A Swimming Pool is Like a Personal Reservoir in Your Backyard. But is the Water Safe to Drink?

The quick answer is yes. But there are a couple of steps you’ll want to take before you hoist a glass of pool water to your lips. In the grand scheme of things, water from a properly maintained swimming pool is safer than any wild water you might find in a river or pond. But regardless of the source, you need to treat any water you harvest, whether it’s in your own backyard or in the wild.

All manner of pollutants can find their way into streams and lakes, from animal manure to pesticides and herbicides, heavy metals, and of course bacteria and viruses. Many of those same pollutants can find their way into swimming pools in addition to human skin cells, human and animal urine, fecal matter, and whatever the wind carries to the water’s surface.


 Related: A terrifying disaster is upon us (What you can do to keep your loved ones safe during the coming chaos)


Fortunately, heavy metal and farm-strength pesticides and herbicides rarely get into a swimming pool. However, a natural weather disaster like a tornado or hurricane can dump just about anything in your pool from the surrounding area, and that’s a time when you might need a water source like your swimming pool the most.

The good news is that swimming pools are usually filtered and treated with chemicals (mostly chlorine) to keep the water clear and pure. Pool owners also spend a good amount of time skimming the surface, and most pools have automatic skimmers to remove floating debris. But what about those swimming pool chemicals?

Traditional Water Treatment for Swimming Pools

The filtering process for most swimming pools involves running the water through a tank filled with diatomaceous earth. It’s a white, powdery substance made from crushed seashell fossils. It’s safe and is used to filter everything from commercially produced beer to water from municipal water and yes, swimming pools.

But What About Those Chemicals?

Two chemicals typically find their way into swimming pool water to effectively treat the water. One is chlorine and the other is cyanuric acid.

Chlorine is added to kill germs. It’s that simple. What’s complicated is the source of the germs. Here are a few of the vectors or sources that bring bacteria and viruses to swimming pools:

  • The wind.
  • Branches and leaves fall into the pool.
  • Our feet deliver everything we’ve stepped on and in, to the water.
  • All parts of our bodies and everything that clings to them, everywhere.
  • Bathing suits T-shirts or anything else someone wears in a pool.
  • Insects that fall into the water.
  • Bird droppings.
  • Mucous, sweat, and other human secretions.
  • And the family dog when we decide it would be cute for him or her to take a dip.

Just going down that list is enough to make any pool owner want to throw another batch of chlorine in the pool. But while chlorine won’t hurt you if you accidentally gulp down a mouthful, drinking highly chlorinated water over a period of time can do some serious damage to your organs and your gastrointestinal system.

In fact, the first sign of mild chlorine poisoning is diarrhea. The chlorine kills the good bacteria in our intestines that help us to digest food. Diarrhea is the result. The simple fact is that you have to get the chlorine out of the water before you drink it. Bromide is sometimes used as a chlorine alternative for sanitizing pool water, and that’s not any safer to drink.

If you have a for chlorine, you should know that water with chlorine levels less than 4 ppm (parts per million) is considered safe to drink. However, there may be other chemicals or pollutants present, so don’t assume potability (water that’s safe to drink) is all about chlorine levels.


 Related: A Gold Storm Is Coming  (Even the most prepared Americans will be blindsided by what’s about to happen.)

Why Would Anyone Add Cyanuric Acid to a Pool?

Algae will often grow in swimming pools. It’s slimy and encourages bacterial growth. The appearance of algae in the water is typically a sign of high alkalinity and an improperly maintained swimming pool. Cyanuric acid is often added as a pool conditioner to raise the acidity of the water to inhibit the growth of algae.

It also stabilizes hypochlorous acid which is a product of the pool chlorine and the cyanuric acid resists the destabilizing effects of ultraviolet light on the chlorine. It’s relatively safe to swim in water treated with acids if they’re used in the proper proportions but they’re also not safe to drink in quantity.

Are There Any Other Chemicals to Worry About?

Yes, but they’re not added intentionally. Ammonia will often show up and its source is urine. Say what you will, but people often pee in the pool. Complicating matters, if sufficient ammonia finds its way into a swimming pool, it can actually interact with the hypochlorous acid to create chloramines that can irritate the skin and eyes and smell bad as well.

To put it bluntly, swimming pool water may look clear and clean, but it has the potential to be a witches-brew of stuff you don’t want to drink.

Even if the pool looks like this, don’t just scoop it up and drink it.

How to Make Swimming Pool Water Safe to Drink

Filter It

A good water filter design to will effectively allow you to filter swimming pool water and make it safe to drink. Look for carbon and ceramic filters built-in.

The carbon filter will remove the chemicals and the ceramic filter will remove any bacteria that have survived the chlorine. Giardia is a good example of a bacterium that is highly resistant to water treatment, so don’t assume the chlorine has killed all the germs.

Expose The Water To The Sun

The ultraviolet radiation from the sun breaks down chlorine. This can happen in a matter of hours unless the pool has been stabilized with cyanuric acid. In that case, chlorine can resist ultraviolet light for weeks.

One way to accelerate the UV process is to harvest a small amount of water in a clear, sealed container. Start with a gallon. Allow it to sit in the sun. It’s like making sun tea without the tea. If you know or suspect the pool water has been treated with cyanuric acid, this can take two weeks or more. That’s not much help if you’re out of the water, so a water filter is your best bet.

Make Your Own Water Filter

There are ways to make your own water filter using an empty 2-liter bottle and layers of sand and gravel; charcoal (activated charcoal is best, and you can make that too), and fabric. This filter design assumes muddy, wild water, but if a storm has left your pool filled with debris, this filter will do the job just as well.

If you do improvise your own filter, you still might want to let the water sit in the sun in a clear container for at least a few hours, just to be safe.

If you do improvise your own filter, you still might want to let the water sit in the sun in a clear container for at least a few hours, just to be safe

What About Bathing and Laundry?

If you’re positive that the pool water has been properly maintained and there’s no sudden buildup of debris as a result of a storm, you’re okay to launder clothes or wash up. Make sure you use detergent with the water in case any residual bacteria have survived the chlorine.

You don’t need to worry about the chlorine bleaching any clothing because the chlorine levels in the water are not strong enough to bleach fabrics.

A Swimming Pool as a Water Source is Actually a Good Idea

If you find yourself without water after a disaster, a swimming pool in the backyard is an easy and convenient water source. It’s much cleaner than a local pond or river and, because it’s close to home, you can filter water in bulk for continuous use much more easily.

If you think about it, the chlorination of swimming pool water is a good first step in any water filtration process. Now if we could just get people to stop peeing in the pool…


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A Swimming Pool is Like a Personal Reservoir in Your Backyard. But is the Water Safe to Drink? The quick answer is yes. But there are a couple of steps you’ll

A lot of preppers are worried that, in the event, we’re ever attacked with EMP weapons, most of our vehicles will instantly turn to junk. This isn’t a far-out belief, either; it’s based on testing by the EMP Commission.

It’s true that those tests didn’t cause any permanent damage to the vehicles, but the Commission freely admits that they stopped testing at the level of EMP where the vehicles stopped running – and that was far below the levels that would be emitted by an actual attack.

