One of the most important skills we should cultivate in our interest in preparedness or in survivalism, is an ability to use something intended for one purpose, for another, perhaps even more important purpose. Most of us know that an American made trash can with a tightly fitting lid can be easily adapted to use as a Faraday cage, but this is not where such adaptations end.
Just recently, some people with whom I am acquainted, who have sold containers in the past, are liquidating something called Concrete Telecommunications Shelters. (Also known as Telecoms.) One can buy these used structures and then pay to have these structures relocated to your rural property. What would you use such a thing for, you ask ?
1. I don't like to store diesel, gasoline, kerosene or anything flammable within a house or garage building. For years, I used a large empty wooden dog house with handiplank siding, with a dog door to store flammables. The smallest structure could be used for flammable of pesticides storage, so long as you took steps to allow adequate ventilation, and didn't have it up against your house, garage, pricey RV, or old growth or mature forest. The second unit, or unit above might be useful for flammables storage.
2. At many farms, especially in the South or the West, the animals and barns are a great distance from the house, so that horseflies and other insects don't invade the house. This means that during the hours your family members are working in the barn or with animals, that they are not protected against sudden storms, tornadoes, derechos, lightning storms, or other issues. Siting a protective building out of view but near your animals and barn might be a wise idea. Human beings can seek shelter when needed, until storms have passed. Having one of these could save someone's life.
3. Many farms, despite having barn cats, have difficulty keeping bears, mice, rats, raccoons, and other wild animals out of your pelleted animal feeds. Since many of us buy sufficient feed for all to make it through the Winter, we all need somewhere secure to store it. One of these buildings, if you got it inexpensively enough, could be designed and secured sufficiently to avoid rodent infestation. Some are large enough that you can drive up to it with a truck and stock it directly.
4. As most of us learned from local earthquakes, keeping your emergency supplies in only one place, is foolish. If your house or basement is impacted by flood or earthquake damage, your emergency supplies might not be accessible for a time. For this reason, I recommend that you keep a variety of emergency supplies in caches in multiple locations. (I am not specifically talking about guns or ammo, which I believe should always be stored in heated and cooled locations, and under lock and key) However, if you did own large acreage, a telecom building, landscaped with arborvitae, cedars or other smaller trees common and inexpensive in your area, positioned on the back forty, and stocked with emergency supplies could also be a lifesaver someday.
5. During their original use, these buildings were connected to and used conventional electricity. However, in their secondary and final use, they may be adapted to work for your own purpose as either a solar powered structure if you wish, or one powered by a diesel generator. You could also install a Xantrex or Outback inverter so that any electricity you generate through either a generator or solar collectors, could be stored and used silently from the inverters.
6. Each Winter, I have either an elderly animal who needs to be in a heated protected environment for sub zero weather, or I have newborn mammals or fowl who need to be within a heated area. Some years ago I broke down and had a heated building built for such purposes. For those of you who have not done this, a smaller telecommunications building could do the trick.
We have touched on a number of possibilities and ideas within this post. I hope this posting has inspired you to consider all of the uses of items you might have access to, either inexpensively or sometimes even free.