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Safe Room - Panic Room

1. Add a Security Gate to the Bedroom Door

2. Add a Security Gate to the Bathroom Door

What about some type of hidden door? Maybe cover it with a bookshelf that has lockable wheels and an easily removable toe kick to cover them?

As far as hardening a room, well it's a matter of the time and $$ you're willing to invest. Sheetrock is cheap and easy to install, so don't discard seemingly radical ideas like stripping the room interior down and reinforcing the beejesus out of it.

One common and not very expensive technique is to “shear” a common wall by removing the drywall on one or both sides, and adding heavy plywood paneling before replacing the drywall. Along with this it is common to add a 2×4 on each side of the existing studs so that the shear panels have over 2“ to “bite” on rather than the 13/16 offered by half of a standard 2×4 (which is actually 1 5/8” wide, go figure).

When adding studs, either 2x or 4x to an existing wall, it is my preference to drill and bolt those suckers together, rather than nailing, YMMV. Also feel free to run heavy rebar, RMC, or anything else you can think of laterally between studs to defeat any wiseass with a Sawzall.

I helped a friend harden his master bedroom, and not only did we rebuild the walls, we poured em full of quickcrete, and the attic over that room is 1) covered in plywood and 2) full of cyclone wire.

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-379510.html

5/8“ high-impact drywall (aka “blue board”) over 5/8” plywood - glue and screw the crap out of it - that will demoralize 'em

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-342879.html

15/32 x 4 x 8 Fir Sheathing Plywood $18.85

http://www.lowes.com/Lumber/Plywood-OSB-Specialty-Panels/Plywood/_/N-1z10t8c/pl#!

James Wesley; I read the recent blurb on securing interior rooms, something I have been working on for a while. Seems to me the easiest way is to install exterior grade steel doors with steel frames to take care of the bedroom doors. As for the ease of breaking through drywall, the fix is to use 1/2 or 3/4 inch plywood on the inside areas of bedrooms that backs hallways and other areas that would be accessible to intruders once inside. In my 2,400 square foot home I have less than 30 linier feet of walls to cover to “harden” bedroom areas against adjoining “non-bedroom” living spaces. That comes to only needing eight 4×8 foot plywood sheets. Once these are screwed to the studs, it would take quite a bit of time and effort to breach these.

In my opinion a bedroom door should be constructed like an [exterior] entry door. It is the last layer in a layered defense. For a balance between cost and security, I recommend a commercial steel door and frame, of the type commonly seen on the side walls of box stores, movie theatres, etc. (these doors are available with armor steel lining but the cost is very high- we are talking here of a standard 16 gauge door.) A door and frame, new, will run roughly $500. I suspect they are available much cheaper on the used architectural salvage market. Get one bored for a lockset and deadbolt., and a double deadbolt bore (two deadbolts) would be even better. Make sure both sides of the door stamping are welded together at the lockset and deadbolt areas. The supplier should be able to do this work. Usually they will come cut for three heavy duty hinges-use a top grade hinge and commercial deadbolt. A flat faced door is easiest to modify for appearance, anything from paint, to a solid wood veneer can be applied. They do come with a pressed panel look also. This door will not be a box store item, look for an architectural supply house.

To add resistance, get a double rabbeted jamb and install a security screen door on the outside- this can be locked to prevent access to the main door and also serve as bedroom ventilation in hot climates without totally sacrificing security.

In regard to the poster's query, I would recommend changing the double doors for a large single door. It is much harder to secure a set of double doors, as the one anchors to the other– to make it really secure, the first door will be anchored to the floor and top jamb, and be such a hassle to use it will never be opened anyway. Have the opening framed in for a 36“ or 42” single door, this gives an opportunity to do the reinforcement of the framing at the same time. Block in between the studs with 3/4“ plywood, glue and screw down the plates (bottom framing member) to the floor.

Framing and contractors: Obviously the door is no more secure than the wall itself- some dry wall may have to be removed and plywood attached to strengthen it. Think about this- what you are trying to accomplish is two things, to prevent the door from being compromised by having it pushed out of position- either by having the jamb pried away from the door far enough to allow the deadbolt to release, or by having the stud the steel frame surrounds, pop or slip where it is attached to the rest of the framing. Plywood stiffeners between the studs will help with spreading, and making sure the framing components are screwed together will help to make sure it does not come apart. Some places may need a bolted in angle iron or similar to reinforce. Also make sure the hollow metal door jamb has wood blocking that backs up to the deadbolt pocket-no good having a solid door and framing if the jamb can be bent back far enough to pop the deadbolt free.

There should be no “drywall only” walls within arm's reach of a door knob! It is too easy to punch through the drywall and unlock the door.

Consider a small camera to cover the door, so you can see, from the inside , what is going on. And figure out what is next- the door will buy you time to wake up, and prepare-think about how you will use the layout of your space to best defend it.

Last but not least, make sure that you have a way to get out in an emergency. A house fire is one of the more likely “survival ” scenarios! [JWR Adds: Yes, and far more more likely than a home invasion.]

JWR Replies: I concur that “plywood, glue and power screws” are your friends when your goal is delaying home invaders.

http://www.survivalblog.com/2009/12/three_letters_re_securing_bedr.html

Address: 174 Lawrence Dr., Suite G. Livermore, CA 94551 Online Map: San Francisco Steel Service Center Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Phone: 1.877.884.4653 Fax: 510.887.7779

http://www.mcnichols.com/locations/san-francisco

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E11129F 	1-1/2 inch Diamond x 9 GA Steel Expanded Metal - Flattened 		

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$60.48 	$241.92

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http://www.metalsdepot.com/catalog_cart_view.php?zip=95148&country=US&address_type=

Abloy Protec2 Single Cylinder w/ Lockable Thumbturn Deadbolt

Our price: $235.00

https://securitysnobs.com/Abloy-Protec2-Single-Cylinder-w-Lockable-Thumbturn-Deadbolt.html

you can buy metal plates (better ones are shaped like a saddle) designed to protect plumbing pipes for a reasonable price; use these to reinforce the wood studs in areas you think are likely to get abused

remember, that unfortunately short of a safe there is nothing that “they” can't break into with the use of a chopsaw or a sawzall with a lot of blades

