Nov 10

Not Just Meatballs and Lingonberry Jam

It goes on your meatballs. No, seriously. On the other hand Scandanavians like Lutefisk too, I’ve tried that and it’s not nearly as horrible as you’d think.

Nuclear War is exactly as horrible as you’d think.

How to Build a Fallout Shelter Using Nothing but IKEA Furniture
By Nick Greene, Vice
Nov 9 2017

In a recent Stanford University study it was estimated that, on the first day of an all-out war between North Korea and the United States, 1 million people could die. I would be so angry if I died on day one of WWIII. Ideally, I wouldn’t die at all, which is why I’m trying to be proactive. I live on the West Coast, and if North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missiles are the real deal, then I’m sitting in their crosshairs. Other than move, I have no option but to prepare myself. That means building a fallout shelter.

Sadly, effective blast shelters—that is, shelters that can withstand a direct nuclear blast—are rather difficult to build and prohibitively expensive. They need to be underground and shielded with at least four inches of thick concrete. I consider myself to be relatively crafty, but pouring concrete is not part of my limited skill set. Contained within that skill set, however, is an ability to assemble IKEA furniture. So I reached out to experts about making a fallout shelter completely out of IKEA furniture.

For much of the second-half of the 20th century, Sweden was nestled right up against the Soviet Union. Despite Sweden’s neutrality, the nation had to always be prepared in the event of a nuclear attack. My hope is that the minimalist, flat-pack furniture reflects this grave sense of caution.

A big table is a commonly prescribed centerpiece for expedient shelters, as it acts like a tentpole that can be surrounded by thick, protective materials serving as ad-hoc walls The dining room tables at IKEA, however, aren’t ideal. The farmhouse look is in, and most have obtrusive pieces of wood running between their legs that, while evocative of 19th-century Shaker design, make it near impossible to sit underneath comfortably.

As I crawled under a table in the showroom to confirm this, an IKEA employee politely asked if I needed any help. I apologized for being in what must have looked like a peculiar position, but she told me people crawl underneath their tables “all the time.” Clearly, I’m not the only one worried about a North Korean warhead melting the skin off my bones.

If it’s space I’m looking for, I’d need to assemble this shelter from scratch: wall by wall. Liebsch had mentioned that bookcases filled with books work as relatively effective protective walls, and luckily IKEA has plenty of bookcases. The company has sold more than 60 million BILLY models since 1978. And while the particle board material they’re made of isn’t an ideal shield from radioactive fallout, filling the cases with books and magazines would help immensely.

For my roof, I examined IKEA’s collection of countertops. Sadly, most of these were too thin, but if I assembled a patchwork of KARLBY countertops (which are particleboard) and piled a few MORGEDAL mattresses atop this layer, I could have a roof that, while suitably protective, wouldn’t crush me to death in the event of a cave-in.

Liebsch was bullish about mattresses and futons. “You’re going to want those anyway, so you could put them on the inside of the walls,” she said.

“So it could swing down, like a Murphy bed?” I asked.

“Exactly.”

Anyway, my point is that IKEA is not just FRAKTA bags. There’s also the weird screws and fasteners which don’t work with any normal tools and seem to come in 2 sizes, way too many and one short.

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