Ask any ex-grunt about digging their own scrape, slit, pit, dugout, trench, or whatever name is flavor in your country’s military and the eyes will probably roll backwards in their heads.
Only with everyone beginning to mutter the same tune i.e. WW3, you better put some thought into getting under cover when the party poppers aka crowd pleaser’s aka nukes get thrown around.
So what makes a good “hole” and why a hole in the first place?
An Individual scrape is your height say 6 ft and 2 x 2 ft deep (see later) piling the dug out earth and sods towards the danger mainly and also along the sides. (24 cu ft of it)
The pit is different. That takes many happy (not) hours of digging and includes a fire step. Main hole 2 x 4 x 6 ft deep (see later). The Step 1 ½ ft (Approx 45 cu ft of it).
Note I’m only dealing with one person, add another and it’s a lot more earth BUT at least you get to share the “load”.
Practically speaking, getting beneath the ground saves soldiers by presenting the enemy with little to aim at. Fast forward to a crowd pleaser going off and the basics of that type of pop DEMAND that you take adequate cover.
Take the flash and heat.
Both travel in straight lines and if you are not along that line but below it (in a scrape for instance), those two will pass sort of harmlessly over you.
Now comes the blast.
As a pressure wave and expanding outwards at the speed of a freight train. Snug in your scrape it will pass over you together with all the debris it is carrying (bet you wish you’d dug a little faster and a little deeper). Except it then reverses. Outward from the pop at first then back towards its source. Still carrying debris, with you hopefully still under the surface and sort of safe from the new lot of flying debris.
Only now you’re thinking about the radiation, the fall out, those snowflakes you see on films. Except that takes time to settle and thus time to find better shelter. How much time have you got depends on how the popper went pop and how big it was. i.e. Airburst, fireball doesn’t touch the ground, fall out will be minimal. Ground burst or an air burst touches the ground, tonnes of material go airborne.
One thing is certain, without the scrape you may have been shredded by debris, cooked, or blinded and if that had happened, whether you were able to find adequate cover or not, your injuries will have made you closer to death bearing in mind that any fallout will readily invade a cut or abrasion mainlining straight into your system and (according to history) rad-shit in wounds makes for slow healing.
So what do you use to make this palace?
Tools are varied and again your military will have its own favorite:-
Only how safe are you in a scrape? (The see later bit)
That’s a toughie one to answer. A story for you.
Just because our DI loved us, we all dug scrapes on a range and put bayonet dummies in them. From 600 yards the DI then let fly with a GPMG (L7A2), 7.62mm, belt fed. Half a belt, that’s all it took.
Half the dummies showed signs of “distress”.
In a freshly made scrape the 7.62 x 51 dug through some 12 inches of banked earth. Lesson learned, we went down another foot. OK at lesser range the round is less effective however as said, deeper is better.
As for digging a fall out shelter in the garden?
Yes you can do it only what saves you is the distance from the fallout.
You’ll need to dig deep, cover well, and bank loads of earth on top and along the sides. JCB, excavator, power shovel sort of work this is. There again if the house has a cellar, make one in there.
Got to love pubs with cellars too.
You get to feel no pain as you cook.
Churches cellars (crypts) are good, except for a lack of water (and beer).
You’ll need that water too.
14 days worth per person i.e. around 14 gallons, 80 liters (ish).
There are plenty of down-loadable sources on shelter building on the Internet, too many to list really. DO IT NOW. Download I mean. As later on your kindly government may have turned off the Internet, caring souls they are and all that.