It's an exceptional burglar that will take the time to break into a reinforced room. Most are after stuff they can grab and run with and taking time to cut their way through a wall only raises their chance of discovery. Using scraps that I had on hand, I reinforced a closet to serve as a safe. I used a double layer of 3/4” plywood with an electric wire laced back and forth between the layers. The wire is connected to my burglar alarm which is connected to a very loud horn. If someone wants to, they can use an ax to break through the wall but they'll have a lot of loud “music” to accompany their efforts once they cut that wire. The door is also made of two layers of 3“4” plywood with the wire between the layers and a motion sensor mounted on the inside of it - also hooked up to the alarm system. It isn't perfect but it didn't cost a whole lot either.

deadbolt mounted with 3.5“

  1. 10 screws

Reinforcing the walls of the room with 3/4” or even 1/2“ plywood screwed into the studs will make the walls very difficult to break through and will help reinforce the doorframe.

string/staple barbed wire between the wall studs before sheetrocking/flooring the room in. Idea is to easily add one more layer of pain/complexity/time

1. Make the door a lot harder to break down. It is amazingly easy to kick in most doors. Most interior walls are just partitions. Reinforce the stud wall frame around the door. maybe laminate a piece of sheet metal (not plate - maybe 12 gauge) between a couple of 2X4s to make it stiffer and harder to cut. Use an exterior steel door. Put longer screws into the hinges and other hardware. Several companies make jam reinforcers made of metal that make it fairly difficult to kick in a door. Use multiple deadbolt locks. Drill holes in the edge of the hinge side of the doors for screws that go into the frame so that even removing the hinge pins does no good. Door should open out for maximum strength.

2. Make it harder to get through the walls. Use screws and glue rather than nails to secure the floor and ceiling plates, and the studs. Some kind of metal in the stud cavities makes it harder to get through. Rebar or heavy wall pipe is relatively cheap and tends to rotate in place when someone tries to cut it. An interior layer of some kind of metal mesh, followed by a layer of plywood then drywall. Lots of glue and screws.

3. make it harder to get in through the floor and ceiling. a layer of hardware cloth between two layers of plywood may do the trick. make the supporting structure from laminated beams rather than 2x stock or wood i-beams. http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-342879.html

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3.

Put 3/4” Plywood in the attic over ALL of the bedroom.

Put 1-1/2 inch Diamond x 9 GA Steel Expanded Metal - Flattened 4×8' $60.48

4300340968 McNICHOLS Quality Standard Expanded Metal, Galvanized Hot Dipped, 3/4 #9 Standard, 68% Open Area, Sheet, 72.0000“ Width x 96.0000” Length, Long Way of Opening Parallel to: Length $401.28

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Steel Expanded Metal is a sheet product that has been slit and stretched to a wide array of diamond shaped openings. Steel expanded metal offers savings in weight and metal, free passage of light, liquid, sound and air, while providing a decorative or ornamental effect.
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see Steel Plate Penetration Tests

see Ream of Paper Bullet Penetration Tests

Metal window bars and grating for window security and metal security screen door for front door, side door and backyard door to help with door security, add a lot to the security of the house.

I agree that if you reinforce the door, the drywall becomes the weak spot. But, it is going to take someone more time to kick through the drywall and studs to make a hole large enough to crawl through then it would for them to kick down the existing door. So, while the wall itself is still a weak spot, in my mind that doesn't make reinforcing the door pointless. No, it is not.

The wall studs are 16” apart, which is plenty wide enough for all but a very fat person to just walk between. Kicking a hole through drywall takes virtually no effort whatsoever. The time for a thief to smash through a drywall partition is not measured in minutes, it is measured in seconds … and probably doesn't go beyond single digits.

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-379510.html

The sad reality is every thing other then reinforced high tensile strength concrete is just going to take them mins to break thru… Even good safes( 2-5K range) can be opened with in 10 mins with simple tools and cheap tools( and no I'm not talking about a torch) with out exp in doing so.

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-342879.html

I was going to suggest covering your walls with plywood, but Randy beat me to it. If you wanted to go the extra mile, put the plywood on the ceiling too.

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=208028

Reinforce the frame with:

Bulletproofing Your House - M4 Vs. Wall and Fridge: Uploaded on Apr 22, 2010 Ballistics expert Paul Harrell demonstrates how well a wall and a refrigerator protects against an M4 Carbine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuAmY9Fo-H0

Security Window Film – Will it Smash? (E1: Firearms)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d14XBQ_C-CM

shattergard 1 year ago Dont bet your life on window film. Take it from me- I am the VP of the largest privately held glass protection film in the US. ie: Shattergard Bomb blast fragment retention , storm protection, burglary prevention YES, YES and YES! Firearms- well dont bet your life on any window film. Window film is not designed to stop or slow down a BB gun - no less a firearms round.

TacticalWalls.com Hidden Rifle Storage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yegVZm3LK3o

I would also suggest reading “The Secure Home”, primarily for the “'Skousen Wall”, which is a steel framed wall, sheathed with 3/4“ plywood and filled with gravel. It is the easyist practical bullet resistant building technique I've found.

Quality security/hurricane shutters on all windows and doors Use framing plates to tie all portions of the house together Use five-pin cylinder locks on all external doors Use heavy steel clad entrance doors Use fiberglass based shingles on the roof, or better yet, have a metal roof Install a roof and wall washdown system for fire protection and to wash away fallout Install a pool and an independant fire pump and have plenty of hose. Place it where the fire department can get to it with a pumper truck. If you are not going to install a basement for the reasons you state, build in a fallout shelter in an internal room of the house.

DO NOT buy 5pin locks. If you are going to the time and expense of the other security upgrades do yourself a favor and buy high security deadbolts. Either The Medeco3 Maxum deadbolt or an ASSA deadbolt. Both are UL437 rated/pick+drill resistant. Properly installed in a steel door with a well mounted steel frame should repel any kick-in type attacks. Also install a commercial knob/lever. Medeco and ASSA also produce cylinders that can be inserted into most commercial hardware and keyed-alike(one key for house). Also key control is an additional benefit as identification and authorization is required for duplicate keys. No your local home depot or Wally world cannot cut these. Also in regards to commercial knobs/levers get grade 1 heavy duty as these will probably be the last ones you will ever need to buy. Schlage grade 1's run in the $400 neighborhood but Hager is a good lock and should be less than half the price. Also Hager comes clutched standard(lever moves freely when locked) to help guard against vandalism/force attacks. Disclaimer I am not employed or in any way represent any of these companies. This can be expensive but how much is your peace of mind worth? Btw the levers at home depot/lowes marked commercial on the package….read the small print. They are for INTERNAL use only. Hope this helps. Contact me if you have any questions. Sorry this post was so long

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=34315

http://www.survivalblog.com/2006/01/letter_re_dome_homes_as_surviv_1.html

Letter Re: Hardening a Home Against Small Arms Fire

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009

I found a product called Grancrete (http://www.grancrete.net/applications/index.cfm), that when laid down with a trowel and embedded with multiple layers of fiberglass can be made bullet proof.