It’s difficult to predict what damage an EMP attack would do to vehicles because so many variables are involved. We can make some educated guesses, though. We do know that EMP can destroy solid-state electronics, and late-model vehicles depend on those for almost everything. Without its engine management computer, a modern car won’t even start.

If your new truck is caught by an EMP the chances are it’s going to take a lot of work to get it running again. You’re almost certainly going to have to replace all the computers if you can find undamaged spares, and EMP can do funny things to wiring as well.

As the wiring harness is one of the first things installed in cars, replacing it is a huge job. Is it going to be feasible in a country devastated by the attack? I’m not betting on it.

There is another option, though – find yourself a vehicle that doesn’t rely on electronics. Computer-controlled car engines didn’t really exist until the mid-1970s and there were plenty of new cars without them at the end of the decade, so most vehicles that age or older will be much more resistant to EMP. Carbureted engines with simpler wiring looms don’t give the pulse much to get their teeth into.



The bad news is that we’re talking about some pretty old, and often hard-used, vehicles here. The good news is that in many cases you should be able to get a running one for a reasonable amount of money. Here are six EMP-proof vehicles you can pick up for less than $2,000.

Volkswagen Beetle

Good Vehicles to Have for EMP

You can easily pay over $100,000 for a classic Bug in immaculate condition – but you can also get a runner for under $2,000. In fact, while I was writing this I saw one for $500 that just needs some work on the hubs to put it back on the road. The post-1971 “Super Beetle” is usually cheaper than the classic flat windshield model.

The Beetle is built on really old technology. It has a flat-four air-cooled engine without any hint of electronics.

It’s also a rugged and reliable car that’s good enough off-road that the German army put an open-topped body on it and used it as a jeep. It won’t even notice an EMP.

Dune Buggies

Good Vehicles to Have for EMP

VW Bugs are classic cars now, but from the 60s through the early 80s they were just cheap imports – and a lot of people used their simple mechanicals as the basis for a dune buggy. Usually, this involved shortening the Beetle chassis by about a foot and fitting it with a simple, lightweight fiberglass body.


Dune buggies have decent fuel economy and off-road performance, and they don’t rust. They’re also very easy to modify into survival vehicles, and they don’t need a lot of maintenance. You can find a running one for about $800 upwards.

CUCV (Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle)

Good Vehicles to Have for EMP

In the mid-1970s the US military was running out of utility vehicles. The HMMWV program hadn’t produced anything yet and the old M151 jeeps were wearing out. As a stopgap, thousands of commercial wagons and trucks were purchased, in slightly militarized versions.

There are a few different models of CUCV, but the most common is the M1109 – a 1984-model Chevrolet K5 Blazer. This is a simple vehicle with plenty of load space, 4wd, and a powerful 6.2-liter diesel engine, and it’s ideal as a post-SHTF vehicle. Thousands have been disposed of at auctions and you can easily find a usable one for under $2,000. Try eBay.

International Harvester Scout

Good Vehicles to Have for EMP

The Scout was probably the first mass-produced SUV, even if it was never the most exciting or popular. It’s a simple, sturdy, and reliable vehicle, though, and it has great off-road performance.

The original Scout is starting to get expensive, so look for a Scout II. Manufactured from 1971 to 1980, this is a lot cheaper and just as reliable. You can find rough but repairable ones for under $1,000; $2,000 will get you a good runner.

Chevrolet Cheyenne

Chevrolet produced this full-size truck from 1959 through to the turn of the century, but what you’re looking for is a pre-1980 third-generation model. With a computer-free engine and easily maintained mechanicals, it’s a tough and practical utility vehicle.

A lot of these are still hanging on in rural areas, and you can pick up a running example for under $1,500 if you hunt around. Can’t find a Cheyenne? No problem; most other pre-1980 trucks will do just as well.


7 Emp-proof Cars That You Can Buy For Less Than $2000

No, don’t laugh. This cheap and nasty car was imported into the USA from 1985 to 1991 – but mechanically it’s a 1970s Fiat 127, so its 900cc engine is EMP-proof. Incredibly, good examples now sell for up to $15,000 – but you can get an average one for under $1,000 because nobody wants them.

The thing is, this is a cheap communist-built car with a tacky finish and unreliable accessories, but the engine is simple and reliable. It might be an embarrassing car to drive, but it’s a lot less embarrassing than one that won’t start because its electronics are fried.



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How to go off the grid with no money is a common question that many people are asking these days.  In the luxury that we take for granted today, going off the grid may seem non-sensical.  But the truth is there are hundreds of thousands of people all over North America who will choose to live off the grid.

Why?  Because they’ve decided that living a life of true self-sustainability is better and more rewarding than living a life connected to the power grid.

In other words, those who live off the grid don’t want to be dependent on the outside world for resources.  By living off the grid, you are free of society, government, utilities, and everything else we’re accustomed to as a civilization. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? It’s up to you.

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re at least interested in the off-grid lifestyle. You probably desire independence, the ability to sustain yourself and to work outdoors in nature.  You probably also want to find a way to go off the grid in a way that costs as little as possible.

Here’s the truth: going off the grid is going to cost you some money no matter what. But it isn’t going to cost you a fortune either, and there are steps you can take to reduce the cost as much as possible.  Let’s talk about how to go off the grid with no money in greater detail.


What Does It Truly Mean To Live Off The Grid?

Off-grid living is nothing new. In fact, for most of human history, humanity has thrived living off the grid! Only a couple hundred years ago, every family that sustained itself did so without being connected to a ‘power grid’ of sorts.

Today in the 21st Century, living off the grid means living free of any dependence on the rest of society. You sustain yourself.

Therefore, this means no connection to the power grid, no running water from a water company, no heat and electricity from an external supplier, no going to the grocery store, and instead of raising your own livestock and gardens, and without any dependence on society, the public, or the local authorities in any way.

Most people who live off the grid these days do not truly live off the grid. Even though they may create their own running water and electricity and such, they may still go into town every once and again to restock on food and supplies, watch a movie at the theater, see a sports game, and so on.

And that’s perfectly fine. If the kind of lifestyle you’re imagining is one where you raise your own food and create your own running water and electricity, but still go into town every so often for supplies or for other purposes, that’s totally cool so long as you keep your dependence on society to a minimum.

Related: Is It Illegal to Harvest Rainwater in Your State?

In summary, in order to truly live off the grid, each of the following things must happen:

  • You’ll need your own land, with access to running water, timber, and suitable agricultural land
  • You’ll need your own house (or at least some sort of shelter)
  • You’ll need to grow your own food (livestock and gardening)
  • You’ll need to create your own heat and power
  • You’ll need to still earn a living from where you work
  • You’ll need to have your own waste/septic system

Transitioning fully to that kind of lifestyle may sound like it requires a large financial investment, but soon you will learn how to go off the grid with no money at all (or at least a very small investment).

