Came here wondering if you need a permit to build a bunker? Of course you do. Come on, this is America; you need a permit to build anything! Especially a deep earth bunker, which might go so deep that it affects the area’s geology and could cause flooding and other hazards.
Moreover, because this is the United States of America, the number of permits and kinds of permits you need to build your bunker will vary from state to state and sometimes from county to county. For instance, due to the very high Florida Sea Level, the Sunshine State has very strict building codes when it comes to deep earth bunkers. Since most of Florida is so close to the sea level (or even below it) digging is something very sensitive – not to say “not recommended”. In fact, the whole US coast – east, west and the Gulf of Mexico, are not the best of ideas when you decide to build your bunker. The West, additionally, has the problem of proximity to the tectonic faults. If the big one comes, the deep earth bunker can become even deeper and the apocalypse survivor won’t be able to climb out back to the surface. The overall consensus is that the Midwest is safer with places like Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming…
But the permits are not only due to geological factors but practical ones too. The underground was a “dead” area for decades, so there is a lot of stuff underneath our homes that we don’t know about and could pose serious dangers to everyone. For instance, there are a lot of power, gas and sewer pipes down there: if you hit one of them it could cause an accident that interrupts power, gas, and waste disposal services – or worse, it can cause a deadly explosion. Can you imagine that? You didn’t know what to do in the case of a terrorist attack so you decided to build a bomb shelter… only to hit a gas pipe and die in a bomb explosion. Yikes!
However, what’s really interesting is that all of those permits we mentioned are related to the interference you will be making in the landscape; have you noticed? Yes, because – here’s the plot twist – with all that we said in the beginning, there are no building codes and regulations to the deep earth bunkers itself! These ideas of private bomb and tornado shelters and living in a bunker apocalypse house are too recent. And, frankly, not that big. So this industry is still unregulated as to the best practices and mandated safety requirements of a private bunker construction that’s supposed to endure a major natural disaster or a terrorist attack in your neighborhood.
So, do you need a permit to build a bunker? Being picky with the lingo, you will need a permit to dig the number of feet underground you need; not to build the bunker itself.