Grancrete of Utah Kerry Manis Phone:801-891-2578 Fax:435-864-3581 [email protected]

Brown Homes Robert Brown Phone:703-869-7960 or 208-639-2107 [email protected] http://www.grancrete.net/distribution/index.cfm

http://www.grancrete.net/products/index.cfm

I was originally investigating this stuff because it was invented for nuclear waste encasement I thought it could be used for a little extra protection. After talking with a very knowledgeable staff I found out that it has never actually been used for nuclear encasement but they have completed ballistic tests and it was resistant up to a .30-06 with just a two-inch layer.

I do believe that people could easily retrofit a house [with Grancrete] to add protection. Maybe not to protect the entire house but at least a few feet strip around windows and doors that could be done aesthetically. most people don't realize how easy it is to to get shot through the wall.

I also found a much easier way to make sandbag walls at a greenhouse building web site. Here (http://calearth.org/shop/index.php) they sell rolls/ tubes of sand bags. they make an easy fill-in-place solution and and direction on how to build with them. Thank You - Danny

http://www.survivalblog.com/2009/02/letter_re_hardening_a_home_aga_1.html

Home » Unfilled SuperAdobe Tube Rolls Unfilled SuperAdobe Tube Rolls

SUPERADOBE Technology for constructing Buildings, Landscape, Retaining walls, Flood and Erosion control, and infrastucture.

Please note that if you wish to buy Superadobe bag rolls as well as Books and DVDs, these will be two separate transactions. All Superadobe bag roll orders are processed separately through PayPal and will not appear in the shopping cart of the Cal-Earth Store.

SIZES AND PRICES OF TUBULAR BAG ROLLS PRICES INCLUDE SHIPPING within continental United States. Hawaii shipping surcharge: $80. No International Orders. For help finding/purchasing bags in other countries, please contact us.

unfilled bag width approx. filled bag width small 250 yards medium 500 yards med-large 750 yards large 1,000 yards extra-large 1750 yards 12 inch 9 inch $275.00

$550.00

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14 inch 11 inch $280.00

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Superadobe wall under construction, filled tubing Superadobe dome under construction, filling tubing Roll of Superadobe unfilled tubing (XL size) Cutting off a length of unfilled tubing ALL ROLLS MUST BE STORED IN A DARK PLACE material degrades when exposed to light

Some information on approximate building sizes:

To build a small emergency shelter up to 8 feet in diameter requires approximately one small roll. To build a medium (10-12 foot) dome, requires approximately one medium roll. However, for buttressing and landscape, a medium-large roll is recommended. If uncertain of the amount of bag needed to build a specific project, either: order less than assumed necessary as more can always be ordered, or contact Cal-Earth at 760-956-7533 and we will approximate the amount of bag needed for the project.

$860 med-large 750 yards 21”

http://calearth.org/shop/index.php?l=page_view&p=Unfilled-Superadobe-bag-rolls

	
Emergency Sandbag Shelter: How to Build Your Own Your Price: $34.95 Author: Nader Khalili Compiled & Edited by: Iliona Outram ISBN: 1-889625-05-1 Published by: CalEarth Press 2008 Type: Paperback Quantity:

Emergency Sandbag Shelter: How to Build Your Own

“We live on earth yet so ignorant of earth and all the treasures it holds -Rumi Emergency Sandbag Shelter is a must-have manual for every home, as an emergency guide. Now for the first time this book is made available to people around the world by its inventor, award-winning architect Nader Khalili, whose specialty was skyscrapers and who dedicated his life to teaching others how to build shelter for humanity. This book, with over 700 photos and illustrations, shows how to use sandbags and barbed wire, the materials of war, for peaceful purposes as the new invention known as Superadobe or earth-bag, which can shelter millions of people around the globe as a temporary as well as permanent housing solution. This affordable, self-help, sustainable, and disaster-resistant structural system is a spin off from Khalili's presentation to NASA for habitat on the moon and Mars, which successfully passed rigorous tests for strict California earthquake building codes. This book along with a small library of films and kits can guide anyone to learn and teach how to build a home or community.

http://calearth.org/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=13

JWR Replies : For many years I've been a fan of Earthship construction, (compressed soil-filled tires) which has many of the same attributes a the new EcoBeam method. Sand and and gravel are better at stopping small arms fire than even reinforced concrete. This is because they shift and refill voids after they are created by bullet strikes. From a practical standpoint nothing stops bullets better!

In an earthquake, such buildings just collapse. Sandbag construction and Earthships must be reinforced. This is best accomplished by placing re-bar vertically on two-foot (or narrower) centers through the wall stacks, making sure that the top of each piece of re-bar passes through a wood top sill, or that it is at least firmly wired in place

http://www.survivalblog.com/2008/11/three-letters-re-advice-on-sou.html

   Order Online or Call Us at 1-800-286-7263
Empty Sandbags eSandbags.com is a year-round supplier of empty sandbags as well as silt fence for all of continental USA. We also are a year-round supplier of filled sandbags for all of Southern California. With millions of sandbags in stock at any given time and a large fleet of trucks, we can handle small as well as large orders usually within the same day you order. We also ship empty sandbags UPS Ground Commercial within the continental United States, which takes 3 to 5 business days to receive your sandbags. If you would like empty sandbags shipped UPS Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air or 3 Day Select, please call one of our customer service representatives toll free at 1-800-286-7263 and we can give you the shipping costs for your delivery of empty sandbags.

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Item# s $23.95 This item is currently out of stock!

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Accessories SILT FENCE price per 3' x 100' roll

Product Description Our empty polypropylene sandbags are 14×26”, 1600 uv treated, with a tie string attached (yellow, white, or dark green depending upon stock). Just enter the amount you need and we'll take care of the rest! We ship UPS Ground Commercial within the continental United States, which takes 3 to 5 business days. You will receive an email when your order ships. If you would like them shipped UPS Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air or 3 Day Select, please call one of our customer service representatives and we can give you the shipping costs.