Why Should You Go Off The Grid

Ask somebody who lives off the grid why they choose to do so and they will likely respond with one or more of the following:

  • You can save money
  • You are not dependent on society or the government for help
  • You live more simply and therefore consume less
  • You can be closer to nature
  • You can go green and be more environmentally conscious
  • You can live a life of independence

While some people live off the grid because they have to, for most, it’s a choice. You’ll have to work to sustain yourself a lot more, but the tradeoff is you’ll also get a lot more freedom.  One of the biggest advantages to living off the grid will be the fact that you can sustain yourself even in the event of a major crisis that would devastate the more urbanized areas.

You’ll still feel the effects of economic collapses, EMP attacks, and natural disasters no matter what, but you’ll also be able to sustain yourself in those dangerous times.  In contrast to this, in those kinds of major national disasters, those who are connected to the power grid and dependent on society will find themselves in absolute chaos with the risk of being killed significantly high.

While the stores are being looted and people are boarding up houses, you’ll be nestled quietly off on your property and comforted in knowing that you can still feed your family. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever face danger, but it does mean that you’ll be at significantly less risk in contrast to those who are fully connected to the grid.

Steps On How To Go Off The Grid With No Money

So what are some steps you can take on how to go off the grid with no money?  Well, long story short, if you truly have no money with which to go off the grid, you’re going to need to start saving.



Yes, saving money is the first step to living off the grid.  And guess what? There are a huge number of ways you can save money!

For one thing, cut some unnecessary bills.

Gym membership? You can work out at home.

Going to the movie theater? Wait for it to come out on Netflix or Digital HD.

Eating out? Eat at home.

Car payment? Sell your car and get a less expensive one (and with cheaper insurance).

Health insurance? See if it’s possible to get a cheaper plan.

Shopping? Go to discount stores or buy in bulk to save per item.

You get the idea. You would also be amazed how simply making it a habit to always use coupons can really save you money as well.  All in all, it’s possible for you to save anywhere from $500 to $2,000 a month on average just by cutting back on your expenses. With a few months of saving, and you’ll have enough to go off the grid.


While saving money is great, you may easily be tempted to use it.

That’s why you need to have a place to store your saved money, and the best place to do that will be a new off-grid savings account where you make it a rule to never touch it.  This bank account should grow, from a few hundred to a thousand and then to several thousand, and the more it grows the more excited you will be to add even more money into it so it grows further.

Now look, this idea of simply saving money may seem like the obvious way how to go off the grid when you have no money to start out with.  But guess what?  It works! And if you currently have no money but want to off the grid, practicing patience and setting aside funding is the only way to do it. After all, you can’t just buy property for free. Speaking of property…

Related: Is It Illegal to Harvest Rainwater in Your State?


The property for your off-grid location needs to have several things, including each of the following:

  • A house or a place to build a house
  • A storage shed or a place to build a shed
  • Secluded (preferably, though you may not mind having close neighbors)
  • Natural source of water (well, lake, river, stream, etc)
  • Timber
  • Suitable agricultural land for raising crops

Your off-grid property also needs to be affordable, and if the cheapest property out there is what you’re looking for, you’re probably going to have to accept that that property will be a little run down and a ‘fixer-upper.’  If there’s already a house on the property, for example, there may be several issues that you need to fix on your own, but the tradeoff is you’ll be paying less upfront.

Also, remember that you don’t have to buy a huge piece of property either.  This idea that going off-grid means you have a massive eighty-acre homestead is ridiculous. Many of those who live off the grid have a small piece of property of two to five acres.




Be absolutely sure that this is the property you want before you buy it.  In the United States, you can expect to pay $3,000 to $4,000 for every acre of land. So for a five-acre plot of a homestead, that’s fifteen to twenty grand to put down. Yes, there are some areas where you can buy acreage for less than that, but 3k is a good baseline to expect.

If the property has a house or sheds on it, then obviously it’s going to cost much more than that (more on this in the next section).  Once you buy the property, the only real step left will be to move in. It’s possible to move completely off the grid in less than a month if you set your mind to it.

How Much Does It Really Cost To Go Off The Grid?

So you’re probably wondering at this point: how much will it REALLY cost you to go off the grid?  For a small piece of land with a small house on it, $100,000 to $150,000 is probably what you’ll expect to pay.

As an alternative, you could buy a small piece of land for a fraction of that price, and then install a tiny house on it for ten thousand dollars or higher. This would obviously only work for singles and couples, but it is still something to think about.

As for additional expenses, you can expect to pay five grand or a little less for a solar system with 1500 watts, while a septic system can cost you up to twenty-five grand.


So how do you go off the grid with no money?  In short, you don’t.  But you can go off the grid on the cheap, at least when compared to the $250,000 suburban neighborhood homes that are a mainstay in the United States right now.

You’ll really need to save money if this is something you want to pursue, and then afterward, you’ll need to look for the cheapest property you can get while keeping additional costs to a minimum.

That really is the recipe for finding a cheap place to live off the grid right now, and while it may sound overly simplistic, you can’t simply buy land and then move on to it with everything you need for free. It’s simply unrealistic to think that way.

Save money and find a good deal. Do that, and you can spend less money moving off the grid than you would be moving into a neighborhood home.


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The oceans contain 97% of all the earth’s water, so if you and your family are searching for a healthy supply, don’t worry about moving your homestead to the coast.

It takes loads of energy to desalinate sea water (and resources, on a large scale), so it’s impractical even in regionally water-stressed areas. Of what is left, 2.5% of the earth’s water is not available, which means that it is too cold, too frozen, or too dirty. Which leaves just 0.5% of the planet’s available fresh water for individuals and land-dwelling species.

No wonder that our utility bills are so big, then. The average person also uses 3,000 gallons of it a month without barely thinking of such a restricted resource. This is flushing money down the toilet, literally. If there is an emergency and the entire town loads up on bottled water, what’s even crazier is, like that’s going to do a lot of anything. In an emergency, there is only one way to minimize utility costs AND provide enough water on hand, and that is by being independent of water, not relying on public works.

When you’re responsible for your own water supply, you’re also more conserving with it, too. The good news is that your property has plenty of untapped freshwater supplies, and the right conservation and ingenuity scheme will help you become more independent and prepared for tough times.

Each of these networks of off-grid water is better when combined. You are more at risk of not getting enough water on hand, relying on one alone, but using two, three, or more will ensure there is plenty for you and your homestead.

The Most Simple One

Probably, some positive things do fall from the sky. It is possible to set up rain barrels somewhere under the heavens and provide a large supply of clean water with one torrential downpour.

A 50 gallon plastic trash can with a lid, some landscape cloth, a 3⁄4″ garden spigot, a double threaded bulkhead with an inner thread size of 3⁄4″, some Gorilla Tape and Teflon tape, a pen to draw a hole and a razor blade to cut it out, are an easy way to make one in five minutes.

The spigot is going to go near the bottom of the trash can, so trace and cut out a hole around the bulkhead there. The bulkhead is inserted and the nut is screwed backwards. Next, loop the teflon tape around the thread on the spigot a couple of times, then screw the spigot into the bulkhead until it is secure and facing down. Cut a large hole out of the lid of the trash can.

