How to build an emergency shelter inexpensively
02/24/2018 // David Williams // Views

The knowledge required to build your own emergency shelter in a pinch is nice to have in case you ever need to use it. You may not realize it, but there are quite a number of factors that you have to take into consideration when trying to build an emergency shelter with a tight budget. But if you put your mind to it, it's possible for you -- or almost anyone you know -- to start building one inexpensively. Here are some general tips that should help you along the way. (h/t to

Before you actually go ahead and start to build your own emergency shelter, you need to ask yourself exactly what kind of disaster you're preparing for. If it's for an upcoming nuclear crisis, you can forget about standing it up anywhere on surface lands. The best nuclear crisis bunkers, as they are often referred, are usually situated underground. So your emergency shelter in this regard has to be buried deep inside the Earth.

The same goes for hurricanes. Any underground shelter would be able to withstand hurricanes, but could potentially have a problem with the water that will inevitably sink into the ground -- hurricanes are huge, angry, fast-spinning storms, after all. One possible solution is to build a ground-level shelter with a rounded or dome-like shape for maximum wind resistance. This could go a long way towards preventing it from getting blown away.

Again, the type of disaster greatly affects the kind of emergency shelter that you should build, and you should always keep that in mind.

Another thing you should consider is your list of materials. You could use any number of great emergency shelter designs, but you will still need to choose what materials you're going to use. In order to save some money on building materials, try looking at used items that could serve as useful parts of your emergency shelter. For example, old tires can be used as versatile containers or covers once you manage to cut them up. They are strong yet flexible, and can often be used in unusual building designs.


You can also make good use of plastic water bottles, which you can fill up with the likes of dirt, sand, or water and use in many different scenarios. The same can also be said for metal food cans, which can be used as containers or covers for all sorts of items.

Cost-cutting reminders

In sourcing your building materials, you could look through your neighborhood: canvass your local area to see if anyone nearby has scraps that they could offload onto you. Abandoned lots can be good places to find scrap material, so don't discount them either.

You can also buy items at the the nearest thrift store, which often carry the sort of items that can be used in building emergency shelters. In particular, you can look for bags that can be re-purposed as sandbags, which you can then use for your shelter. Combine second-hand or used items with natural materials that you can found out in nature to maximize their cost benefits.

As you can see, there are many ways in which you can save money and still build an adequate emergency shelter that can help you survive certain situations. Just remember to come up with a plan on how you will use your emergency shelter in order to avoid any problems when a real emergency situation arises.

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