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How to Make a Sandbag
Use sandbags to fill in low-lying areas around your property and to redirect water away from your home. Fill the sandbag one-quarter to one-half full with sand. It should weigh about 40 lbs.

Fold the empty part of the bag over. Be sure that when you place the bag, the folded-over side is facing down, so that no water will seep in. If one bag leaks, the whole pile will be ruined.

Sandbags work best for filling in low areas of 2 feet or less.

Wait to place the sandbags until the rainy season is near, since the bags can deteriorate over an extended period of repeatedly getting wet and then drying.

http://www.esandbags.com/howtomasa.html

Letter Re: Advice on Sources for Sandbags and Sandbag Filler Permalink | Print Mr. Rawles,

You mention about mass and the wisdom in buying sand bags stating 'they are cheap'. I guess that is relative to 'something'. I can not find them for less then $2.50 each and that is empty. Have you priced sand lately? Where we live (midwest) it is not cheap. You would need a huge pile of it to fill enough sandbags to do much good for any purpose. So, am I missing something here? Maybe I do not understand the 'sandbag theory'. Please advise. Thanks, - Polly

JWR Replies: In the U.S. there are several good sources for sandbags , but prices do indeed vary widely, so shop around. (From as much as $3.75 each in small quantities to as little as 38 cents each if you buy in lots of 1,000.) For example, see:

Ranger Surplus

Preparedness.com

1st Army Supply

If you want to buy in quantity (perhaps a group purchase that you can split several ways), it is best to order direct from a manufacturer, such as Dayton Bag, or Mutual Industries, or United Bags. (The latter charged $380 per thousand the last time I checked .)

And for our readers across the pond, here is a source in England: Surplus and Adventure

OBTW, be sure to buy the later variety synthetic (such as polypropylene) sand bags. The early burlap (or “Hessian”) bags tend to rot and rip out too quickly. The latest and greatest mil-spec bags use Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) or Polyethylene film laminated with a third layer of molten polyethylene. These have the best UV protection (and hence the longest useful life out in the elements), but they are also the most expensive. Even the standard military polypropylene bags will last two to three years in full sun, and much longer if painted or kept in the shade.

As for filler material. if sand is expensive in your area, then do some comparison pricing on “one half minus” road gravel, delivered by the dump truck load. (This is gravel that has been screened so that the largest pieces are no more than 1/2-inch in diameter.) I don't recommend using soil, since sand or gravel are superior for stopping bullets. If you must use soil, then try to get either very sandy soil or heavy clay soil. Dry loam soil is the least effective for use in sandbags. Remember: the more vegetable matter in the soil, the lower its ballistic protection.)

http://www.survivalblog.com/2008/11/letter-re-advice-on-sources-fo-1.html

odMinder Sandbag Bucket Kit w/100 Bags & EZ Bagger Tool - Desert Tan

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One Person Sandbag Filler

Simple hand tool performs two critical jobs! During natural disasters, the EZ Bagger is used to fill sandbags. When disaster strikes and minutes make the difference between safety and tragedy, the EZ Bagger fills sandbags twice as fast as conventional shovel methods. Simply squeeze the tool and slide it into a sandbag approximately 3 to 4 inches. The molded cleats and the outward force of the design will keep the sandbag open and in place. The sandbag remains on the ground while crews work from a kneeling position. The user scoops sand, tilts the tool and the sand slides into the sandbag. Once the bag is full, the worker squeezes the tool together and slides it out of the sandbag. The tool extends worker endurance because the weight of the sand is lifted near the center of gravity.

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During trench rescue incidents, rescuers use the tool to safely remove soil from around a buried victim. Fill Sandbags. All too often trench collapse victims are seriously injured or even killed by the equipment rescuers use to reach them. The new EZ Bagger enables rescuers to dig quickly while they handle the shovel blade directly, allowing them to feel any resistance as they dig. The super compact design of the EZ Bagger enables rescuers to shovel dirt by handling only the shovel blade. Dirt can be removed from the area by attaching a sandbag to the bottom of the EZ Bagger or positioning a bucket at an angle, slightly below the EZ Bagger. Up to eight pounds of soil can be removed with just one scoop and tilt motion. Made of durable, nonconductive polypropylene, the EZ Bagger will withstand the abusive conditions associated with trench rescue work.

Sandbag EZ Bagger Tool Specifications:

Weight: 14 ounces Size: 15“ high x 15” wide x 1/8“ thick Made of recycled plastics http://preparedness.com/floodprotsan.html

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United Bags, Inc. History of Sandbags

United Bags, Inc. has supplied sandbags to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and the US Department of Defense for every flood and for every war during the 20th Century.

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Polypropylene Sandbags 14” x 26“ Green

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Polypropylene Sandbags 14” x 26“ White

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14” x 26“ White polypropylene sandbags. Bags sold by bale (1000 bags/bale). These sandbags are suitable for a variety of uses, including flood control, dike / dam reinforcement, traffic sign support, erosion control and the construction of obstacle or paintball courses. Bag features include:

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Dayton Bag & Burlap Co. is the leading manufacturer of Burlap Sandbags in the U.S. We have thousands of Burlap Sandbags on the floor for immediate shipment. In addition, we stock millions of 14” x 26“ polypropylene sandbags with tie strings attached for any and all emergency situations. Dayton Bag & Burlap Co. distribution centers are located throughout the U.S. stocked and ready to ship at once. http://daybag.com/industrial/sandbags

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Even small sheds should be equipped with gutters and rain barrels.

Anyone living in a high population density area or that is along a potential refugee line of drift should make the need to repel looters one of their primary design considerations. This means large cleared areas in all directions (“clear fields of fire”), ballistic hardening (most easily accomplished by sand or gravel-filled bags–see my comments later in this post), infrared floodlights (for use in conjunction with Starlight scopes and NVGs), and plenty of defensive concertina wire or razor wire. In essence, you want to make your house a “tough nut to crack”, so that looters will quickly decide go find easier pickings.

A completely different approach is to make your house blend in with the terrain and go un-noticed.

Plant additional screening trees. Plant native shrubbery to make the entrance narrow and uninviting. If you have a perimeter fence, you might want to make your entrance gate look as much as possible like nothing more than a continuation of the perimeter fencing.

