Got Shelter?

Just because the U.S. housing market is weak, that’s not to say Americans aren’t interested in owning shelter. Just a different kind of shelter than what usually comes to mind. From CNN Money’s Blake Ellis on March 23:

U.S. companies selling doomsday bunkers are seeing sales skyrocket anywhere from 20% to 1,000%.

Northwest Shelter Systems, which offers shelters ranging in price from $200,000 to $20 million, has seen sales surge 70% since the uprisings in the Middle East, with the Japanese earthquake only spurring further interest. In hard numbers, that’s 12 shelters already booked when the company normally sells four shelters per year.

“Sales have gone through the roof, to the point where we are having trouble keeping up,” said Northwest Shelter Systems owner Kevin Thompson.

UndergroundBombShelter.com, which sells portable shelters, bomb shelters and underground bunkers, has seen inquiries soar 400% since the Japanese earthquake. So far sales of its $9,500 nuclear biological chemical shelter tents are at an all-time high — with four sold in California last week, compared to about one a month normally.

Hardened Structures said inquiries have shot up about 20% since the earthquake — particularly for its apocalyptic 2012 shelters, radiation-protection tents, and nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) air filters.

Vivos, a company that sells rooms in 200-person doomsday bunkers, has received thousands of applications since the massive earthquake in Japan, with reservations spiking nearly 1,000% last week. And people are backing their fear with cash: A reservation requires a minimum deposit of $5,000.

Not everyone buys into the idea of doomsday shelters. USA TODAY’s Keith Matheny looked at the growing interest in these bunkers and wrote last summer:

The shelters have their critics. Ken Rose, a history professor at California State University-Chico and author of One Nation Underground: The Fallout Shelter in American Culture, says underground shelters were a bad idea a half-century ago and they’re a bad idea now.

“A terrorist with a nuke in a suitcase pales in comparison to what the Cold War had to offer in the 1950s and ’60s, which was the potential annihilation of the human race,” he says.

Steve Davis, president of Maryland-based All Hands Global Emergency Management Consulting, also is skeptical.

All Hands has helped more than 100 public and private sector clients with emergency management and homeland security services, according to its website.

The types of cataclysms envisioned by some shelter manufacturers “are highly unlikely compared to what we know is going to happen,” Davis says.

“We know there is going to be a major earthquake someday on the West Coast. We know a hurricane is going to hit Florida, the Gulf Coast, the East Coast,” he says. “We support reasonable preparedness. We don’t think it’s necessary to burrow into the desert.”

Sources:

Ellis, Blake. “Sales of luxe doomsday bunkers up 1,000%.” CNN Money. 23 Mar. 2011. (http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/22/real_estate/doomsday_bunkers/). 28 Mar. 2011.

Matheny, Keith. “Doomsday shelters making a comeback.” USA TODAY. 28 July 2010. (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-07-28-doomsday28_ST_N.htm). 28 Mar. 2010.

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Monday, March 28th, 2011 Preparedness, Shelter

2 Comments to Got Shelter?

  1. The best shelters can be the subway tunnels in big cities.

  2. Doable Finance on March 29th, 2011
  3. Thanks for the comment Doable Finance

  4. Editor on March 29th, 2011
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