With Gorilla Tape, and the cover with a hole put back on top of this, the landscape fabric will be pulled tightly over the top of the can and sealed. That way, the rainwater, which should filter through the fabric and into the barrel, would not be polluted by debris and mosquitoes.

The Second System

To pump it to the surface, hand pumps involve drilling down into an aquifer and using manual labor.

Electric pumps can be used, but you would wish you had the more strenuous alternative if it went out during an emergency.

In the U.S., there are existing companies that will build and drill for you, but at least expect to pay a few thousand dollars.


Another Idea For Your Property

Instead, building a permaculture swale is a perfect way to avoid rainwater from escaping downhill as runoff and soaking into a garden’s soil.

This will take planning and observation of water flow and drainage on the ground you build upon, but can make a planting area more efficient and less maintenance.

When it rains, you need to watch how the water flows, then dig a trench uniformly along those contour lines to slow down and hold the water, generally 6 inches to 1.5 feet deep, and 18 inches to two feet wide. On the downhill side of the trench, the soil removed would be constructed as a berm.

The trench is then planted in desert environments, and the berm is usually in non-desert climates. Instead, the water pooled and slowed from draining off would flow into the immediate soil, making it better over time as organic matter rises.


A Water System For Huge Supplies 

A cistern will give you peace of mind knowing that on standby, you have a large supply of water.

These can range from materials made of stone or metal and depending on what you and your property can accommodate, can hold 10,000 gallons or more or less.

When complete, however, and where it’s constructed, their potential weight is something to be mindful of. If the ground isn’t solid enough, it will sink. Also, if it freezes where you live, it could also be stopped from doing so by burying it in the snow.

Related: Is It Illegal to Harvest Rainwater in Your State?

An Underground System 

A natural or man-made pond can contain plenty of water, and organisms to prevent stagnation or possibly be eaten, too.

Of course, the water would have to be thoroughly washed before being used for drinking or cooking, but if necessary, it’s still a viable choice.

A bonus food supply is supplied by stocking it with fish. If it freezes, a pond dug from 8-12 feet will allow them to survive. Before you dig, a lot of care should be taken, but filling the pond with a tarp and some geotextile material will decrease seepage after it’s completed.

Another Idea For Your Backyard

A well would be a reasonably safe and clean water source on your property. Usually, they are anywhere from 20 to 300 feet deep, which means being protected in the winter from freezing.

If your property doesn’t already have a well, however, digging and implementing one would cost at least a few thousand dollars. But the saved money is going to outweigh the cost.


In all those National Geographic documentaries, I’m sure you’ve seen the Romans harness the force of gravity by aqueducts. This will be easier to build if you have some elevation changes on your farm, and gravity is a good way to add water pressure around the homestead.

Most modern showers use about 80-100 psi, but a simpler water system using gravity can be very accommodating if you can be comfortable scaling down to around 20 psi.

A Natural Water Source

If you’re fortunate enough to have a spring on your property bubbling out of the rocks, then you might already have a natural source of clean, delicious water.

The hard part is constructing the infrastructure around the homestead to harness it, however, it is possible with the assistance of gravity.

Related: Is It Illegal to Harvest Rainwater in Your State?

“Cascade” or Water Flow

This is more of a procedural device than a mechanical one. But with it, you are going to conserve and optimize water. Generally, there are 3 kinds of water: white, green, and black. To do laundry, wash dishes, or even water gardens and livestock, you do not need water that’s suitable for human consumption. You can “cascade” water from one level to the next using an proper water flow.

The same water can be used to clean the dishes if you boil water for food. To flush the toilet, the water you used to wash your hands will then be used. When you begin to become more conscious of where your water comes from and more involved in achieving it, you can get more ideas about how to conserve and use it to its full potential.

The Last Off-Grid System 

10 Off-Grid Water Systems You Should Have On Your Property

A water filter will help out a lot.

You can buy a common but costly, heavy duty one from Berkey, or you can make one called a Biosand Filter from materials on your property.

To download a free manual on building it, check out a website from a Canadian charitable organization named CAWST, but the gist of it requires a barrel full of sand and gravel and a top layer of micro-organisms that all kill dangerous pathogens through a process of predation, trapping, absorption, and natural death.

There are several more potential structures, and for every homestead, some of these may not be possible. A smart way to get some ideas is to explore what other individuals have achieved on assets close to yours. In the event of anything occurring, it is important not to have just one device, but as many as possible. Water, can be contaminated, can run out or become poisoned. If SHTF, the first step to surviving and thriving would be to have a healthy supply of good water.


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Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps


The oceans contain 97% of all the earth’s water, so if you and your family are searching for a healthy supply, don’t worry about moving your homestead to the coast. It

Having read hundreds if not thousands of articles on preparedness, one of the common themes that I see consistently among all authors on all platforms is the focus on skills. Certainly, the advantages are obvious; if you know how to make a fire, then you’re able to do it the moment without having to break out your boy scout manual and fail multiple times at the moment. You can practice on your own time during a non-emergency, and learn everything there is to know about knots, cooking, preserving, and growing. At the moment, you can’t ask an attacker to pause so you can quickly study up on your Tae Kwon Do, or ask the oncoming floods if they could recede for long enough for you to build an adequate barricade for your home.

That said, as a budding young prepper a few years ago, I found it completely overwhelming having to not only purchase so many supplies but also find the time to learn how to garden, how to start fires, how to build shelters, make home repairs and fire a gun all at the same time. That said, here are some buy-it and forget-it supplies that require nothing more than a few dollars in your pocket and a place to store this potentially life-saving equipment.

  1. Weather Radio

A weather radio, particularly one that includes a hand crank and options for lighting or charging, such as solar, is an essential supply for anyone who has to deal with the wrath of nature from time to time. In case of a power outage, this can charge your phone, light your way through the night, or provide the information you need to make quick decisions for your own welfare. We love this one!

Any good weather radio should be small and offer multiple charging options. It should be easy to program, and you should probably store it with its instruction booklet. Since these devices are so incredibly easy to use, there is almost nothing that you’ll have to do in order to make it work for you, although those who don’t have experience working a radio dial may find it a little difficult to use the old-fashioned technology.

  1. Emergency Cell Phone Batteries

An emergency cell phone battery is exactly what you’d think it is – a portable power source that you can use to charge any device in a pinch. Most of these devices come pre-charged at local stores, although you may have to charge the ones you purchase online. I have one of these at my house for every family member with a device, and we use them so often it’s become second nature for every family member to grab one on their way out the door. In fact, one of our home’s phone charging stations is entirely dedicated to recharging just these battery packs.

What makes these chargers so great is that they function so well on the go. It may look awkward at first to be holding your device with the charger attached, but it works.

It’s also possible to purchase these for your bug out bags, or to keep one in a vehicle, but keep in mind that the battery’s charge will wear off over time. This provides a good opportunity to review your bug out bag every six months or so as you remove the battery packs for charging.

If you do decide to grab some of these, I’d highly recommend getting the highest mAh capacity you can get (this is the measure of how much of a charge a battery can hold). While this will increase the price, and while you may never use the full capacity to charge a device if you’re storing these for emergency use as I described above, then you want to keep the charge for the longest possible time.