Regardless of where you live, it is important to black out all visible light. Odds are that in a grid-down collapse, you will be one of the few people in your area that still have electricity. Any visible lights at night will thus attract looters. So bes sure to lay in the supplies that you'll need to completely black out your windows and make a light-proof “airlock” for any frequently-used exterior doors. (A wooden framework that is a bit bigger than a phone booth, covered with blankets, works fine.)

As recently mentioned in the blog, extra thick masonry construction is the best choice for ballistic protection. Another great option is an Earthship tire house. But even well-reinforced masonry and Earthships are problematic in earthquake country. There, wood frame construction is ideal, given its inherent flexibility. But what if you live in earthquake country and you want ballistic protection? What a quandary. Unless you are a multimillionaire that can afford hundreds of yards of Kevlar, then the only viable solution is to be ready to build small sandbag-reinforced fighting positions inside of your house, set back several feet from the exteriors windows. This will not earn you any Martha Stewart style bonus points from your spouse, so don't consider doing this before the balloon goes up. Just keep all of the requisite materials handy. That big pile of 3/4”-minus gravel can be explained as “some extra rock for maintaining our driveway.” OBTW, unless your house is built on a slab, you will probably have to heavily reinforce the floors beneath your planned sandbagged positions, to allow them take the extra weight. If you aren't a do-it-yourselfer, then have a story ready for any workmen that come to do the job. For example, you might tell them that you have a bad back and are planning to buy a king size waterbed.

Rather, the odds are that in the next Great Depression the lights will stay on, crime will be relatively under control, and most of your attention will be focused on your garden and orchard output rather than perimeter security.

http://www.survivalblog.com/2008/02/letter_re_tradeoffs_of_various.html

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Letter From “Mr. Bravo” Re: Ballistic Protection of Building Materials

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2005

Jim,

Joel Skousen writes in his book “The Secure Home” that a gravel-filled wall is better than concrete, for an exterior wall or an interior safe room. While persistent impacts will drill a hole in concrete, they will have no effect on gravel, except for slight settling and spillage, generating a gap only at the very top where protection is not needed. Gravel (1/2 to 3⁄4 inch, presumably fragmented gravel and not rounded pea gravel) will deflect and destroy most rounds, unlike sand bags, which merely slows most rounds. In his book “The Secure Home”, Skousen advises using 5/8-inch or 3⁄4- inch plywood sheets screwed to both sides of steel studs to contain the gravel. (Wood being essentially 2 inch gaps that are transparent to many types of rounds.) Skousen also speculates that a hollow heavy steel door could be filled with gravel. - Mr. Bravo

JWR Replies: “Skousen Walls” do work well, and I recommend them for anyone that wants to do a “Harder Homes and Gardens” upgrade to an existing wood frame house. A couple of years ago, I got a briefing and a slide show from a friend that did some actual shooting tests with up to 12 gauge slugs on dummied-up wall sections. (He expended over 400 rounds in the tests.) He proved that 3/4-inch plywood walls filled with Three quarter minus road rock gravel (rough crushed rock that has been screened to be 3/4-inch or smaller) works best for a Skousen Wall. And Mr. Skousen is correct that a wall filled with just small pea gravel or sand will drain like an hourglass after a number of large caliber rounds impact inside a 6“ radius.

And as for ballistically protecting doors and windows, there is no substitute for mass. As mentioned in my novel, I recommend using five stacked thicknesses of 1/4-inch steel plates. (These thinner plates are much easier and safer to maneuver for construction than a single one inch thick plate.) Yes, we are talking about a lot of weight. (See my novel Patriots for a handy formula for determining the weight of plate steel.) Hinges must be sized accordingly, so plan on using vault door hinges. BTW, the hinge support for this kind of weight, requires either a 6 inch I-beam post with an anchor bolt footing or a fully reinforced masonry wall (with a grid work of re-bar) supplemented with a 1/4 inch plate that is at least 4 inches wide, running vertically.) If you aren't mechanically inclined and are willing to pay a bit more, you could of course also buy a commercially made vault door.

Lastly, regardless of the door design that you choose, keep in mind that a “decorative” 20 inch thick masonry wall +/-6 feet forward of your front door is cheap insurance that your front door won't come under rifle fire from looters except up close and personal. (And then they'll probably be reluctant to subject themselves to ricochets.) BTW make sure that the wall is at least three times the width of your door. For those of you on a budget: Buy a lot of sandbags. They are sometimes available through military surplus stores, but the best way to buy them is to bid on a lot at a DRMO surplus auction. BTW, DRMO auctions are also a great place to pick up concertina wire at near scrap metal prices.

Copyright 2005-2012 James Wesley, Rawles - SurvivalBlog.com All Rights Reserved

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Letter Re: Hidden Entrances, and Secret Rooms

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If you do a web search for ”hidden entrances“ or ”secret room“ you'll see some photos and video of various novelties like bookcases on hinges and stairways that open up to reveal hidden rooms behind/under them. While these can be a lot of fun before SHTF, especially for kids, I just wanted to put out a warning that these types of entrances aren't really concealed at all in a TEOTWAWKI situation. For starters, if you found these solutions on the Internet, then bad guys can find them too.

Even if they didn't do their online research beforehand, you can bet that looters going through nice neighborhoods are going to figure out very quickly that some of them have safe rooms, and bookcase entrances are the most common type of hidden entrance. Trapdoors under area rugs and safes behind picture frames on the wall are pretty easy to find, too.

You also need to factor in what your house is going to look like after a fire. If your hidden entrance is made of wood, i.e. a bookshelf, it's not going to be there after a fire, and looters are going to see the metal door behind it and wonder what's in there. You're not planning for a fire, you say? But you are planning for TEOTWAWKI, right?

There's no reason to rely on ineffective entrance concealment, because for little or no additional expense, you can create a hidden entrance that nobody's going to find. I will briefly describe one type of hidden entrance that's a vast improvement on the bookshelf door, make a general suggestion about hidden entrances, and then hint at what I'm putting into the house I'm building without giving the bad guys any details they could use.

