Man-Made Disasters

Realtor.com Examines Best, Worst U.S. Cities ‘To Survive The Apocalypse’

I never really expected to see an article about “strategic relocation” on Realtor.com. But back on October 30 the real estate listings website ran a piece entitled “The Best and Worst Cities in America to Survive the Apocalypse.” Lance Lambert wrote:

Even to the most positive-minded among us, it sometimes seems the world is on the verge of collapse. So just in case civilization does indeed crumble, explode, or implode around you, it makes sense to have a plan. Where do you go to eke out survival?

The location you call home could mean the difference between life and death in the face of utter disaster—but the safest place depends on what kind of disaster we’re talking about. That’s where the realtor.com® data team comes in. We donned our biohazard gear, pulled together a gross of canned goods and filtered water and set our sights on the best—and worst—metros to to survive two wildly different end-of-days scenarios: a nuclear calamity (more terrifying every day, thank you Kim Jong Un) and a zombie apocalypse (hey, it could happen).

Here were the metrics used:

So we looked at a variety of criteria that could mean the difference between life, death, and the fate of the walking undead. We looked at the 200 largest U.S. metros and only included one per state. Our criteria included:*

• Percentage of realtor.com home listings with a lake, pond, or well (for drinking water)
• Percentage of listings with a safe room or panic room
• Percentage listings with a bunker, fallout shelter, or underground shelter
• Percentage of listings with solar panels or hydropower (to fuel your home if the grid goes dark)
• Population density
• Percentage of active military and federal government employees (nuke targets)
• Percentage of health care workers
• Percentage of manufacturing workers (more nuke targets)
• State gun score (tracking the ability to stockpile weapons)
• Percentage of landmass covered by fresh water

And the results were grouped into the following:

• “Best cities to survive a nuclear apocalypse”
• “Worst cities to survive a nuclear apocalypse”
• “Best cities to survive the zombie Armageddon”
• “Worst cities to survive the zombie Armageddon”

It’s an interesting (surprising?) piece from Realtor.com. For readers interested in the subject of strategic relocation, I offer up the following which was published on Survival And Prosperity back on February 1, 2013. I wrote:

Earlier this week in one of my “Project Prepper” posts I blogged about “a nice resource I came across recently while verifying the ‘Badger State’ is the place to be for me.” Uploaded onto the AlexJonesChannel on YouTube.com back on November 8, 2012:

Joel Skousen sits down with Alex Jones and discusses strategies on how to prepare for and survive major disasters. Joel Skousen is a world renowned expert in designing secure homes, geo-political analysis, and strategic relocation. Preparing food, water, arms, medical supplies, and shelter may not be a good enough plan. Large population centers are the biggest threat to survival after any major disaster. Joel Skousen explains his strategy for survival, which includes acquiring all of the essentials, preparing in a safe location and methods on how to avoid a dangerous hungry population and safely arrive at your secure location.


“Strategic Relocation The Film FULL VERSION HQ”
YouTube Video

Skousen is the author of Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places, 3rd Edition, which includes updated/expanded analysis of threats facing North America and opinion on popular overseas tax-havens and expatriate colonies.

You can read “The Best and Worst Cities in America to Survive the Apocalypse” on Realtor.com here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Illinois House Adopts ‘Zombie Preparedness Month’ Resolution, Schedules ‘2nd Amendment Preservation Act’ Hearing

While bills related to the ongoing budget impasse are drawing the bulk of attention these days, there has been activity in the Illinois House of Representatives on two other pieces of legislation that may interest Survival And Prosperity readers.

