How big of a storage area would I need?

Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by dc300a, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. dc300a

    dc300a Active Member

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    My place has become the defacto BOL and my little group of fellow preppers are wanting to build a storage bulding either underground or at least partially underground ot take advantage of the cooling effect.

    So here is my question. If you were planning for 12 people and you wanted to build a block structure to store recommended food and medical supplies for that many people, how many square feet would thing we need??

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. semperscott

    semperscott Well-Known Member

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    I would build as big a storage unit as I could afford and that I have room for on the property. You can never have too much space and I've heard plenty of people complain they built 'too small'.

    Just my thoughts.
     

  3. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

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    Do you have all your preps in a central location already? If so, you could use that as an estimate. Like Scott said, I'd go as big as you can. For just provisions (no living area), I'd guess around 800 sq/ft.
     
  4. dc300a

    dc300a Active Member

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    We dont have all of our stuff in one location at this moment. As for the use of the structure, it will for storage only, although we have discussed room for cots incase of tornados etc.
     
  5. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Personally, I would go partially underground and then heap dirt / grass over the container, in essence, building a cave for the stuff. I would make sure that moisture will not collect in or around the cave for any reason - tornado, flood or even normal ground-water.

    If you can build it into the side of a hill that points away from prevailing winds, you would be even better off.
     
  6. semperscott

    semperscott Well-Known Member

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    Think of this storage location as a supply depot. In addition to food and water you should also store clothing, cots/sleeping bags, etc. Plan it as though you have nothing but the clothing on your back when SHTF and this location is all you have. Nothing will go to waste in a SHTF situation even if you have a completey stocked BOL.
     
  7. Centraltn

    Centraltn Well-Known Member

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    If ya plan on storing stuff in those 6 gallon buckets etc.. they measure roughly 1' square and about 18" high. Each one holds from 42-48 lbs if dry food, when stored inside mylar bags, within the buckets. Hope that gives you a starting point
     
  8. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Well-Known Member

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    Just off the top of my head I'd say a shelving unit 18" deep 72" to 84" high and 10' to 12' long per family or group of 3, with a minimum of 24" at each end and between shelving units.

    That would work out as four shelving units, 2 of which can be back to back in the center.

    18" + 24" + 18" + 18" + 24" + 18" = 10' wide minimum & 24" + 10' + 24" = 14" long minimum. Plus however much extra room you want at the front of the shelves, depending on what type of door you want.

    These are minimum dimensions I'd want. Bigger if you are going to store large, bulky items.
     
  9. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    In addition to knowing how many people the storage would be for, you'd probably want to figure how long you hope/expect our supplies to last, and then figure how much you'd need for that time. That would help in knowing how much space you'll need.

    Underground is a great idea. The more steady and constant the temperature, the better change for good long-term storage.
     
  10. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

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    Sue has a great point on duration. Along the same thoughts as Jerry, below is a picture of some shelving.

    Those center shelves (back-to-back) are 2x4' so with the 5 of them, that's 200 sq/ft of shelving. I'd consider that a minimum size for a family of 4 for couple month duration. As already noted, you need everything you'll need already cached in there. That means bedding, meds, food, cooking, water, clothing...

    Oh, and in your design, don't forget a means for fresh air as well as bathroom facilities.


    [​IMG]
     
  11. TimB

    TimB Member

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    Looks like that shelving in bczooms pic could double as a bunk in a pinch. :hmmm:

    Tim
     
  12. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    This is the shelfing my dh got from a friend who got from Goody's dept. store----only one --size 8' X 8' X 2' and it is awesome...I still have an empty shelf and a half ---not sure what to buy...I can tell you, it holds a lot of food/supplies.
     
  13. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

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    JayJay, those shelves look just like the ones in my basement, bought at Lowe's. Home Depot also has them. I love them - they're a great value with their size and weight capabilities. I've only got two units (one is for homeschool materials) - planning on not even asking DH about it and just picking up a couple more this week. :ignore:

    And yeah, I think in a pinch they could easily double as bunks for kids.
     
  14. Jimmy24

    Jimmy24 Member

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    Well, I'll share what I have done. I'm basically prepping for 4 people. Don't actually have that many to prep for, but would rather plan for more and be not enough.

    I built a small storage building last spring at my retreat. I kinda overbuilt it, so to use for additional shelter if needed. It is 12x12 with 8 ft ceiling or about 144 sq/1152 CF. 2x6 walls and ceiling joists. Insulated in walls and ceiling. Built my own shelving, 2x4s and 3/4 ply. The one thing I did different is, I installed a window ac unit. 5000 btu. Last summer I used the ac to have decent temps inside the building for the food I have stored. I kept it at about 75 degrees. The window unit was plenty big enough. And it only cost about $26-$30 a month to run it. Small unit like it and good insulation makes for economical use. $30 is small amount to pay for that big of an investment in food. Shoot my rental storage room I have for other things is same size and cost $55 a month to rent and no climate control!!!! Spent about $1350 on materials and built myself.

    Just fyi.

    Jimmy
     
  15. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info...dh paid $30 for one we have...it was the prepper buy of the year for us...I'll check out Lowe's///these are the ultimate in storage room. Bunk beds??? yep with the shelfs moved far apart--great idea.

    8 X 8 X 2 is 120 sq ft---awesome..I still have one shelf empty ---I put the canned fruit in the closet with the canned vegetables.
     
  16. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

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    Just so you know, those shelves fill up fast. The ones I pictured are completely full and I could easily use double that amount.
     
  17. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

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    No kidding!!! They were $49 a piece on sale before Christmas - now they run in the low 70s. At $30 they're a steal! They're super strong and hold a lot!
     
  18. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth

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    Good ideas.We want ashelter also, only for food and storm protection.

    I'm so affraid when under tornado watches.And we get hurricanes here too even if they don't directly hit tornados come off the system.

    We will not build completely underground.My friend did that and it filled with water.

    I'd say about 6'under and 2'above ground? What do yall think?

    We're thinking concrete poured blocks with extra rebar?

    Maybe a rounded covered roof ?Maybe use steal shelves to help support roof.

    This is our next project,maybe in a couple months we can start.

    Any suggestions are welcome.
     
  19. Nadja

    Nadja Well-Known Member

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    You can also look on craigs list or even better, used scrap steel places. I got a 3' deep, by 8' tall by 8' wide for next to nothing. These are called "pallet racks" , and for weight, I have seen them in junk yards with car engines and trannies stacked on them. You cannot imagine how much you can put on about 4 of these.
     
  20. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    depending on what size you want/need/can afford, what about a pre-cast cistern (or multiple) as an emergency shelter, it's one piece since the FL water table is so high ;)

    [​IMG]

    or pour your own? :dunno:

    [​IMG]