Turning a basement entrance into a closet with a trapdoor in the floor is a solution that has been described before, but I would like to suggest a few measures to make it truly concealed: 1. Build the closet walls, ceiling and floor out of durable, fire-retardant materials, like concrete. You can retrofit an existing home this way, but the closet won't stick out after a fire if the whole house is built out of said materials. 2. Make the entire closet floor into a trapdoor, so that nobody can make out the outline of the door. This requires some precise construction, as the edges of the door need to be flush with the walls of the closet. Watch out for scratch/rub marks left on the walls when you open the door. Durable, fire-retardant carpet can be used to fudge the edges a little, and having walls made of a durable material can help. Think long and hard about what two materials you want to be rubbing up against each other when you open the trapdoor. 3. Whatever material you use for the floor of the closet, make sure it matches the flooring of the hallway immediately outside the door. You can be sure that a looter standing on a tile floor in your hallway and looking at a plywood floor in your closet is going to investigate further. 4. Make sure your trap door is every bit as solid as the floor in the hallway. If someone steps inside, there should be no give in the floor or unusual creaks. This part is tough because it works against another consideration, that you need to be able to open the door. Ideally, if you have a floor that's 8-inch-thick concrete, then you want a trapdoor that's also 8 inches of concrete, poured into a steel frame. The only problem with this type of door is that most people won't be able to lift it. 5. Don't have any visible handles on your trapdoor. This can be accomplished either by designing it so that a handle is not necessary, or using some sort of temporary handle that you can bring with you into the basement, so that it's no longer usable for people outside. 6. If your trapdoor is going to be on hinges, then make sure that the hinges are concealed by the door when it's in the closed position. Seeing hinges on the far wall when the closet door is opened is going to be a dead giveaway. 7. Finally, you should seriously consider a non-traditional trapdoor design that doesn't lift to open. Instead, have a heavy concrete floor poured into a steel frame that is mounted on wheels that run on sturdy tracks underneath. Think garage door, only much sturdier and a single piece, not reticulated. When your basement is not in use, the door just rests in place, and doesn't open when people step on it, because it's too heavy to move easily. But when you need to open it, you just get inside the closet, plant your feet on the floor (use sneakers or bare feet for traction) and push your hands in the opposite direction against the doorframe. The floor then slowly slides back, revealing the staircase underneath. Once you and your loved ones are safely inside, you lock the door in the closed position from the inside in such a way that it's held tight and doesn't slide or rattle. One advantage of this design is that you can leave shoes or other items on the floor toward the front of the closet, as long as you don't open it completely, and they'll still be there when you close it. 8. For realism, go ahead and keep some shelves or a dresser in the closet. But bolt them to the wall so that they stay in place when you slide the floor, and make sure they're not so wide that they block you from entering.

If you build an effective trapdoor entrance that resembles a closet floor in every possible way even to a determined investigator, then it's extremely unlikely that a bad guy will find it. Or more precisely, if the bad guys find your basement, they will find it in some other way, for example finding out from your neighbors (you didn't tell them, did you?), or by spotting your ventilation pipes.

The closet trapdoor entrance to the basement described above is what I'm building into my next house, but the basement is for friends/extended family. For the living quarters for myself and my immediate family, I'm going a whole order of magnitude better on the concealment front. I'm not going to describe the actual design of the entrance because I don't want bad guys to read about it, but I will throw out a few general ideas to help fellow readers of SurvivalBlog.com think about their own designs.

1. The entrance to the secret bunker is from inside my safe room. This means that after entering the safe room, I have time to consider options, monitor the situation through video cameras, and make decisions. The bad guys won't be able to get into the safe room for at least five minutes, probably much longer, so I can calm down and think about whether I want to call the police, surrender the house to the bad guys and retreat to the bunker, or even come out and fight. Another advantage is that bad guys are likely to stop looking for secret rooms once they get into my safe room. The general recommendation here is to give the bad guys a decoy, something to let them think they've figured it out. Yet another advantage is that I can tell trusted friends about the safe room and tell them that's where I'm sleeping without letting them know about the existence of the bunker. I can also access the bunker at any time without anyone having a chance to see me doing so, if I keep the safe room locked. 2. My safe room has a semi-secret emergency exit separate from the entrance to the bunker. If the bad guys manage to use a cutting torch to get into the safe room, they will find the emergency exit quickly, and note that it's open. That's where they think I went. If I didn't have an emergency exit, they would wonder where I am, and keep looking. 3. My bunker is outside the outline of my house. A bad guy can look at any house and think, “is there a basement under there or just a crawlspace?” Once they find a basement that matches the dimensions of the first floor, then they're likely to stop looking. 4. The entrance to my bunker is concealed in such a way that bad guys would have to destroy some very durable materials to even be able to see that it's there. However, I do not have to destroy anything to be able to open it. 5. I'm having contractors build the basic structure, but I'm building the hidden entrance and some other architectural elements myself, after they leave.

To sum up: 1. Use decoys. Give smart bad guys something that makes them think they've found everything. 2. Don't use hidden entrance designs that you've read about on the Internet. Come up with your own. 3. Don't make a choice between concealment and ability to resist a brute force attack. Use both. 4. Better concealment is not necessarily more expensive. “Secret” doors that a kid can find can be more expensive than a truly secret door.

There's a lot more that I could add, but I'm going to stop there for OPSEC reasons. I hope this is a useful starting point for readers to think of their own designs. Remember: if you invent, design and build the secret entrance yourself, then it can remain a secret. If you rely on commonly available templates or employ others to build it, then by definition it's not a true secret. - With Regards, - Dale T.

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The Price of Home Security: You Can Pay a Little Now, or Pay Much More, Later

Friday, Mar 2, 2007

I'm often amazed to hear some of my relatively wealthy consulting clients tell me that they don't own a home gun vault or safe room. I ask why not, and they make excuses like: “I've been too busy at my job to shop for one” or, “A gun vault is too heavy to move, and I seem to move every three years”, or “vaults are too expensive.” Yes, they are expensive but not nearly as expensive as having some of your key survival tools stolen. In essence, you can pay a little now, or pay much more, later.

A burglary can be psychologically devastating. I have good friend in California that was burglarized three years ago. By God's grace, only a couple of his guns were stolen, since most of his battery was either cached elsewhere or locked up in his gun vault. (He had a few too many guns for them all to fit in his vault.) The burglars also walked off with several thousand rounds of ammunition. Despite the fact that his loss was relatively small, my friend still talks with anger and bitterness about the event. Burglaries are especially devastating for survivalists, since most of us carefully and systematically stock up tools, communication gear, optics, guns, ammunition, and precious metals. These are all choice targets for residential burglars.

