Unfortunately, there seem to be only two types of solution: Tiny home shelters with space for a handful of people for a few days, and huge cold-war era billion dollar projects built to shelter entire governments.
A private fallout shelter would have to sustain its occupant for a minimum of two days, which some authorities consider the earliest acceptable time to leave a shelter at all, and only for evacuation to safer areas. The shelter would be built underground to provide the best possible protection from radiation.
I am not entirely sure how such a fallout shelter would handle water storage and waste disposal.
The shelter has a tv and a radio (with above ground antenna) in the main room, and ham radio in the generator room (not in the main room because communication may need to be private or censored).
Another thing… You may want to build a shelter out of reinforced concrete, but look into the reinforcing materials they are beginning to use in San Francisco, to reinforce older brick buildings.
One problem associated with having a fallout or blast shelter is whether you can access it quickly. The first two can be dealt with by burying the shelter several feet underground, and ensuring that the walls of the shelter are thick enough to support the earth overburden.
The blast wave, however, will require you to install blast valves, and a ventilation system that can pressurize the shelter so that it won't collapse from overpressure. Here's a Youtube video that amply demonstrates what happens when the blast wave from a nuclear explosion hits.


If your only concern is fallout, however, then a purpose-built shelter may not even be necessary, unless you live in an area where the heaviest fallout is expected.
With 18 people, however, the issue of constructing a fallout shelter becomes more complex, and a purpose-built shelter will be required. The fall-out shelter would remain closed for two to three weeks – it would still be used for sleeping afterwards, but it seems to be the consensus that working outside is safe after 2-3 weeks. 18 adult males, staying in the shelter for two weeks, would require over 930 liters of water just for drinking.
And if you think there’s something essentially wrong with the design… well, feel free to comment!
As written in my story, the shelter would not only have to serve as a fallout shelter but also as a blast shelter, and that would require such precautions. If it faces towards the likely targets, an angled design makes a lot of sense because the blast wave would indeed get funneled down towards the shelter's door (and thus the door needs to withstand more pressure) and the earth does act as additional shielding against the initial gamma ray blast. And the shelter needs to be on springs so it can handle the ground shakes, this will help with earthquakes if any. Bomb shelters may seem passé, considering that the risk of general nuclear war seems to have disappeared.
If you're located in or near a target area, then you need to consider building a blast shelter.


Since bigger bunkers are a lot more costly, the shelter would be still as small as feasible, and occupants will be expected to stay in their bunks a lot of the time. Packaging won’t pose a problem, because everything that is consumed in the shelter has to be stored in the shelter when it is sealed anyway.
Also the air filtration system would most likely be the most expensive system in the shelter. However, I'm a firm believer in the idea that for as long as nuclear weapons with intercontinental delivery systems continue to exist, there remains a very real risk that they will be used, which means that the possibility of nuclear war cannot be completely ruled out, and some sort of response plan is appropriate. As other commentators have suggested, you'll need to harden the shelter against typical nuclear weapons effects. A private fallout shelter would most likely make compromises – a shelter as detailed in the floor plan is probably already extremely expensive.




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