If you’re reading this, odds are you’re freaking out about how to survive the end of the world. We know we are. In fact, co-workers in our San Mateo office have started brawls over granola bars needed for bug-out bags. Tensions are at an all-time high as December 21st draws nearer.
In anticipation of the emerging global panic about the apocalypse, the Movoto Real Estate bloggers made a guide for ourselves–and the many procrastinators we know are out there–on how to survive the end of the world with just seven days to spare.
Even the U.S. Government has an established nuclear-proof underground space known as Mount Weather for end-of-the-world-type scenarios. Considering the federal government has an established plan (and place to retreat), we figured it was about time we devised our own survival plan and space.
Continue on for a step-by-step guide of how to build your own bunker and what to stock up on before it’s too late.
Step 1: Choose a Site
Ideally you would have started working on an underground bunker months ago, or already have a completed safe place. But, since you–and we–procrastinated, you now have a mere week to prepare for whatever form of disaster occurs when the world ends.
Good thing we got our act together enough to get started before the 21st rolled around.
An underground bunker is probably your best bet for surviving the end of the Mayan calendar, whether you build one under your house, repurpose your basement, or dig up your yard. If your heart is set on a fortified basement bunker or the like, we discovered one man’s detailed account of constructing such a space.
Since we’re short on time, we decided to go with an easier option and assume we’ll be building a bunker in our backyard.
Step 2: Build Your Bunker
To construct an underground bunker, you first need to create the space. Dig a sizeable hole in your yard (or a nearby empty field if you have no yard). You should plan on a hole large enough to fit you plus however many people with which you plan on sharing your bunker.
When building your bunker, consider the following:
- The simplest version would be akin to a large room with a corner space for a restroom
- Ventilation–create a few small holes in the ceiling and pray that the end of the world will be radiation-free
- Building materials: use bricks or wood to build the actual structure within the hole
- If you’re out of time, go old-school and make the inside of your hole like a mud hut
Cover the walls and roof in plastic sheeting or some other moisture-proof barrier like canvas. Use silicone or another type of sealant along the ends of the plastic sheets and where the walls and roof meet.
Also make sure you space stable posts evenly throughout the shelter to hold up the ceiling.
Lastly, build a door for the bunker with the most heavy-duty materials you can get your hands on. Make a lock for it–you might need to keep desperate neighbors (or zombies) out of your shelter.
Some supplies you will need after you’ve finished your basic structure include:
- Enough dirt to pack at least four feet thick above your bunker to protect against radiation
- Chemical toilet–we suggest making an enclosed area for it and installing a door to contain the smell
- Insulation (You don’t want to do all this work just to freeze to death!)
If you’ve got about nine grand to spend on your shelter, Underground Bomb Shelters makes a funky-looking Protective Tent that can be quickly deployed, with space for up to six people.
Personally, we like our idea of building a shelter better. It’s much more cost-efficient.
Step 3: Stock Up On Supplies
You’re probably thinking that we are about to tell you how much and what forms of food to lunge for when you take a trip to the grocery store.
Sure, those are important, but what we really want to bring are the things we can’t live without:
- Video games
- Our smartphone
- An exercise bike
- Big-screen television
- Your house pets
- Twinkies (we bet they’ll remain unscathed from any natural or nuclear disaster)
- Beer-making kit–you’ve got to get creative when times are tough
We know what you’re thinking. What good will electronic devices be without electricity? While the games and devices may seem relatively useless, they could become valuable if you survive and need to trade for food or water.
We’re also going to bring our Kindles, because those suckers have batteries that last for nearly a month.
Step 4: Raid Your Local Grocery Store (or Your Neighbors’ Pantries)
Now that we’ve gotten the essentials covered, we should probably go over what you need to stay alive.
Consider getting your hands on some or all of these items:
- Propane stove or small grill
- Water (buy it by the case, the gallon, whatever–just make sure you have plenty)
- Non-perishables like canned fruits, vegetables, and meats
- Granola bars and dry cereal
- Nuts and dried fruit
- Beef jerky
Other non-edible items you should stack up on are candles (and matches), flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio, batteries, blankets, weapons (a gun, frying pan, broom, whatever works), first aid kit, sanitation supplies, and emergency equipment.
Don’t forget your bug-out bag either! No point fighting over granola bars if the apocalypse gobbles them up anyway.
Step 5: Pick Your Poison
While it might be beneficial to stash some sort of actual poison in your bunker should things go terribly wrong and you need a quick out, we were thinking more along the lines of spirits.
If you’re going to encase yourself underground, you probably need something to pass the time–particularly if you turn out to be claustrophobic. Games can be fun, but alcohol is even better. We recommend you bring down as many bottles of wine and whatever other alcoholic beverages you have space for.
Not only will these drinks come in handy for yourself, but you may also find them useful to barter with, at least according to the prepper score survey from the reality show “Doomsday Preppers” on National Geographic.
One word of advice: Don’t drink too much at once if you want to survive, because alcohol causes dehydration if an excessive amount is consumed.
Now that you have our guide to follow, grab a shovel and start digging! Better late than never.
Even if you don’t believe that the end of the Mayan calendar will be the end of the world, building a bunker might still prove worthwhile. The “fiscal cliff” is fast approaching as well–and that might be just as scary.
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