A built-in basement walk-in safe room is ideal. They can serve multiple functions: As a vault for guns and other valuables, as a storm shelter, as a fallout shelter, and even as a “panic room” for use in the event of a home invasion. In areas with high water tables where a basement is not practical, a safe room/shelter can be built on the ground floor of a newly-constructed “slab” house, or as an addition to an existing house, with a reinforced poured concrete floor, walls and ceiling. Regardless of the design that you choose, it is important to specify a vault door that opens inward, so that it won't be jammed shut by debris in the event of tornado, hurricane, or bomb blast. The folks at Safecastle (one of our most loyal advertisers) can do the engineering and source the vault door for you.

I realize that most SurvivalBlog readers cannot afford an elaborate walk-in safe room, but 95% of you can at least afford a heavy duty steel gun vault with an Sargent & Greenleaf dial lock with re-locker. Be sure to bolt your vault securely to the floor, and if possible build it into a hidden compartment or hidden room. There are a lot of vault makers in the U.S. and Canada, so it is a very competitive market. Do some Internet research and comparison shopping and you can save a lot of money on your vault purchase. Vaults are quite heavy (typically around 700 pounds) and shipping them is expensive, so it is generally best to buy one that is made within 200 miles of where you live. One exception to that guidance is for folks that move often: The brand of free-standing gun vault that I highly recommend (and that I own personally) is Zanotti Armor. Zanotti makes vaults that can be taken apart into six pieces for ease of transport. (They are held together by large steel pins, inside the vault.) They cost only about $100 more than comparable vaults that are welded together in the traditional manner. The nice thing about the Zanotti vaults it that even with their largest model, no single component weighs more than about 150 pounds. That makes them much easier to install in a confined space such as a basement. Assembly is a three man job, since extra hands are needed to get everything lined up before the pins can be noisily driven into place. Assembly only takes about a half hour, and disassembly only takes about ten minutes.

Alarm and Camera Systems No matter what sort of vault you choose, you should definitely supplement it with a home security system. Monitored alarm systems can be expensive–especially with monthly service contracts. But these days, “web cams” are dirt cheap. Buy several of them, and mount them in locations where they are not likely to be spotted immediately. (Such as up amongst books on your bookshelves.) Unless the motion-triggered images captured are immediately uploaded to a server that is off-site, then it is essential that the computer that controls the cameras and the hard drive that stores the images be housed inside your gun vault or safe room. Otherwise the burglars will walk off with the evidence. (They love to steal home computers, too.) Don't forget that any disruption of phone service or grid power will nullify the protection of a monitored alarm. Anyone living off grid or anyone that foresees a period of extended blackouts should get a battery-powered self-contained camera system, such as those sold by Ready Made Resources. Photographic evidence is crucial for both tracking down perpetrators and for substantiating insurance claims. Don't skimp on this important piece of your preparedness!

Insurance Another must is fire and theft insurance. Given enough time, determined burglars can penetrate even the most elaborate vault. As previously mentioned in SurvivalBlog, many homeowner's insurance policies have specific limits on firearms, often absurdly low dollar figures unless you get a separate “rider ” to your policy, at additional cost. If you aren't sure about your coverage, then pull out your policy and read through it in detail. I should also mention that the National Rifle Association (NRA) offers a modest dollar value firearms insurance policy that is free with each NRA membership.

Insurance Records As previously mentioned in SurvivalBlog, I also recommend taking a list of serial numbers and detailed descriptions of each gun, camera, and electronic gadget that you own. I have found that using 3”x5“ index cards is convenient for updates, since your inventory will change over time. Also take a few detailed photos of each item. Store the 3”x5“ index cards and hard copy pictures annotated with each item's serial number in a vault belonging to a relative or a trusted friend, and offer to do likewise for them.

Copyright 2005-2012 James Wesley, Rawles - SurvivalBlog.com All Rights Reserved http://www.survivalblog.com/2007/03/the_price_of_home_security_you.html

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Letter Re: Hidden Entrances, and Secret Rooms Permalink | Print If you do a web search for “hidden entrances” or “secret room” you'll see some photos and video of various novelties like bookcases on hinges and stairways that open up to reveal hidden rooms behind/under them. While these can be a lot of fun before SHTF, especially for kids, I just wanted to put out a warning that these types of entrances aren't really concealed at all in a TEOTWAWKI situation. For starters, if you found these solutions on the Internet, then bad guys can find them too.

Even if they didn't do their online research beforehand, you can bet that looters going through nice neighborhoods are going to figure out very quickly that some of them have safe rooms, and bookcases are the most common type of hidden entrance. Trapdoors under area rugs and safes behind picture frames on the wall are pretty easy to find, too.

You also need to factor in what your house is going to look like after a fire. If your hidden entrance is made of wood, i.e. a bookshelf, it's not going to be there after a fire, and looters are going to see the metal door behind it and wonder what's in there. You're not planning for a fire, you say? But you are planning for TEOTWAWKI, right?

There's no reason to rely on ineffective entrance concealment, because for little or no additional expense, you can create a hidden entrance that nobody's going to find. I will briefly describe one type of hidden entrance that's a vast improvement on the bookshelf door, make a general suggestion about hidden entrances, and then hint at what I'm putting into the house I'm building without giving the bad guys any details they could use.