  1. Mylar Blankets

It’s an emergency blanket. Not much more needs to be said other than the fact that these make an excellent, lightweight addition to a bug out or get home bag.

  1. Lifestraw (or other portable water filters) and Water Storage tanks

Outside of unwrapping a Lifestraw, there is not much to using it. You simply find some water and suck it on the correct end of the filter.

Other portable water filters are, admittedly, slightly more difficult, but nothing so complicated that you can’t figure it out at the moment. When taking a group of 8th grade students on a camping trip a few years ago, they were all able to use a filter to strain out some clean drinking water without spilling much, and let’s face it, if an 8th grader can do it, so can almost any adult.

Water is a top-3 item that you’ll need to consider when prepping, and having a few portable filters in your home and in your bug-out equipment will help alleviate one of the largest concerns with water. The other concern is equally easy to handle – water storage can be very easily handled by simply purchasing some water bricks or some other convenient storage solution and filling it. No skill is required there.

  1. Long-Term Food Storage

When purchasing supplies for just yourself, I could see the argument behind trying all of the long-term food options before committing to purchasing a huge quantity of flavors you might not enjoy. That said, for a family, any variety pack will likely include enough variety to keep everyone happy. Like the Water Storage equipment, this is as easy as buying, storing, and forgetting.

  1. Car Jumper System

A great buy-and-stash item that you’ll use rather frequently if you drive an old clunky car as I do is a car jumper system to jump your car. This is essentially a high-powered lithium battery that you can charge and store in your trunk. If you need to jump your car, pull out the instructions and follow along with getting your car started. I own three different models (one each for myself, my teenage daughter, and my wife), and each of them has the same three-step approach to getting them set up. When you need it, you no longer need to rely on some good Samaritans to stop to help you jump your car.

All of these will bring you some peace of mind so you can sweat the harder stuff.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us
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The Smart, Easy Way to Food Independence
Your secret weapon when our society shatters into a million pieces
Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

Having read hundreds if not thousands of articles on preparedness, one of the common themes that I see consistently among all authors on all platforms is the focus on skills.

Preppers are really good at lots of things, and making “lists” is chief among them. Getting prepared and remaining prepared requires organization – that takes the making of lists, as well as with lists of lists – got to keep all of those lists recorded and updated too!

You absolutely do not want to be scrambling around to find survival gear and supplies AS the SHTF. The preps should be organized into specific survival kits, labeled, and placed in a storage space noted on the preparedness plan master diagram. All of the items each container stores should be placed onto a list that is printed off in hard copy form and stored electronically as well.

Do not forget the human component when making survival kit lists. When a doomsday disaster happens; everyone in our tribe (my favorite term for our mutual assistance group comprised of loved ones and prepping pals) knows exactly what to do both immediately and in the hours that follow the SHTF emergency – thanks to our individualized survival action lists.

Hurricane Survival Kit

If you live in or visit a hurricane-prone area; you should develop a survival kit that can get you through at least one week without aid from the outside world.

  • Water – When a hurricane hits; the power will go out and potable water will not likely be available for at least several days – or weeks if the storm is severe. You should store enough water to cover the one gallon per day per person general rule of thumb.

  • Generator and Fuel – Expert the power to go out and stay out for at least a week after a hurricane. Purchase a generator that runs on multiple fuel types and a solar generator for your survival kit when the prepping budget permits. Getting gasoline; diesel fuel; or propane will also be virtually impossible in the wake of a substantial storm.

  • Flashlights and Batteries – You simply cannot stockpile too many batteries or flashlights. Make sure to rotate your battery stockpile annually and check flashlights for signs of erosion. Solar yard lights can also be used as a cheap backup to flashlights and lanterns.

  • Emergency Radio – Having the capability to hear additional weather alerts and public notices will be extremely valuable both before the hurricane hits and after. Purchasing an emergency radio that can also run on solar and/or manual crank power will increase your chances of the device’s longevity during a disaster.

  • Water Purifiers – If you run out of stockpiled water; purifying any water you have access to will increase your chances of survival.

  • Long-Term Storage Food – You will need both enough shelf-stable food to survive at least a week without outside aid; and the means of preparing the food. Boiling water to pour into survival food packets will require both potable water and the ability to heat it; such as a rocket stove; outdoor campfire; camping stove; etc.

Bugout Bag Food Survival Kit

Your bugout bag, INCH bag, and the get-me-home bag must include long-term storage survival food to supplement your diet while attempting to hunt; forage; fish; barter; or scavenge additional food. Remaining strong and fit during an SHTF disaster will substantially increase your chances of survival.

Things to Consider When Selecting Shelf-Stable Food For Your Survival Kit

  • Nutrients – The long-term survival food should have high carbohydrate protein and fat content. The carbohydrates will provide additional energy bursts and the proteins and fats will increase your caloric intake and help the stomach feel full.
  • Calorie Count vs Weight – How much the long-term storage food weighs is just as important as the number of quality calories it contains. A can of beef stew, for example, would be an excellent choice because of the nutrient content, shelf life, and easy preparation of the meal, but the canned food will add a lot of weight to your bag and take up far more space than a survival food pouch containing the same type of entree. You want to select long-term storage food that provides as many calories as possible per ounce of container weight.
  • Shelf Life – You must pay attention to the use-by date of the items placed in the bag carefully. Once again, compare the value of the food on both a caloric and comfort level to the weight it will add to your bag and the space it will require. The food survival food should have a shelf life of at least two years and a record kept of all perishable items in each survival kit so they can be rotated appropriately to avoid wasted money or illness if consumed. Energy bars; fruit bars; beef jerky and cheese sticks are lightweight. have a decent shelf life, and may provide a comfort food moral boost while taking up very little space and not adding any substantial weight to your bag.

EDC First Aid Survival Kit

Disaster can, will, and has; happened without warning. Your everyday carry first aid kit should be large enough to contain all the essential supplies you will need to tend to personal medical emergencies and to help your loved ones do the same – but small and lightweight enough to remain portable. If you or a member of your family takes medication on a daily basis, a pill container with at least a 3-day supply.

Types Of Emergency Medical Supplies For Your First Aid Survival Kit

  • Fever, Pain, and Infection Fighters – Sickness and injuries are commonplace now but will become more prevalent during either a short or long-term disaster. A simple infection of a small wound is easily treatable during normal circumstances but can become deadly quickly during an SHTF situation. Carry and rotate medications that will fight fever and reduce swelling as well as an ointment to deter infections.

  • Skin Irritations and Allergies Seasonal and exposure allergies can become just crippling enough to thwart your survival efforts. If you or a member of your tribe suffers from insect sting allergies or seasonal allergies, make sure to pack and rotate the appropriate medications to treat and remedy medical emergencies that will arise if they are stung or exposed to an inciting insect, weather, or environmental conditions. Standard skin irritation gels and materials like aloe Vera gel, Benadryl, and calamine lotion should also be included in the first aid survival kit.

