Letter Re: Advice on Retreat Locales–Former Microwave Sites?

Here is some info from someone who actually did go to look at one of these things with a preparedness mindset. The one that we looked at was near Whitehall, Montana. If you have a copy of Google Earth you can view it at (46.081522°,-112.115643° … and be sure to change the 3-D angle of view so you can see the terrific commanding view the place has.) The building itself had 8″ thick concrete walls. Over these walls was 4″ of foam insulation and then a layer of stucco. There were no windows but there were vents covered with steel louvers. Set off about two feet from the vents was a wall as high as the building. I’m guessing this was to break up blast waves before they hit the vents. All metal in the building (frames, jams, etc, etc.) were hot galvanized and grounded. The original blueprints were mounted on the wall, explaining many of the requirements for the building (which I recall had been built about 1960s and upgraded in the 1970s.) The electrical panels were enormous. There were several of them and they were all as tall as me. The building had originally come with a buried 3000 gallon diesel tank but that had been removed for environmental reasons prior to sale. The hole, however, was still there. The interior ceilings were 14′ high and although I cant recall the exact square footage it was certainly as much as the average house. There was a 75′ tower next to the building with a platform that probably measured 25’x25′ at the top. Since the building was on a hill 500′ above the road, the tower added to the unbelievable view. We were about 15 miles down a road from the interstate and we could see the entire length of that road all the way to the interchange. A person with a good range finder, spotter, and a .50 BMG rifle would easily have owned anything within a two mile circle. Access to the building was through a pair of steel double doors and ‘airlock’. The frames and doors were thick steel and I eyed them from the point of view of someone wanting to get in. Nothing short of power tools was going to get in. Bullet resistance of the building would have been about as good as you can get. The facility was on an ‘island’ of land about 1.3 acres large and surrounded by a huge ranch and some National Forest. The people who were selling it were making progress in making the site more livable. They had poured a new floor inside, painted, add room dividers and nice lighting. They also installed a kitchen and bathroom but hadn’t yet finished the hookups for septic.
Drawbacks: the place was designed as a remote, unmanned facility. There was an outhouse and absolutely no water. A cistern may have been an option for some people but unless there’s water on site I felt we’d have to give it a pass. Too bad. The place did give me a newfound respect for all-concrete construction though. There was also no provision for heating/cooling although the incredible thermal mass of the place would have made either task fairly easy. Last I saw the place was being used as a data transmission point for local wireless internet providers due to its commanding view. “K.” and I took a zillion pictures of every detail of the place. As soon as I can get her to tell me which gallery she buried them in, I’d be happy to provide hem so you can see what one of these places looks like up close. – Commander Zero