Turning a basement entrance into a closet with a trapdoor in the floor is a solution that has been described before, but I would like to suggest a few measures to make it truly concealed: 1. Build the closet walls, ceiling and floor out of durable, fire-retardant materials, like concrete. You can retrofit an existing home this way, but the closet won't stick out after a fire if the whole house is built out of said materials. 2. Make the entire closet floor into a trapdoor, so that nobody can make out the outline of the door. This requires some precise construction, as the edges of the door need to be flush with the walls of the closet. Watch out for scratch/rub marks left on the walls when you open the door. Durable, fire-retardant carpet can be used to fudge the edges a little, and having walls made of a durable material can help. Think long and hard about what two materials you want to be rubbing up against each other when you open the trapdoor. 3. Whatever material you use for the floor of the closet, make sure it matches the flooring of the hallway immediately outside the door. You can be sure that a looter standing on a tile floor in your hallway and looking at a plywood floor in your closet is going to investigate further. 4. Make sure your trap door is every bit as solid as the floor in the hallway. If someone steps inside, there should be no give in the floor or unusual creaks. This part is tough because it works against another consideration, that you need to be able to open the door. Ideally, if you have a floor that's 8-inch-thick concrete, then you want a trapdoor that's also 8 inches of concrete, poured into a steel frame. The only problem with this type of door is that most people won't be able to lift it. 5. Don't have any visible handles on your trapdoor. This can be accomplished either by designing it so that a handle is not necessary, or using some sort of temporary handle that you can bring with you into the basement, so that it's no longer usable for people outside. 6. If your trapdoor is going to be on hinges, then make sure that the hinges are concealed by the door when it's in the closed position. Seeing hinges on the far wall when the closet door is opened is going to be a dead giveaway. 7. Finally, you should seriously consider a non-traditional trapdoor design that doesn't lift to open. Instead, have a heavy concrete floor poured into a steel frame that is mounted on wheels that run on sturdy tracks underneath. Think garage door, only much sturdier and a single piece, not reticulated. When your basement is not in use, the door just rests in place, and doesn't open when people step on it, because it's too heavy to move easily. But when you need to open it, you just get inside the closet, plant your feet on the floor (use sneakers or bare feet for traction) and push your hands in the opposite direction against the doorframe. The floor then slowly slides back, revealing the staircase underneath. Once you and your loved ones are safely inside, you lock the door in the closed position from the inside in such a way that it's held tight and doesn't slide or rattle. One advantage of this design is that you can leave shoes or other items on the floor toward the front of the closet, as long as you don't open it completely, and they'll still be there when you close it. 8. For realism, go ahead and keep some shelves or a dresser in the closet. But bolt them to the wall so that they stay in place when you slide the floor, and make sure they're not so wide that they block you from entering.

If you build an effective trapdoor entrance that resembles a closet floor in every possible way even to a determined investigator, then it's extremely unlikely that a bad guy will find it. Or more precisely, if the bad guys find your basement, they will find it in some other way, for example finding out from your neighbors (you didn't tell them, did you?), or by spotting your ventilation pipes.

The closet trapdoor entrance to the basement described above is what I'm building into my next house, but the basement is for friends/extended family. For the living quarters for myself and my immediate family, I'm going a whole order of magnitude better on the concealment front. I'm not going to describe the actual design of the entrance because I don't want bad guys to read about it, but I will throw out a few general ideas to help fellow readers of SurvivalBlog.com think about their own designs.

1. The entrance to the secret bunker is from inside my safe room]. This means that after entering the safe room, I have time to consider options, monitor the situation through [[video cameras, and make decisions. The bad guys won't be able to get into the safe room for at least five minutes, probably much longer, so I can calm down and think about whether I want to call the police, surrender the house to the bad guys and retreat to the bunker, or even come out and fight. Another advantage is that bad guys are likely to stop looking for secret rooms once they get into my safe room. The general recommendation here is to give the bad guys a decoy, something to let them think they've figured it out. Yet another advantage is that I can tell trusted friends about the safe room and tell them that's where I'm sleeping without letting them know about the existence of the bunker. I can also access the bunker at any time without anyone having a chance to see me doing so, if I keep the safe room locked.

2. My safe room has a semi-secret safe room emergency exit separate from the entrance to the bunker. If the bad guys manage to use a cutting torch to get into the safe room, they will find the emergency exit quickly, and note that it's open. That's where they think I went. If I didn't have an emergency exit, they would wonder where I am, and keep looking.

3. My bunker is outside the outline of my house. A bad guy can look at any house and think, “is there a basement under there or just a crawlspace?” Once they find a basement that matches the dimensions of the first floor, then they're likely to stop looking.

4. The entrance to my bunker is concealed in such a way that bad guys would have to destroy some very durable materials to even be able to see that it's there. However, I do not have to destroy anything to be able to open it.

5. I'm having contractors build the basic structure, but I'm building the hidden entrance and some other architectural elements myself, after they leave.

To sum up:

1. Use decoys. Give smart bad guys something that makes them think they've found everything.

2. Don't use hidden entrance designs that you've read about on the Internet. Come up with your own.

3. Don't make a choice between concealment and ability to resist a brute force attack. Use both.

4. Better concealment is not necessarily more expensive. “Secret” doors that a kid can find can be more expensive than a truly secret door.

There's a lot more that I could add, but I'm going to stop there for OPSEC reasons. I hope this is a useful starting point for readers to think of their own designs. Remember: if you invent, design and build the secret entrance yourself, then it can remain a secret. If you rely on commonly available templates or employ others to build it, then by definition it's not a true secret. - With Regards, - Dale T.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/Earthbag-Building-Garden-Shed.aspx#axzz2QWdgw6pT

Protection

This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2012) Filled with sand, 60 centimetres (24 inches) of barrier thickness will stop rifle bullets, shell fragments and other shrapnel. Approximately 1.2 metres (four feet) of thickness provides protection against most car bombs.[citation needed] It takes 1.5 metres (five feet) of thickness to prevent penetration by a rocket-propelled grenade round. In addition, HESCO bastions are even more effective than sandbags against water.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesco_bastion

During World War II, sandbags were also used as extemporized “soft armor” on American tanks, to help defeat German anti-tank rounds,[2] but were ineffective.

Sandbags are also used in weight training,as a cheap and effective resistance training tool. There are several different types of sandbags are used in the world of strength and conditioning. The constantly moving grains confusing the central nervous system and this effect makes you feel the sandbag much more heavier, and you shouldn't need to overstress the joints with super-heavy weights to improve the maximal strength and strength-endurance.

The friction created by moving soil or sand grains and multiple tiny air gaps makes sandbags an efficient dissipator of explosive blast.[1] The most common size for sandbags is 14 inches by 26 inches. These dimensions and weight of sand a bag this size can hold allows for the construction of an interlocked wall like brickwork. They are not too heavy to lift and move into place. They may be laid in excavated defences as revetment, or as free-standing walls above ground where excavations are impractical. As plain burlap sandbags deteriorate fairly quickly, sandbag structures that are meant to remain in place for a long time may be painted with a portland cement slurry to reduce the effects of rot and abrasion. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbag

http://www.survivalblog.com/2013/02/letter-re-food-storage-in-the-southern-united-states-2.html

safe_room.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:38 (external edit)