  • Life-Threatening EmergenciesA quick-clotting bandages, tourniquets, snake bite kits, and similar immediate aid medical devices should be the first supplies in the emergency survival kit and stored in an exterior zippered pouch for easy access.

  • Splints and WrapsBeing immobile during a disaster absolutely will not help your chances of surviving long enough to reach safety. Single-use ice and heat packs split, athletic wrap, and arm slings, to help you remain as functional as possible after becoming injured during an SHTF scenario. You can use your knife or hatchet to craft a crutch out of a tree branch to help keep you on your feet and walking after an injury and to make a more firm splinting device if necessary.

Earthquake Survival Kit

It is not only those Americans who live along a fault line who should be preparing for an earthquake. Nearly half of all residents in the United States live in an area at risk for a damaging earthquake, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey. Approximately 143 million citizens in the lower 48 states could be impacted by an earthquake. About 28 million of our fellow Americans live in regions where there is a “high” potential for a substantial earthquake and around 57 million citizens live in zones that have been deemed “moderate hazard” regions.

Top Earthquake Survival Kit Preps

  • Water – FEMA preparedness experts recommend keeping enough water for every person in your family to survive for up to two weeks without outside assistance if water service is disrupted after an earthquake.
  • Food – You should also stockpile enough food to last for two weeks per person. Preparing food will most likely have to take place by non-conventional or primitive means – outdoor cooking, solar cooking, camping stove, or oven.
  • First Aid – An emergency medical kit larger than the EDC should be a top priority because you will be yourown first responder at least during the initial hours after a hurricane hits.
  • SanitationIf an earthquake rips through your region, it could take out not only the power grid and water utilities but the sewage utilities and sanitation services as well. The disease spreads rapidly during an SHTF situation and being exposed to raw human waste will increase your exposure to infection. Purchase a composting toilet and lime to fill its collection basin and wear gloves when regularly dumping out the waste.


Related: Is It Illegal to Harvest Rainwater in Your State?


Power Grid Down Survival Kit

Prepping for a downed power grid will help your family survive any type of disaster – because the lights will go out for an undetermined amount of time during nearly any SHTF scenario. All of the items from the survival kits above will be necessary to live through a power grid blackout, but they are not the only preps you will need to protect and care for your home and family.

Survival Kit Essential During A Power Grid Down Disaster

  • Currency – You will not be able to use your credit card or hit the ATM after a power grid blackout. If the power grid failure is massive and long-term or part of the domino effect of another SHTF disaster, the dollar will soon become nothing more than a worthless piece of paper anyway. Stockpile precious metals and gems, essential bartering materials like water, batteries, over-the-counter medications, and cans of food for trading with others to meet any needs that arise during the disaster.

  • Marauding Hordes – Protecting your loved ones and your preps will fall on your own shoulders during a power grid down disaster – for either the short or long term. Police officers will be overwhelmed with emergency calls and they too will eventually lack the fuel to keep their cruisers on the road and their emergency radios charged. Stockpiling guns and ammo are essential. If you currently live somewhere that infringes on the Second Amendment and your ability to possess an EDC firearm – move now, before it is too late, and buy all available and legal self-defense gear to better protect yourself until the relocation is complete!

  • Communications – Keeping in contact with the outside world will help you stay informed about not just public alert messages from the government, but open the lines of communication with other Americans so you are aware of a disease is sweeping the region and how close violent civil unrest is to your home and family. Store your emergency 2-way radios and extra batteries in a Faraday cage to harden them against EMPs and solar flares.

Survival Bags

Even if you are planning on bugging in at your survival retreat, you should also prepare for first getting there safely and being ready to flee at a moment’s notice if the situation warrants. Being focused only on being at home when the SHTF disaster occurs and remaining there, will quite possibly get you killed.

There are several different types of survival bags. Bugout bags or go bags, car bugout bags, get-home bags, and INCH (I’m Never Coming Home) bags.

Bugout Bags

A bugout bag (or BoB) is a portable rucksack or kit that holds enough gear and supplies to help you survive for at least 72 hours after disaster strikes. These individualized emergency bags are also often referred to as “go bags.”

Get Home Bags

This type of survival kit holds enough emergency supplies to help you get from where you are to your home or prepper retreat. It usually holds about 24 hours of supplies like food, water, cookware, and fire starters.


An INCH bag is a bugout bag on steroids. It contains all of your most essential and critically important preparedness gear. This type of survival kit is larger and heavier than a bugout bag because it holds all of the supplies and tools necessary to help sustain your life indefinitely. An INCH bag should be kept by the door so you can grab it and RUN if the marauding hordes are about to overwhelm your prepper retreat, fire is moving in your direction, or some other situation beyond your control happens after the SHTF.

Car Bugout Bags

Sometimes this type of survival kit is not even a bag at all. Plastic totes or pickup truck bed tool storage containers are often used as car Bobs. These kits are not designed to be portable and contain heavy gear like tents, multiple types of tools, additional food, water, and first aid supplies, a rifle, fishing gear, a camping stove, and even equipment that is powered by the vehicle’s cigarette lighter. The survival kit supplies will allow you to set up a base camp near the vehicle as you travel to your intended destination, stay overnight in the vehicle itself, or fix small to medium mechanical problems that the vehicle may have while getting back home or the prepper retreat.

A quality constructed and filled bugout bag stored in your vehicle or place of work will be both your first and last line of defense against the impact and aftermath of the disaster. Your bag and what it contains could quite easily be the only thing you have to rely upon when the apocalyptic scenario unfolds.

The quality of each style of survival kit bag is every bit as important as the survival gear that will be stowed inside.

  • Cost – When buying a bugout bag and an INCH bag you must look for quality over cost – this is not a time to pinch pennies. If the bag is cheap, it may also have been constructed poorly and will not be able to stand up to rugged wear and tear. Test the zippers and the straps on the bags and make sure they are constructed durably. Purchase a small hand-sewing kit, nylon straps, and Velcro to pack in the bags so they can be repaired if needed.

  • Fit – Try the bag on just like you would do if purchasing a coat or pair of boots. Make sure the straps are fully adjustable and the bag fits the length of your torso properly and comfortably. An empty bag will hang far differently than a tightly filled bag. Do not purchase your bugout bag or INCH bag online if at all possible. Go to a survival or camping supply store and place some weight inside the bag before trying it on to ensure the load hangs between your shoulders with the weight distributed evenly. You might want to tell the sales clerk you are going to fill the bag with nearby store items to test the weight load and fit of the bag before snatching items off of shelves and tucking them into the bag to avoid a chat with the store’s security staff!

  • Support – Backwoods camping rucksacks are usually the best way to go when purchasing an INCH bag or bugout bag The lightweight yet durable external metal frame on the bag will help you carry the weight more evenly and with likely less strain on your back, neck, and shoulders.

  • Design – Do not go full-out tactical with your INCH or bugout bag. If the bag is very large and military in style, it will attract unwanted attention and could force you into a deadly fight to keep your bag and survival supplies. Choose a bag in a muted, camo, or dark color. Purchase only a bag that has copious amounts of pockets with sturdy zippers and is made of weather-resistant material.

