Citizen, Patriot, Ranger
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Peoples Republik of Kalifornia
Here is what I can tell you. Potassium iodide simply keeps radioactive iodine from being absorbed into your thyroid gland. That "helps" but does little or nothing for direct alpha, beta or gamma exposure. It just helps to keep those in shelters somewhat safe from ingested radioactive poisoning. The ONLY protection from radiation is 6-12 feet of DIRT. In my bugout-hideout, I picked a high spot. I rented a backhoe, and I dug a big hole. I bought three steel shipping containers, 56 feet long and proceeded to join them with doorways. I did a lot of welding, patching, and coating with the nasty black stuff that they use on the outside of basement walls. Then I made three ingress-egress tunnels. Then I buried the whole thing. I added a water system later, and a septic leech-field, all home-made...You can assume that I have most everything that I need.
Now, none of this will help in the event of a virus.
For chemical, you just need good filtration. There are numerous designs that will work, the one I decided on was a positive flow (meaning I vacuum it into the shelter) through wet diatomaceous earth. It works (in theory) and can have active agents introduced for biological protection. The easiest is simple salt.
My whole design is predicated on three factors:
1. Nobody would expect to find anything there, and the location is remote.
2. The location is remote.
3. Whatever happens, my place is not a target; except for transients.
Total cost was $14,980.00. I could have gone cheaper, but I bought the insulated shipping containers that were only used once. $2,300.00 each. 56 foot, by 8 foot wide, by 10 foot tall. I could have gone with "well used" containers for about $1,100.00 each. And I thought about it.
Ambient temperature inside at 2:00pm is 63 degrees. Outside is over 85.
I could bore you with lots of details, but I will just hit some highlights:
Lots of old railroad rails. They paid me $10.00 each to take them away. Lots of "other" scrap sheet steel. This got painted with the ugly black stuff after being welded to the rails, which were used to make the structure that surrounds the shipping containers. A foot of concrete went on top of that, and around the sides. Minimum dirt layer of 14 feet.
I have spent several years getting to this point. It does not happen overnight. I have also looked into how to absorb CO2, how to crack water for O2 and H. Additionally, I have a lot of food and lots of other stuff that may or may not be useful someday. My design is predicated on gravity ot supply water, and channel it away. I have brought in a lot of "waste" soil that I use to cover the meadows and fields on my property. In the event of a radioactive event, that will get scraped away to provide "clean soil" to grow crops in. I keep messing around with designs for windmills, solar, and algae for electricity and fuel. I happened on a load of "waste" fiber optic cable that works great for transmitting light from a collector to various points within the shelter for "daylight" ambience. Each location provides an equivelent to a 25 watt incandecent bulb. It works, and cost me nothing in terms of cash. Just a lot of time and trial and error. By the way, my "egress" tunnels are also made of shipping containers, and those comprise my storage space.
My best advise on all of this NBC preparedness stuff is: Be flexible, be careful, be secretive, and look around for "waste". You would be surprised at what you can find. By the way, my wife thinks I am a nutjob! My kids like it, and have been a great help. If I have done all of my planning and designing right, this will last for 200 years.
Last bit: To answer your questions. Potassium iodide lasts forever unless it turns yellow. Antibiotics last 5 years, plan on replacing them on that schedule. They need to be kept cool!!!! Antihistamines, asprin, Epipens, anti-inflamatories, are all good for the medicine chest. You will need to enlist a doctor to help with some of that. Do not ask for pain-killers of any kind. That is a big red flag, so do not go there.