There is no such thing as an impenetrable manmade fortress. Whatever you design, somebody else can gain ingress or destroy.
And since the latest fad, concern, or preoccupation—because of predictions from Nostradamus, the Mayans, and astronomers and astrologers—is the supposed forthcoming Apocalypse, many people are resorting to the concept of “survival bunkers.”
While there is nothing wrong with that per se, it may behoove you to take an objective look at your location and/or structure before physically having to test it for real. Objective, not subjective. Which means you’ll probably have to elicit a “trustworthy” third party’s opinion.
Unfortunately the older you become, and/or the worse the situation becomes, the more quickly you run out of so-called trustworthy people. And that ranges from the friendly local contractor who built your steel bunker to your brother-in-law. People are gregarious by nature and will stand united in clans against a common enemy, but if and when you run out of common enemies, look out. Humans will commit inconceivable acts in order to survive one more day.
This having been said—and bearing in mind that this article concerns absolute apocalyptic conditions, be they asteroids, solar flares, or Mad Max Thunderdome long-term predators—your generic TV mugging/raping/killing/home invasion advice programs become non-sequiturs. They are intended for generic short-term urban criminal unrest or turbulent weather situations, not for Armageddon. A dozen deadbolts on your door aren’t going to stop a group of starving people determined to gain entry.
Therefore, if you’re concerned about a cataclysmic doomsday, you obviously need a structurally sound domicile that caters to long-term survival. The commonest of these since the latest concerns have manifested has been a steel underground bunker replete with supplies of food, water, non-electric grid-supplied power, and weapons. The one aspect that seems to be missing is an escape route from your Doomsday Man Cave. Never, ever forget that whatever you build, somebody else can blow up or gain entry to.
This is why monarchs and their advisors have multiple “bomb-proof” shelters, so the bad (or good) guys can’t second-guess where they are located. You build a so-called bomb-proof shelter, and your enemy builds a bigger bomb. What else is new? That concept has been around for 5,000 years.
So don’t forget to have some means, physical or mental, to exit your safe little haven. The exit avenue is not necessarily an addition to escape predators and resultant physical violation. You may be blessed with an idiot in your “survival family” who used one of your cool survival matches to check the gasoline level in the generator you so cunningly installed for when you’re off the grid. That could be a bundle of giggles—an inferno in your underground steel coffin with no escape hatch and one non-reusable kitchen-sized fire extinguisher.
Sooner or later your water supply will run out, or one of your clan will lose it (i.e., his or her mind). Locked up with other people in an enclosed area does wonders for human mental degeneration—fast. As Charlton Heston said, “It doesn’t take much to erode the thin veneer of human civilization.”
For a myriad of reasons, have an escape avenue. This may merely be a secondary fireproof cubicle isolated from the primary, but whatever you decide, think ahead.
Example: Yours truly recently viewed a television program on steel bunkers. The specific unit featured on the program was built with extreme tensile strength, was fireproof and fitted out with all the necessary survival equipment, up to and including built-in weaponry. So far, so good. Obviously the designer and future inhabitant had thought of all potential problems ranging from forces of nature to human attack.
The two negative things I noticed were, primarily, no escape hatch except one in a predator’s line of fire. Now I sincerely hope I was wrong and that there was another exit which they wisely chose not to show. If not, the inhabitant is sooner or later going to be a prairie dog for a varmint shooter.
Secondarily, there was a retractable, manually rotatable periscope fitted with night-vision capability. Problem? My night-vision binoculars are more powerful than your periscope. So I’ll bide my time until your lens is facing away from me, trot on up to your bunker, break off the periscope with a sledgehammer and drop a pineapple down the tube.
Or I’ll sit three feet away from your bunker and wait until you elevate the periscope. Same singer, different song. Bye bye.
Bottom line? No, you can’t think of everything. But whatever your plans, you’d better look at them subjectively and objectively—in advance. Don’t think like the lioness. Think like the crippled zebra she’s pursuing, and you’re in with a chance.
See you in the New Year—if there is one.
Louis Awerbuck is Director of the internationally acclaimed Yavapai Firearms Academy. Course information and schedules are available at their website at http://www.yfainc.com