Bank Vaults as Bunkers in Post SHTF? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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88MPH
08-01-2011, 11:57
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?

PBCounty
08-01-2011, 12:16
I'm gonna steal an airplane.

Teasip63
08-01-2011, 12:33
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:

88MPH
08-01-2011, 12:39
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:

Interesting.

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

kirgi08
08-01-2011, 12:47
tagged.

pugman
08-01-2011, 16:42
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?

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 upside...my 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

88MPH
08-01-2011, 17:24
It won't matter.

I'm in my bank and a new 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 upside...my 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

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.

peterj
08-01-2011, 17:38
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.

88MPH
08-01-2011, 17:52
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.

Well...balls.

Spiffums
08-01-2011, 18:07
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...........................

G29Reload
08-01-2011, 18:40
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...........................

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.

lawman800
08-02-2011, 00:32
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.

TangoFoxtrot
08-02-2011, 02:11
One way in and one way out...I don't think so.

PBCounty
08-02-2011, 08:28
So, how were we planning on getting into the vault?

cyrsequipment
08-02-2011, 09:32
So, how were we planning on getting into the vault?

Details...details...

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

lawman800
08-02-2011, 09:40
Details...details...

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

HA!!!

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:

cyrsequipment
08-02-2011, 09:55
HA!!!

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:

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

bzzzzzzzzzzzz

lawman800
08-02-2011, 10:52
What makes you think I haven't already had my DNA mergeds with a fly...

bzzzzzzzzzzzz

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

cyrsequipment
08-02-2011, 11:07
Because flies can't type.:tongueout::crying:

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...

Dirk Pitt
08-02-2011, 11:39
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.

PBCounty
08-02-2011, 11:59
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.

So if some guy goes running past you and into the vault with his arms full of MRE's yelling "The **** just hit the fan man!" what is the policy?

cyrsequipment
08-02-2011, 12:36
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.

Um, how long did your bank leave the guy in there? I've responded to several dead bodies and other than the fact that most pee and poop themselves when they die (gross, but not THAT bad all things considered), the really gross stuff doesn't start flowing out for a few days...

2@low8
08-02-2011, 13:10
Depends upon a lot of variables in the construction. Most new banks have set-in-place panels that have flanges welded together. The vault is certainly not air nor water tight. This is done so it can be build at a factory and then moved by truck and put together. Typically 7 - 9 inches thick of high pressure concrete with lots of rebar and oriented strands of metal inside. In an emergency, like when the vault door breaks, you can core a 16 inch hole through the side wall and crawl through to disassemble the door. Problem is, the core drill takes about 16 hours. You are long since nuked.


My old bank had a poured-in-place vault retro fit to an existing building. It was 18 inches thick. Less rebar and weaker concrete but just as difficult to get through. It was, however, water and air tight.

Most folks have watched too many old western movies and think the door can be cut, drilled or blown open. Well 9 to 15 inches of steel is quite a heat sink. No amount of heat is cutting or blowing through the door. Just ain't gonna happen. You can open SOME from the inside, others take tools. Doors are designed with a safety that SHOULD prevent someone from being locked inside, but it sure as the world can happen.

All that being said, on two separate occasions we have herded the employees and customers into the vault when the tornado sirens were sounding in the street and the police were using their PA to tell people to get into a strong structure, the storm was imminent. No wind storm will blow down a bank vault.

Bottom line is that unless you are at the bank when the balloon goes up, you are not going to be using a bank vault as a bunker.