Where you live and the types of skills you possess will dictate what you carry both every day and store in your bugout and INCH bags. Urban preppers will have a far shorter distance to traverse to get home from work during an SHTF disaster than rural preppers – but the journey of the city dweller will likely be far a larger threat posed by other metropolitan inhabitants and a massive walk to safety if bugging out from their apartment, than rural preppers.

A rural EDC survival kit should include three different aspects: workplace EDC, bugout bag, and vehicle-stored survival bag and weapons. Sadly, many rural preppers who do not work on their own land or from home, are forced to commute up to an hour away for a decent-paying job. They will have to stockpile gear to see them through the pitfalls of driving or walking through three distinctly different environments if away from home when the SHTF – urban, suburban, and then finally, back across the county line and into their own neck of the woods.

Bugging in during a doomsday disaster is the usual plan for rural preppers, but he or they would be reducing their chances of survival if not fully prepared to actually get home or skimp on being ready to leave rapidly if the situation warrants such action.

Fire Starters Kit

Water ”proof” matches and a couple of extra lighters are only a good start to the fire-igniting items that you should stockpile in your survival kits. Fire ranks just barely beneath water and food on the chart of survival essentials hierarchy.

The ability to start; grow; and maintain a fire will allow you to purify water, cook long-term storage food, grill the fish and meat you hunt/catch, and keep you and your clothing warm and dry – preventing deadly hypothermia from setting in.

Fire starters are lightweight and portable and should be placed in ample supply in your EDC survival kit, bugout bag, INCH bag, get-me-home bag, and in your vehicle.

Top 5 Fire Starters

Flint and Magnesium – Use a knife to shave off just a little bit of material from a magnesium block and then rub the striker next to the flint to generate sparks on top of the pile of block shavings.

Dryer Lint – Any firefighter can attest to the highly flammable nature of dryer lint. Wrap a half-dollar size amount of the lint into wax paper and roll the ends together tightly to them resemble the wrapper of a piece of hard candy.

Petroleum Jelly and Turpentine – Mix together one part turpentine with three parts petroleum jelly and store in an airtight container until ready to use. Slather some of the mixture onto even damp twigs being used as kindling and the smoke should start to flow quickly. The mixture can double as a wound healing and insect salve on both humans and animals.

Battery and Steel Wool – Rubbing together a steel wool pad and the ends of a 9Volt battery can generate enough friction to cause a spark to ignite.

Parabolic Mirror – The mirror will harness the rays of the sun and focus them onto a specific and single point, causing the temperature to increase enough for the tinder placed under the grass to combust.

Knife “Kit”

Knives have copious amounts of uses as both parts of your EDC (everyday carry) and during long-term survival situations. Having the right knife to get the job done very well may be essential to surviving the SHTF disaster.

Top 3 Survival Knives

  • Tactical Folding Knife – These conveniently small and lightweight knives can fit on your belt, in your purse, and inside your bugout bag. They are designed to allow opening with a single hand and in one swift motion.

  • Hunting KnivesFixed blade knives are worn inside a sheath and can also be attached to your belt and bugout bag, or placed inside a purse of a decent size – or even in your boot! They can be used for killing an animal, but were designed primarily for skinning and field dressing games. Some types varieties of hunting knives include a “gut hook” to facilitate the gutting process to help ensure vital organs are not nicked and allow bodily fluids to spill out and contaminate the eat. The slim and straight-blade knives can also be used for protecting yourself from attackers if you run out of bullets or if stealth is necessary.

  • EMS Knife These types of knives are also often referred to as first responder knives. Like tactical folding knives, EMS knives can also be carried on a belt or in a similar fashion and be opened with one hand.

  • Swiss Army Knife This compact device is both a knife and a tool. Any time you can find a dual or milt-use preparedness supply, both space and weight will be saved in your survival kit or bag. There are a variety of knives made in the model of the original Swiss Army knives; that were created to include tools that allowed soldiers to field strip and maintain their rifles. Attachments now often include tools that are useful in camping and hunting scenarios, as well as for survival, climbing and fixing equipment comprised of simple mechanical features.

Homesteading Tools Survival Kit

The prepping and homesteading lifestyles overlap considerably in most ways – especially if you are developing an off-the-grid survival retreat. Stockpiling old-fashioned and manual homesteading tools (and learning how to use them) is important for all preppers, because post-SHTF, we’ll all become homesteaders.

When the SHTF, a complete and extremely lengthy power grid failure IS going to happen as well. Simple tools, like a manual can opener, open flame cooking tools, and water bath canning supplies, will be highly beneficial survival supplies in any environment.

Top 5 Survival Homesteading Tools

  • Cast Iron Dutch Oven and Tripod – Cooking over an open flame makes food taste delicious, but practicing now is key to preventing food loss during a disaster. Foods tend to cook more quickly in cast iron and will taste amazingly moist if you do it right – or horribly dry if the fire flame is too hot and recipe cook times are not adjusted properly when going from stove/oven to open flame or campfire stove.

  • Manual Garden Tools – Cultivating crops will become chief among your top concerns after a doomsday disaster. If you cannot feed yourself and your loved ones adequately, the chances of surviving the SHTF scenario are reduced to nearly zero. Common gardening tools that should be included in your homesteading survival kit include a hoe, drip hoses, water cans, manual tiller; and tomato cages.

  • Food Preservation – Once you grow the food; it must be preserved so it does not go bad. Learning how to both water bath and pressure can be near the top of your prepping skills to-do list. You will need at least one pressure cooker – but work two into your budget as soon as it is feasible. You will not be able to go to your local big box store and buy another one after the SHTF and canning over an open flame outdoors will be rough on the pressure canner. You will also need a multitude of canning jars, lids (reusable but stock up anyway!), jar lifters, lid magnets, canning salt, fruit preserver, and Sure-Jell.

  • Solar Cooking – Build or buy a solar dehydrator and solar oven. Your stockpiles of propane gas for indoor propane stoves or camping stoves may run out before the apocalypse is over and society has returned to a new normal. You can cook with firewood as well, but there is no reason not to have more than one source for cooking food and boiling water – especially if you do not have immediate access to ample amounts of firewood and multiple folks in your family or tribe who are capable of cutting and splitting it.

Keeping a record of what is contained in each survival kit and rotating the perishable goods is just as important as creating the prepping kits themselves. A bag that is not ready to go when you need it will cause you to carry a lot of worthless extra weight.

Do not forget the children and your pets when making survival kits. Address their specific needs and create smaller versions of the survival kits for them to carry, as well. Bugout bags for dogs are readily available online. If you do not homeschool your children, pack some extra snacks, juice boxes, allowable first aid mini kit, a mylar emergency blanket, and a small flashlight in their backpacks so they always have some disaster preparedness gear with them too!

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us
Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation
The Smart, Easy Way to Food Independence
Your secret weapon when our society shatters into a million pieces
Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

Preppers are really good at lots of things, and making “lists” is chief among them. Getting prepared and remaining prepared requires organization – that takes the making of lists, as

I know that even for the most committed preppers, building a nuclear bunker may sound like too much. Perhaps this is only because things are going well right now. Yet having access to a nuclear bunker in a time of war won’t sound strange at all. And it can be used as a storm shelter, a hideout, or a root cellar in times of calm.

