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My main concern has been surviving the intense heat of a firestorm. Granted, if you are in a cement dome, say, surrounded by an earth berm, you might feel pretty safe. But the intensity and the duration of the heat will determine how safe you really are. The dome might not burn, but the heat generated around it might cook whoever is inside, like an oven. I don't know of any studies out there regarding this subject, except recommendations to build deep underground. And what about air circulation inside?

Offered by Brent.

Using concrete and ample re-bar, build an octagon with 2 foot walls 4 feet high with a 2 foot thick dome top. Set your 2 foot concrete floor and walls in the side of a hill with a drain rock and drain pipe around the footing floor, double coat the concrete walls and concrete top with standard foundation water proofing material, readily available, and then cover the entire structure with dirt with a rented bobcat. The door can be shut, sealed and latched with an igloo type opening to include the addition of a protective concrete barrier across the front (requiring one to turn right or left to exit). Calculate the needed oxygen for a couple days and keep enough available green oxygen bottles to tide you over the initial potential fire problems. A home-made carbon filter using barbecue briquettes will work as an air purifier. You won't have much to do so a hand cranked squirrel cage fan can be used to circulate the air. A water tank can be constructed as an integral part of the structure with other ample storage closets built in for items required for survival.

Offered by Michael.

I was flipping through the TV channels this Sunday morning, and for some reason I stopped at our local PBS affiliate. They were carrying the children's show called TeleTubbies. What struck me was where the TeleTubbies lived - in a grass-covered Geodesic Dome-type structure. This may be the optimal structure to create for a post-shift environment - such domes can withstand hurricane-force winds, and they conserve heat well. And if properly constructed, they can be earthquake resistant. Also, being grass-covered, they don't draw attention to themselves - they kind of blend into the landscape, not an unimportant consideration. And according to Buckminster Fuller, inventor of such structures, Geodesic Domes cover the maximum amount of living space with the least amount of material, and they are the structures most consistent with the laws of nature.

Offered by Mike.