Fundamentals of Designing a Cabin Shelter

While there are many forms of fallout shelters, most preppers automatically imagine bomb shelters or chemical fallout. However, the term fallout shelter for this article will refer to a safety retreat or refuge in a secluded mountain house or cabin.

Threats come in all shapes and sizes, and while log cabins or other domestic structures might not offer the best protection against nuclear warfare, they can protect against other human threats. There are many things to consider when designing and organizing a mountain retreat as a shelter, and it involves more than the view — although the view is important from a strategic standpoint.

Preparing for the Worst by Stocking up on the Best

Before you can even consider a house a shelter, you need to ensure you have an adequate stockpile for the number of people who will join you. You will want to gather a variety of supplies to ensure the survival of your homestead, including:

  • First-aid kits
  • Fresh water
  • Shelf-stable food
  • Medications
  • Tools (Flashlights, screwdrivers, box cutters, etc.)
  • Weapons

You can find more specific requirements and suggestions for emergency kits on the FEMA website. However, no one will know what your family needs more than you. A lot of preparation is ensuring each member of your household has what they need to survive, remain calm, and feel safe.

Ensuring Everyone Has Enough Space

Survival situations do not often require comfort, but that depends on how long you shelter in place. According to FEMA, a healthy individual only needs 10 sq ft; that number jumps to 30 sq ft for bed-ridden people or those with mental health or anxiety issues.

However, when you plan on escaping to the mountains with your healthy family of five, is 50 sq ft going to be enough for months of survival? Anyone living with teenage daughters knows 50 sq ft is not enough for long-term situations.

While 50 sq ft is not enough, you do not have to find some luxurious mountain estate to keep your family happy. On average, an individual needs about 200 to 400 sq ft to remain sane and comfortable, meaning a family of five can survive comfortably in a 1,000 sq ft cabin.

Securing Your Property Is About Training and Vigilance

Aside from stocking up on supplies, a fallout shelter or retreat requires security. If possible, install security cameras and alarms. If not, install fencing and motion sensors around the property, allowing you to control who enters your property.

Additionally, if you are going to keep firearms on your property, it is ideal if everyone who can operate the weapon learns how. Firearms training is the best way to keep your family safe against enemy threats and friendly fire.

You might also want to invest in self-defense training — the hand-to-hand kind. Teaching your children the best ways to defend themselves can be highly reassuring to parents.

Preparation is vital in any survival situation. If you plan on maintaining a mountain retreat as a secure shelter for your family in an SHTF situation, be sure to study the fundamentals of fallout living.

Have any emergency shelter tips or tricks? Leave a comment below.