15 July 2010

Finding Yourself a Good Place to Hunker Down

The survival community has not been this stirred up since the days of the Jimmy Carter Malaise of the late 1970s. A lot more people are starting to think about storing a few months of food and water around the old homestead, in case of a temporary disruption in services. But others are going farther than that -- much farther.
For [Jerry] Erwin, the decline is irreversible and the best approach is to prepare for the inevitable.

His pessimism is shared by a wide range of people, from left-wing environmentalists who believe climate change and capitalist greed will doom human society to Christian fundamentalists who think sin will do the same.

They label themselves "preppers," "doomers," and "survivalists," and take a variety of different approaches to the same question: How best to prepare for the coming apocalypse?

...It is unclear how many people subscribe to the lifestyle, but there are hundreds of websites devoted to the movement, and Erwin's surburban-self-reliance.com attracts visitors from around the world.

The global financial crisis has increased interest in survivalism "bigtime," Erwin said, but he feels sorry for latecomers to the movement.

"We'll help them if we can," he said. "But a lot of people are climbing on board at the last minute and its going to be hard for them." _RawStory_via_SurvivalBlog
Some people will want to stay in their suburban homes, and brave whatever comes their way. If their home is a monolithic dome or of similarly durable construction, they may have a good chance to wait out whatever disruptions are short-circuiting the normal functioning of society.

A little extra insurance -- such as the type they could get from US Bunkers -- might also help. Backyard bunkers of various styles might provide enough of a fallback position to survive most disasters.

But if you want true survivability against large numbers of disasters, you will need to forsake the cities and the suburbs for the wildlands -- the deep wildlands.

Above you can see the living and working quarters for a nuclear missile silo. If you buy an abandoned silo, you should be able to convert it into a fairly comfortable and survivable retreat.
This is an example of such a conversion, for the upper level working and living section. The silo itself provides much more space for creative re-design.

Of course if you cannot stand the idea of living in a converted missile silo, you can always design and build your survival bunker from the beginning.
A California company, Vivos, is selling shares so that it can do just that. Above is a rendition of what the hub of the Vivos shelter is to look like. The upper level of the hub is for eating, recreation, social interaction, and entertainment. Lower levels include a hospital, dental clinic, and other necessary services for a long-term retreat from a failing society.
This image shows the hub attached to "spokes" of sleeping and working areas. Vivos sees itself as a "survival cruise ship" located underground.

Below is a video presentation of the Vivos concept.

More video coverage of Vivos

There are as many variations on the idea of "the perfect survival shelter" as there are survivalists and survivalist wannabe's. But in general, it is best not to announce to the world that you are holding wealth (gold, silver, etc), supplies, fuel, medicines, firearms and ammo, etc. in reserve, just in case society fails to hold together.

If you are living on a flood plain, you may need to build your survival bunker up on stilts. Otherwise, consider various types of concealment -- including going underground, or creative use of terrain and landscaping.

A large shelter such as Vivos is proposing, would house up to 4,000 people. Such a shelter might well require a small, modular nuclear fission reactor for power and heat / hot water. Smaller retreats and compounds might get along quite well with a combination of small wind, solar, biomass, and micro-hydro. Plan appropriately, according to the scale of your retreat.

More on this topic later.

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