April 25, 2001
Outside Views of

Ark II
(looks pretty much the same in 2010 -
but I notice a few small changes -
such as we have a new front gate)

The Front Gate
From the front gate gate of the property one cannot actually see the shelter area, (or even the second tall gate) although a new tall tower and some tall fence posts at one end of the property are now visible over the berm."

Front Gate Lock
This is only the first locked gate that one has to go through, to reach the shelter.

The Road In
This picture of the road in was taken last summer. It becomes impassable during snow storms unless we use snow removal equipment, and then it takes about an hour and a half to clear it and the parking lot.

Outside the Tall Gate
This is the second gate that one passes through in approaching the shelter. The fence is ten feet high, but the gate is much higher in order to allow semi-trucks to pass through.

The Tall Gate from Inside
This is another view of the tall gate from the parking lot inside. In the background you can see the berm that conceals the shelter from the road.

Bike Supply
This is the five-speed bike supply that we maintain in front of the shelter. These can be taken inside later to do such things as drive blowers that we store inside the shelter. They can also be used for other purposes such as running the wheat mill or even to generate low level lighting. There are numbers of other stockpiles around the shelter. Such as fuel bunkers, woodpiles, lumber and steel storage, and so forth. Bikes for transportation are kept in another storage location.

Main Entrance from the Parking Lot
This is the front entrance (which is also actually the loading dock) from the parking lot. In the background you can see a couple of the air-intake towers.

HEAVY STEEL Double Locked Front Door
We have no explosives in the shelter but several persons who have been in the explosive business have likened the shelter to the security of an explosive bunker. Before we put up the high fence, vandals used to damage the lock by putting glue in it although they have not gotten the door open since we put two locks on it several years ago, and now with the lock protector and the high fence about the property, it is even more difficult to get into.

The individual door is actually set inside a pair of wide opening steel doors for bringing in supplies and putting them on the conveyor from the loading dock. Inside these steel doors there is a heavy iron gate, and beyond that before entering the shelter, another steel door. One has to go through two steel doors to gain entrance to the shelter from any entrance or air shaft.

All the external doors open outward, at the insistence of the Fire Marshal, except for the loading dock doors. This latter is so that the occupants cannot be blocked in from the outside, although there are also other escape routes.

The Back Entrance
The back entrance to the shelter is heavily bermed about as protection from a possible but improbable target fifteen or twenty air miles away. The door itself faces away from the target. The shelter is theoretically designed to survive a mile and a half outside the crater of a nuclear weapon. A theory that I hope we don't have to test even at fifteen or twenty miles.

Inside the Back Door
From inside the back door you can see the two separated steel doors at this entrance and the steel steps between them leading down to the tunnel going into the shelter.

The Steel Tunnel from the Backdoor
Once past the two steel doors at the back, there is a steel tunnel (with more slope than the photo appears to indicate) leading down to another set of steel steps that go on down into the shelter. The front entrance was made wheelchair accessable at the Fire Marshal's insistence but the back entrance consists of steel steps and the four emergency exits through the air-intakes have steel ladders.

Hilltop View of the Compound
Looking down from a higher hill on the property one can see the entire compound. The prominent features in addition to the entrances are the surrounding 10ft high fence with its front and back gates, along with the tanks over the airshafts. The whole compound stands above a very high ravine.

Main Powered Exhaust
Although there are many others, the main powered exhaust for the shelter exhausts out over the ravine. Natural air flow might seem to be to pull cool air in from the ravine and to exhaust warmed air out the top, but because we are dealing with fallout we want to pull the air in from as high above ground level as possible, and exhaust it out at the lower level.

Looking down from the exhaust fans
The camera fails once again to give an appreciation of the depth, because the river is actually about 150 feet down from standing on the exhaust fan cabinet, from which this picture was taken.

Generator Room Air Shaft Tower
The air shaft housings are taller than a person and 8 feet in diameter. The air actually enters through a heavily screened pipe which faces down on the side. In this way, fallout will not fall into it. An actual air intake pipe is most easily seen on the air shaft tank in the background of the photo of the front entrance.

Air Shaft Tower
Inside each of the airshafts towers there is a vertical shaft that has in it a steel ladder.

Inside the Generator Room Air Shaft Tower
All the air shafts towers are pretty much alike. This is the one for the generator room with its door open.

Inside the Generator Room Air Shaft
Through the open door of the generator room air shaft tower, one can see an additional small (5KW) gasoline powered generator that is maintained OUTSIDE the shelter. The reason for this is that if there should be an emergency involving the main generator room, then we can provide power to air fans. This generator may be moved to any of the air shafts where it may be required.

The large fuel tank seen through the doorway was removed on the Fire Marshal's orders.

Adjacent to this Air Shaft is a highly insulated and muffled exhaust for the main generators down in the shelter. It is so quiet that one can stand right next to it and carry on a conversation in a normal tone of voice.

One of a number of typical exhaust vents.
There are a number of exhaust vents located around the shelter. Each of the vents have a cover and a protective barrier around them (because we have otherwise often damaged them driving over them with a tractor or truck).

Locks on the exhaust vents
All the exhaust vent caps are locked on. Like anything else, with enough time and effort they could be broken into. However, even if one were to hacksaw off the lock, there is no access to the shelter through the air exhausts. At the bottom of the one foot diameter pipe there are usually five inch pipes that run off a distance of five feet to the shelter.

Road Beside Small Fuel Bunker #2
The road has actually been graveled since this shot was taken last summer.

Entrance on Small Fuel Bunker #2
This is the entrance way to a small fuel bunker. There is NO access from the fuel bunker to the shelter.

Door on Small Fuel Bunker #2

Entrance on Small Fuel Bunker #3
This is the entrance way to another small fuel bunker. Again there is NO access from the fuel bunker to the shelter. This fuel bunker actually doubles as a morgue, and the main fuel bunker as a brig.

Observation Tower
At both corners of the compound there is an observation tower that is higher than the fence and which gives a view down both fence lines and to the opposite observation tower and the perimeter access roads. The Fire Marshal has requested that we provide outside storage for certain materials presently in the shelter, and for this reason we have had to build the pictured facility, and are in the process of moving the materials to it. Both this structure, and the fence have actually been built at the Fire Marshal's request but since we were having to build them we have sought to make them useful.

The fence was ordered by the Fire Marshal simply for the purpose of keeping vandals out, with the concern of protecting the vandals. Many improvements about the shelter have been at the Fire Marshal's insistence, such as the large tanks over the air vent escape hatches (to keep them free from snow) and the additional entrance/exit at the back of the shelter. While the total expense has been very large and we had not included them in our original design we are nevertheless pleased with these additional improvements.

It has been an interesting challenge to build the Ark, but as you can see - so far I have survived it.