How Long Can You Live In An Underground Bunker?

As nuclear weaponry and the possibility of biochemical warfare has increased, survivalists have begun making provisions to survive the worst case scenario. Surviving in an underground bunker takes incredible resilience and preparation.

How long you can survive within an underground bunker depends entirely on how well equipped you are and how sturdy your bunker is built. Skilled and prepared survivalists can survive for years in a stable bunker that has access to fresh water and a supply of food.

It takes research and dedication to prepare an underground bunker in order to survive long enough to outlive whatever disaster has ravaged the world.

What Are The Chances That You Would Need An Underground Bunker?

There are a total of known 14 000 nuclear weapons that are held by the world powers. 90% of these weapons are held by the United States and Russia alone. The chances of a nuclear warfare breaking out and forcing society into underground bunkers are a real possibility.

Modern nuclear weapons have a blast radius powerful enough to wipe out entire cities. Beyond the initial blast of a nuclear weapon wiping out most of civilization within the area that it has impacted, the chemicals omitted from a blast will sit in the atmosphere for decades creating a nuclear winter.

A nuclear winter and the damage from the initial blast will create a severe food storage, decrease global temperatures to dangerous levels and further create an environment for diseases to fester. Only the best prepared survivalists can survive this time.

In additional to nuclear warfare, superbugs and infections can lead societies to isolate underground as well as potential natural disasters. As global warming has wreaked havoc on natural ecosystems, massive natural disasters and out of control diseases have become a real potential.

When underground bunkers first become a potential reality, it was nearly impossible for society to envision that they may be forced underground for a number of years in order to survive.

Underground grew in popularity in the 1940’s during the time of nuclear warfare’s birth, however they became a real potential as the tensions between the Superpowers of the Cold War grew.

It was during the 1960’s that John F. Kennedy began designating potential buildings across the United States in an attempt to save 50 million American’s if the Soviet Union were to drop a nuclear bomb on the United States.

Despite the end of the Cold War, the United States and Russia have the potential to enter into a nuclear war at a moment’s notice.

Today, survivalists have built underground bunkers with the intention of surviving any possible nuclear attack, disaster or disease that could potentially run rampant. In order to build a successful bunker, you must have a large amount of cash to invest into it.

A good bunker must be able to survive a nuclear blast and the harsh natural environment. It therefore must have a sturdy structure capable of withstanding these circumstances. As it is underground, it must maintain a fresh access of airflow and clean water.

In an ideal situation your bunker would have access to electricity, but it is most likely that you won’t have access to this if major city substations are taken out. If the majority of humanity is wiped it, it is likely that no one will be maintaining substations and infrastructure and your bunker won’t have electricity.

What Do You Need In An Underground Bunker?

You would need access to the basics such as food, clean air, water and sanitation. Humans can’t got more than 3 days without fresh water and will become ill without fresh water or air.

It is important to stock your bunker with a supply of medication, a first aid kit and medical supplies. Antibiotics are incredibly important and lifesaving, especially in an apocalyptic situation. The flu can wipe out an underground society with no access to medications.

Medication will be in great demand and short supply, and so if you wish to survive any unforeseen illness or injury you will need to ensure you have the ability to heal yourself and your bunker mates.

In addition to this, it will be beneficial to ensure you have an adequate supply of vitamins as you will not have access to the nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables as well as from natural elements. For example, you will need a supply of vitamin D as you won’t be getting it directly from the sun.

Entertainment is an important addition to your bunker as well. Although you may not die from a lack of entertainment, you likely won’t want to survive if you have nothing to do for days, months or years on end.

Keeping a supply of books, digital media, or a hobby such as painting will help pass the time while you are locked underground. Your mental health will likely decline with the lack of stimulation and it is vital that you keep your brain active during this time.

Notable Underground Bunkers

The super-rich have invested in mind blowing underground bunkers that are equipped to protect them for years. The locations of the majority of bunkers are kept top secret, for obvious reasons.

However, one known and notable bunkers are worth mentioning. In Kansas, the Survival Condo hosts a lavish survival plan for the incredibly rich. It features full security measures that rivals militaries. Its exact location is kept top secret and it’s underground structure is undetectable.

It is equipped to safely house its occupants for up to 5 years. It has an indoor swimming pool, the rooms have simulated windows to give you the feel that you aren’t actually 11 stories underground. It is spread over 15 floors and reaches up to 200 feet underground.

It has food stores, medical supplies, and access to luxuries such as a cinema, a gym, and a bar. Being forced into this bunker would be an easier task and survival would not be a challenge, if everyone within the society cooperates.

The super-rich intend to secure themselves within this bunker should the apocalypse arise. 


Having to survive in an underground bunker is the worst case scenario, and not a reality that many of us wish to live in. However, survivalists have ensured they will be prepared for what many believe is the inevitable.

You can survive a number of years in a well-equipped and prepared bunker. Some of the best equipped bunkers are estimated to ensure survival for 5 years.


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