> TEOTWAWKI Blog: A look at Swiss bomb shelters



A look at Swiss bomb shelters

If there's any country that comes across as well prepared, it's Switzerland. Along with cheese, wine, cows, skiing, and army knives, the Swiss take theirnational security very seriously. This stems back to the days of WWII, where the threat of Nazi invasion forced them to build up their defences and prepare for the worst. Switzerland, despite their neutrality (or perhaps because of it) has not let up on their preps in the years since. They take their national security seriously, and theirnational bunker/shelter system is a good example.

By Swiss law, all inhabitants of the country must have access to shelter space. For many Swiss citizens, this space is in a large civil defense shelter, but for others, and specifically non-Swiss, this shelter space comes in the form of a heavy-duty basement shelter. The bomb shelter isn't a nice-to-have or a government recommendation, but mandatory. Yep, mandatory. If you or I were to move into a Swiss house, it would have a bomb shelter in the basement. Not bad, huh?

These aren't just namby-pamby, feel good shelters, they're serious, heavy-duty bunkers. Most Swiss houses are ruggedly constructed from concrete, and this continues in the bomb shelter, with thick, reinforced concrete walls. Thick steel and concrete, vault-style doors. Air-filters. Exactly the kind of thing most surival-minded Americans aspire to--standard in a Swiss home.

In the image below, you can see the big, heavy duty, vault-like door to the shelter.

Another image, the blast door open. Here you can see the locking mechanism and the thick concrete walls. The door is heavy and requires a fair bit of effort to move.

Another image, a close up on the steel hinges. These are solid.

The shelter seals shut with a simple, but rugged and high strength lock. These can be opened from the outside, but the large screw and wrench (see the "door open" image) can be used to lock the shelter from the inside.

The opposite wall of the shelter, where the locks nest to seal it shut.

Finally, an air filter inside the shelter to provide fresh air in case of nuclear, biological, or chemical attack.

These shelters are typically converted to a storage room (this particular shelter is full of stuff), but if well stocked and supplied, a family could be ready to outlast most any attack or natural disaster. And yep, once again, these are standard for Swiss houses.