 5-10 square feet per person for tornado or hurricane shelters to reduce claustrophobia as much as possible while utilizing the limited amount of space available. Try to prepare for that much private space per person with this in mind.

Concrete is a rock-solid material for your DIY underground bunker. It’s tough while remaining reasonably priced, and it’s also simple to work with. When combined with steel, it creates a safe and robust underground housing. Bricks are another wonderful alternative for bunker walls, but keep in mind that they take time to lay down. We don’t recommend making your own underground shelter solely out of wood due to a minor concern known as decomposition. However, you can use hardwood in some areas of your DIY subterranean bunker, such as the floors and finishings.

Obtain Important Living Materials.

It’s not enough to put a metal box in the ground and call it a day. An underground bunker must be capable of sustaining you and your loved ones for a lengthy period of time. The following are the five items you should include:

Air Filters and Ventilation

These clean the air in your bunker by filtering and ventilating it. An N.B.C. (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) filter is your best choice for keeping toxins out of your shelter and supplying fresh air.


This will offer power to your bunker. Add up the total wattage of everything that utilizes electricity to establish how much power you will require. This will help you learn how to select the ideal generator for your bunker. Install a solar generator to avoid stockpiling fuel, or keep one on hand as a backup.

Filters for Drinking Water

These will provide a consistent source of clean water. Any water filter will do, but a UV filter is ideal for an underground bunker. They use several UV light frequencies to remove viruses and germs from the water.

Waste Disposal System

Waste mismanagement can be harmful to one’s health. There are several possibilities for an underground bunker:

  • You can keep it basic by creating a room with a trench, similar to an outhouse. It’s inexpensive and quick, but it may be filthy.
  • A “poop tube” is a quick and easy technique to dispose of waste, requiring only PVC pipe. However, they are not suitable for long-term use.
  • A composting toilet does not require water; instead, it converts waste into fertilizer, which is great if you have plants, but they may be pricy and unpleasant in small spaces.
  • A wastewater pump and lift system is a popular waste-control option. These networks transport garbage from lower to higher altitudes.

You should also store up bottled water, personal items, and non-perishable food. Don’t skimp on any of these; they’ll protect your shelter and all of its inhabitants.

Cache of Food and Supplies

Creating a food stockpile for your bunker is akin to stockpiling items for your prepper pantry. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish precisely that. Don’t forget to stock up on defense, ammo, communications systems, emergency lighting, and heating, as well as some novels and games for leisure.

Whether it’s radioactive fallout or an apocalyptic situation, you’ll spend some time in your bunker during the initial incident. FEMA suggests keeping at least two weeks’ worth of food and water per person on hand. Whatever happens, you should follow the 7:10 rule of thumb for estimating radioactive danger. It states that for every 7-fold increase in time following detonation, detonation increases by a factor of 10.

In general, after two hours, the radiation exposure rate is 400 roentgens (radioactive waves) per hour. The radioactive exposure rate is one-tenth of that after 14 hours. However, make certain that the food is nutritious and long-lasting. The following are some of the healthiest non-perishable foods:

  • Dried or canned beans
  • Fruits and vegetables, dried or tinned
  • Meats, dried or canned
  • The peanut butter.
  • Nuts/seeds.
  • Grains.
  • Bars with protein.
  • Canned soup.
  • Dry milk and nondairy milk

Make sure you’re regularly refilling and changing your foods; you don’t want to eat rotting food in the event of an emergency. Microwave or other emergency cooking solution, such as canned heat or a portable butane stove, should also be kept on hand. Candles can also be used for slow cooking and are a reliable source of light if the power goes out. Simply set a can or pot on a stove grate and a candle beneath it.

Water is especially vital because radiation might continue to fall for up to 24 hours after detonation. Consider stockpiling vitamins and other supplies as well. Similarly, your underground refuge does not have to be dark and cold. It would be great if you did all possible to avoid any psychological harm caused by isolation. Cabin fever is a common name for the bad feelings of isolation. It may result in:

  • Restlessness.
  • Irritability.
  • Concentration is difficult.
  • Lethargy.
  • Depression.

To keep oneself active, hang up photos, construct a sound system, or add a fitness space. Your mental health is just as essential as your physical health, so take care of yourself mentally. Many people are concerned about their safety and well-being as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Learning how to construct an underground bunker will help you prepare for any emergency. All you need now is the proper gear and a game plan.


Protect your DIY underground bunker from looters by hiding it in plain sight. Cover your bunker with several inches of earth to help keep radiation at bay. Plan out how you’ll conceal entrance and exit points from the outside world as well. Some people have hidden entrances in their main house, while others cover the hatch with trash, and still, others hide entrance and departure points in plain sight by putting sheds or outhouses over them.


It’s merely a matter of building and installing your bunker once you’ve determined all of its components. Have you gotten all of your ducks in a row yet? There’s no need to panic. A survival bunker is a long-term project that will take several years to complete. Building your own underground shelter is, of course, easier said than done, but with patience and effort, you’ll have a bunker that can protect you from the worst-case scenarios.

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