Back during the 1950s and ’60s, when the Cold War was in full swing, it was a fad amongst American homeowners to build bomb shelters in their backyards and basements in case of Communist attacks. These basic structures would then be stocked with non-perishable foods, flashlights, extra clothing, blankets, and anything else the homeowner thought he and his family would need if the country were attacked. Fortunately, the U.S. was never attacked, and these structures were virtually never used.
September 11, 2001 changed all that for American citizens. After the terrorists used our own airplanes to destroy buildings and human lives, the complacency that had built up over the years disappeared leaving people thinking about their own protection again. Since that time, new types of bomb shelters have been designed to meet the demand for homeland security. Although we’d like to see another generation of shelters go unused, can we afford to allow ourselves to become complacent again?
There are a lot of plans available on the Internet that can give you guidelines for designing a shelter with the needs of your own family in mind. A lot will depend on the area of the country in which you live. Obviously, a farm home in Iowa isn’t going to have as high of a risk of being attacked as a structure in downtown Manhattan or in metropolitan Washington D.C. The type of shelter you decide to build needs to based on your risk factor, the size of your family, and, of course, your budget restrictions.
FEMA has published plans for building a low-risk shelter in one corner of your basement. By reinforcing ceiling joists and walls with concrete blocks and additional jack columns, you can provide protection for your family without disrupting the normal functions of the same area. For example, you can continue to do your laundry in the area even when the protective measures are installed.
If you have the money and live in a high risk area, you might want to consider modern, pre-built shelters that are even equipped with electromagnetic fields that will offer the best in modern technology to protect your family. Although they are expensive, how much are the lives of your family members worth to you in case of an attack?