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Bank Vaults as Bunkers in Post SHTF?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by 88MPH, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. 88MPH

    88MPH RON PAUL 2012

    Jun 11, 2011
    I was wondering if these are as fortified as people believe? Would you really survive a nuke like in the Twilight Zone episode? Are they air tight and thus unusable when sealed? Can you get out from the inside if the door has been closed and locked? Banks are everywhere. There's a good chance you'll be near one when the SHTF.

    Any thoughts?
  2. I'm gonna steal an airplane.

  3. Teasip63


    Nov 21, 2008
    Bank vaults are not perfectly airtight but they are enough that if you get locked in you could run out of air. They are not perfectly airtight in that water will creep in if there is a flood but there are not enough air holes to keep you alive I believe.

    My background is disaster recovery and we used to tell the branch banks to have on hand duck tape, rubber gloves and pertroleum jelly. Those would be used to help seal the cracks around the door to prevent or slow water from getting in during a flood to protect the safety deposit boxes.

    One branch bank officer said duck tape, rubber gloves and petroleum jelly are what they had on hand when the auditors came but for a different reason.:embarassed:
  4. 88MPH

    88MPH RON PAUL 2012

    Jun 11, 2011

    Another question: can vault doors be secured from the inside or are the locking mechanisms only on the outside?
  5. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
  6. pugman


    May 16, 2003
    It won't matter.

    I'm in my bank and a news flash comes across both major metro areas 30-40 miles each side of me were just nuked so I head to the vault.

    I will be dead in 3-4 days without water. Depending on the prevailing wind (in this case West to East) there could be lethal radioactive zones up to a month.

    On the small credit union is completely staffed with ladies....and 5 of the 6 would be considered "yummy." I might die but I would have a smile on my mug
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  7. 88MPH

    88MPH RON PAUL 2012

    Jun 11, 2011
    Yeah, but that's not the scenario I was thinking of. I was considering them for use as bug in locations. But if I knew a nuke went off I think I'd still hop in the closest one.
  8. peterj


    Jan 4, 2010
    You cant open bank vaults from the inside. They are on a timed locking mechanism where the closing staff will set the timer until the next day of business. When the timed lock is set, not even bank staff can open the vault.

    If someone does get locked in, there is a hole in the vault door; about the size of a 50 cent piece, that can supply enough air to sustain life. Some vaults have a little fan by the hole that will blow air into the vault and some don't. My old banks had both. I would not consider a bank vault a good place to hide out.
  9. 88MPH

    88MPH RON PAUL 2012

    Jun 11, 2011
  10. Spiffums

    Spiffums I.C.P.

    Sep 30, 2006
    Terrible there are signs on the door about no guns allowed. So you have to leave your guns in the car to go into the bank...........................
  11. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    Not in VA and a lot of states.

    A bank vault would be an excellent blast shelter. Theres a difference between "blast" and fallout.

    Lacking anything else, I'd jump in the vault if I could after seeing aflash in the distance. After that, it depends on which way the wind blows.
  12. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    It would be temporary at best if everything worked out as above. Think about the location of the bank vault relative to everything else in the bank. You are in the back in a pretty restricted corridor and if you are back there, who is going to secure the outside such as the exterior doors, lobby or any other area in the bank?

    Absent a nuclear blast, say some other intermediate scenario such as riots or zombies or whatnot, you are not in a good place, defensively. You are actually boxing yourself in one of the worst ways possible. Someone can just smoke you out or just wait you out until you die of starvation even if you have air.
  13. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot OIF 04-05

    Sep 10, 2008
    Nowhereville, USA
    One way in and one way out...I don't think so.
  14. So, how were we planning on getting into the vault?
  15. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

    Aug 8, 2004

    I'm going to use the teleporter on my spaceship....
  16. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor


    You haven't thought this out, have you?

    Everyone knows teleporter technology is not perfect and sometimes it will merge your dna with a fly and you will be screwed!:tongueout:
  17. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

    Aug 8, 2004
    What makes you think I haven't already had my DNA mergeds with a fly...

  18. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    Because flies can't type.:tongueout::crying:
  19. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

    Aug 8, 2004
    I still have my fingers.... for now.

    I think I'll still be able to type with my legs, won't be much slower than I type now anyway...
  20. Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt Millennium Member

    Jan 12, 1999
    After working in a bank for 3 years, no thanks. I will stay outside. It has a completely seperate mechanism for bringing in air if you were to be stuck inside. It is independent of the door. I guess I just spent too much time in the darn thing, it was BIG with 3 rooms. Customers only saw the safe deposit box room. We had a customer go down with a heart attack in the vault and DIED there. Something they don't tell you on TV when you die like that all your bodily fluids -not blood- other stuff come out of your orifices, not a nice site, especialy when you are a 19 yr old tasked to clean it all up. So no, I don't like bank vaults.