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I work with someone that is very in tune w/ goings on around the world, etc.. she is growing her own food and making preparations for SHTF. One thing she mentioned is that she's purchasing (for about $1500 delivered) a retired railroad box car that she is going to bury underground (as if it were a storm shelter).. The insides can be set up w/ drywall, etc.. electricity or not .. whatever you need. I was intrigued and google (surprisingly :/ ) doesn't offer up much when searching (censorship maybe ??).. but I DID run across a .pdf file from a dude that evidently compiled an in-depth assessment of requirements and specs using a shipping container. This piece was compiled (again, evidently) as part of a college project towards a degree of some type.

Linky for those interested

It takes a bit to load, and looks like a long read but I think might give some insight into how one could have a SHTF shelter or storm shelter if need be.

Hope this helps
DM1975
 

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There was a movie on this subject. "Take Shelter", I think was the title. Guy buried a shipping container, added air filter system, etc. If you just have spare water and food, you'll be way ahead of most.

Count your food calories,and buy stuff you would actually eat (not MRE, or dried emergency food). Get small cans, not big, so food doesn't spoil when you open it too long without refrigeration. Also makes it easier to trade and store. Cans, bottles instead of cardboard for pest protection. Figure 2500 calories per man-day, and use the label on the food to figure how much. Find a way to store drinkable water, about 1 gallon per man-day would be great.

It is expensive, so start small and build on it.
 

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There was a movie on this subject. "The Storm", I think was the title. Guy buried a shipping container, added air filter system, etc. If you just have spare water and food, you'll be way ahead of most.

Count your food calories,and buy stuff you would actually eat (not MRE, or dried emergency food). Get small cans, not big, so food doesn't spoil when you open it too long without refrigeration. Also makes it easier to trade and store. Cans, bottles instead of cardboard for pest protection. Figure 2500 calories per man-day, and use the label on the food to figure how much. Find a way to store drinkable water, about 1 gallon per man-day would be great.

It is expensive, so start small and build on it.
That what one hell of a great movie, just dont like how it ended.
 

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Could this movie have been called "Take Shelter"? I googled "The Storm" and only found stuff about a woman who lost her baby in The Netherlands and another "made-for-tv" thing about weather experiments gone wrong.
 

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Yep, that is the one. Correction inbound.

I liked the ending - indicates that preparation may not be such a crazy idea after all.

wheelguy - who is prepared and, um, not as crazy as he used to be :)
 

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Don't burry a shipping container,

DaddyMike, from what I have read the metal shipping containers don't have enough side strength to keep from imploding. They hold enough weight overhead, but the walls will crush in. Save the $1,500, your going to buy concrete anyway.
 

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Chittybangbang said:
DaddyMike, from what I have read the metal shipping containers don't have enough side strength to keep from imploding. They hold enough weight overhead, but the walls will crush in. Save the $1,500, your going to buy concrete anyway.
Well, this isn't the best description of what my friend was talking about, just the first thing I ran across. She was talking about using old railroad box cars that had been retired.
 

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DaddyMike, from what I have read the metal shipping containers don't have enough side strength to keep from imploding. They hold enough weight overhead, but the walls will crush in. Save the $1,500, your going to buy concrete anyway.

Might just depend on the type of boxcar/ shipping container. The ones' with the vertical ribbed sides should suffice. I've seen that material used for seawalls, so it would work. Your cheapo horizontal cars would be the imploders. Either way it would be a good idea to concrete it in for added strength and added insulation. Water tables' too high here in mid-Fla to test it out.
 

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Indeed. As far as I know, there's no "good kind" of container for burying. All of them will fail eventually, without some major reinforcement.

You can't just bury a shipping container unless it's a very thin layer of earth piled on top, they're only structurally sound on the stacking/lifting points at their corners. People have tried, and they cave in.

In fact Mythbusters just buried one, and found out how they'll crush under any significant load of dirt. Even if it doesn't crush immediately, it WILL for certain after a few years or a heavy rain etc.

You'll also have major condensation and drainage problems if you just dig a trench and stuff the container in it.

The structural problems aside, you'll need a heavy tar/bituminous coating on the container, a properly graded and drained gravel bed and backfill, and some French drains would be a good idea too.

I think you could make it work if you have lots of time, welding skill, and scrap steel, but I agree with Chittybangbang, if you really want to bury a bunker/shelter, and it's not a purpose built product for it, large precast reinforced concrete tubes or boxes that are meant for burying as tunnels, or pipes are the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Indeed. As far as I know, there's no "good kind" of container for burying. All of them will fail eventually, without some major reinforcement.

You can't just bury a shipping container unless it's a very thin layer of earth piled on top, they're only structurally sound on the stacking/lifting points at their corners. People have tried, and they cave in.

In fact Mythbusters just buried one, and found out how they'll crush under any significant load of dirt. Even if it doesn't crush immediately, it WILL for certain after a few years or a heavy rain etc.

You'll also have major condensation and drainage problems if you just dig a trench and stuff the container in it.

The structural problems aside, you'll need a heavy tar/bituminous coating on the container, a properly graded and drained gravel bed and backfill, and some French drains would be a good idea too.

I think you could make it work if you have lots of time, welding skill, and scrap steel, but I agree with Chittybangbang, if you really want to bury a bunker/shelter, and it's not a purpose built product for it, large precast reinforced concrete tubes or boxes that are meant for burying as tunnels, or pipes are the way to go.
I will pass all of this info on.

Good advice !
 
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