As you can see below, getting access to a nuclear shelter will cost $0-million depending on the choice you choose to select.

Below are six good choices, starting with those that are most costly and convenient to the one that costs absolutely nothing.

Buying an Underground Luxury Apartment in a Renovated Missile Silo

$1.5 Million up to $4.5 Million

Nuclear Bunker apartament Cost

A group of Kansas investors wanted to purchase an Atlas missile silo and convert it into luxurious survival condos with everything you could possibly think of. The project was so successful that all the apartments were already sold out, and now they are renovating a second silo.

They claim to have sufficient electricity, water, air, and food infrastructure, as well as “shared or common” facilities for extended off-grid survival with community swimming pool, dog walking area, rock climbing wall, theater, general store, and an aquaponic farm, among other amenities, all of which are underground and encompassed by walls that are 2.5–9 feet thick.

So how much does a luxury underground apartment cost?

  • Nuclear apartament costHalf-Floor Units – approximately 920 sq. ft. on one level starting at $1.5 million
  • Full-Floor Units – approximately 1,840 sq. ft. on one level starting at $3.0 million
  • Penthouse Units – approximately 3,200 sq. ft. on two levels starting at $4.5 million

That’s a lot more than I can afford, but if you’re interested, you can save a spot in the second silo.

Buying an Abandoned Missile Silo

$500,000 up to $5,000,000 + Renovation Costs

Abandoned Missile Silo Cost

This can be difficult as missile silos range from Atlas E-type coffin-style bunkers to massive Titan II bunkers. All these bunkers come in with a relatively good property ranging from 10 acres to 50 acres, and most have a medium-sized house just above the bunkers.

Like the one in the photo, an Atlas F site costs around $800,000 but with almost no land included. Some 20 acres can be bought at a fair price.

Prices vary widely from site to location, from $500,000 to $5,000,000

Yet don’t get the impression it’s all luxury. On the opposite, for it to be livable, you’ll need to put in a massive amount of work and effort. And if you want to gather water, food supplies, and everything you need to stay inside for one year … my guess is that it will cost a lot more than the initial amount.

Want to buy an abandoned missile base? On 20th Century Castles or Hardened Structures, you can find properties for sale.

Buying a Pre-fabricated Bunker Ready to Be Buried

$21,500 (8×12) up to $399,000 (20×80) + Installation

Pre-fabricated Bunker Cost

When you chose not to buy a missile silo as your own nuclear bunker, you can buy a pre-made bunker instead. Most U.S. companies sell a number of bunker styles, prices vary upward from $21,000. Also, many offer funding to help you pay for the bunker.

Some examples of ready-constructed bunkers are below:

  • Risings Bunkers prices start at $39,500
  • The Urban Foxhole, mini bunker by Smart Product Technology, prices ranging from $21,500
  • Atlas Survival Shelters, are the real McCoy and tested to withstand a nuclear blast; prices start at $35,950
  • Vivos These have a massive global network of large, multi-tenant underground shelters. They work through a shared ownership model, where you apply to become a member (which is free); then, if accepted, you pay $35,000 per adult and $25,000 per child to have access to their bunkers.

If you are at the extremely wealthy end of the cash spectrum, you can pay a lot of money for a big, flashy deluxe bunker from Hardened Structures, which recently built a $90 million underground shelter that can house up to 100 people.

Related: Why You Should Have Charcoal Around Your Property?

After you have purchased the underground shelter, you may need to mount it yourself (if you have the right skills) or use a professional service. Some of the above services will offer some installation, but be sure to read the small print before you purchase to find out if there are any hidden extras are present, especially with installation costs. If you want to mount it yourself, scroll down half a page to find out the range of the cost of your digging.

Buying a Used Shipping Container and Burying It Underground

$1,450 up to $2,800 + Installation

Used Shipping Container Bunker cost

There are two major types of shipping containers:

  • 20′ shipping containers – dimensions 20′(l) x 8′(w) x 8’6″(h) – weighing around 4,600 lbs(empty). The prices for these depend on how used or rusted they are, but they start at $1,450 and can go as high as $2,500
  • 40′ shipping containers – dimensions 40′(l) x 8′(w) x 8’6″(h) – weighing around 8,120 lbs(empty). Cost: $1,800 – $2,800.

But it is a little more complicated stuff. Many used shipping containers begin bending just under a couple of inches of soil. That is why you should reinforce the sides with gabion baskets if you are really thinking of burying one.

You’ll also have to create a staircase and an exit.

Excavation Costs:

For a wide range of jobs, most excavation companies employ a machine and operator hourly ($40-$150 or more an hour). They usually bid for the entire project on residential construction, depending on the number of yards of soil to be moved ($50-$200 per yard).

Based on the local prices, the job site’s accessibility, its geology (soft soil, rough ground, boulders, etc.), and if the dirt excavated is left on site or taken away, you can expect to pay at least $400-$1,200 for a 20′ container. (Source)

All in all, this might sound convenient from a financial point of view, but wouldn’t it be cheaper to build it yourself from top to bottom?

Building a Concrete Block Nuclear Bunker

$3,380 (20′ x 8′ x 8’6″) – up to the Limits of Your Wallet and Imagination 

Concrete Block Nuclear Bunker Cost

Unlike the small rectangle of shipping container bunkers, you can create a concrete block bunker just as you want/need it.

A 20-foot long x 8.6-foot high wall includes a height of 12 blocks and a length of 15 blocks. For a wall of that scale, at $1.50 a block that is $270, so all four side walls will cost $1,080, with mortar and concrete maybe $1,200. A decent 160-square-foot slab foundation costs $800 to $1,600 (Source). The ceiling should be very strong with reinforced concrete so it will probably cost around $1,500.

With a total of $3,380, it cost more than a 20′ shipping container with exactly the same dimensions. But the structure is much stronger, and it certainly won’t bend or be crushed by a few inches of earth.

Related: Is It Illegal to Harvest Rainwater in Your State?

And while the price of constructing a bigger nuclear bunker with more containers is directly proportional to the surface you’ll have, the bigger the bunker with concrete blocks, the lower the cost per square foot is.

If you want more structural security the entire underground building can be reinforced. The floor and walls can be bound with bent 5/8 rebar and inserted into each core with grout. You may integrate H beams into the ceiling.

Sheltering in a Natural Nuclear Bunker

$0, but not necessarily your best option

Natural Nuclear Bunkers

If you think about it, there are a lot of completely free natural nuclear shelters in the US.

All you need to do is find the nearest to your house, and include it in your bug-out plan in the event of a nuclear war. Natural nuclear bunkers can be very large salt mines, some kind of mines, massive caves, or other natural structures.

Please notice that these natural nuclear shelters can only shield you from the nuclear explosion and the initial radiation explosion. You’re still going to have to go out to find food and water, and you’re still being exposed.

I know that even for the most committed preppers, building a nuclear bunker may sound like too much. Perhaps this is only because things are going well right now. Yet