First, there’s House Bill 413, which seeks to create the “2nd Amendment Preservation Act.” From the Illinois General Assembly website:

Short Description: 2ND AMENDMENT PRESERVATION

House Sponsors
Rep. David B. Reis

Hearings
Judiciary- Criminal Committee Hearing Feb 15 2017 3:00PM Capitol Building Room 114 Springfield, IL

Synopsis As Introduced
Creates the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. Provides that other than in compliance with an order of a court, notwithstanding any law, regulation, rule, or order to the contrary, no agency of this State, political subdivision of this State, or employee of an agency or political subdivision of the State acting in his or her official capacity shall: (1) knowingly and willingly participate in any way in the enforcement of any federal Act, law, order, rule, or regulation issued, enacted, or promulgated on or after the effective date of the Act regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition; or (2) utilize any assets, State funds, or funds allocated by the State to local entities on or after the effective date of the Act, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent, or corporation providing services to the federal government in the enforcement or any investigation under the enforcement of any federal Act, law, order, rule, or regulation issued, enacted, or promulgated on or after the effective date of the Act regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Some might ask if this pro-2A legislation is even necessary considering the Republican-controlled Congress and an NRA-backed President who seems to support gun rights.

From what I understand, its purpose is to have something in place to combat some future Oval Office that’s made gun control and civilian disarmament a priority.

As indicated above, a “Judiciary-Criminal Committee Hearing” on Illinois HB0413 has been scheduled for next Wednesday, February 15.

Moving on to Illinois House Resolution 30, seeking to designate October 2017 as “Zombie Preparedness Month” in the state. From the Illinois General Assembly site:

Short Description: ZOMBIE PREPAREDNESS MONTH

House Sponsors
Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch- Grant Wehrli and Tim Butler

Synopsis As Introduced
Designates October 2017 as “Zombie Preparedness Month” in the State of Illinois, and urges all Illinoisans to educate themselves about natural disasters and take steps to create a stockpile of food, water, and other emergency supplies that can last up to 72 hours…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I just learned this morning that Illinois HR0030 was adopted by the House Thursday.

Now, prior to the adoption of this legislation and even as recent as Friday morning, some are criticizing this resolution as being a distraction from more pressing matters facing the state, like the budget/debt crisis.

I don’t know. While this part of the country is generally thought to be less disaster-prone than other regions, major emergencies and man-made/natural disasters can strike anyplace at anytime. Besides the significant earthquake danger posed to southern Illinois (just blogged about Tuesday), other threats to the state include severe weather, terrorism, nuclear power plant accidents, and economic collapse, among others. And I’m guessing the majority of Illinoisans probably aren’t prepared to deal with any of these.

Since the zombie fad is still “hot” these days, why shouldn’t Springfield capitalize on it NOW and use the Zombie Apocalypse as the vehicle to get Illinois residents prepared for future emergencies/disasters?

Plus, did any critics take a moment to consider it’s possible (likely?) Representatives Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside, Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), and Tim Butler (R-Springfield) were shrewd enough to figure out that introducing this resolution and getting it adopted when they did- in the middle of a raging budget battle- would generate significant publicity about Zombie Preparedness Month?

Query the event in a search engine and you’ll see what kind of attention their action is getting.

All for a good cause, if you ask me.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Rise Of The Survival Communities

Fast and Furious.

No, not the alleged Obama administation gun-running progam.

Rather, the number and frequency of articles concerning the rich buying “luxury bunkers” these days.

That being said, I spotted a piece over on The Atlantic website (slated for next month’s print edition) which I think might interest readers.

In “A Resort for the Apocaypse,” Ben Rowen wrote:

On July 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy spoke to the American people of a need “new to our shores” for emergency preparedness, including fallout shelters. The bunkers of that era- Brutalist, cement, with foldout beds and stockpiled food- were designed to protect families in the event that the Cold War turned hot.

It never did, but fears of cataclysm- nuclear and otherwise- are back. So are shelters, with a twist. Growing numbers of “preppers” hope to ride out various doomsday scenarios in luxury

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Rowen brought up Rising S Company, “one of several companies that specialize in high-end shelters,” and which I just blogged about here. But he also pointed out “a handful of bunker companies are building entire survival communities in remote locations.” From the article:

One project, Vivos XPoint, involves refurbishing 575 munitions-storage bunkers in South Dakota; Vivos Europa One, in Germany, is a Soviet armory turned luxury community with a subterranean swimming pool.

By contrast, Trident Lakes 4, a 700-acre, $330 million development in Ector, Texas, an hour and a half north of Dallas, is being built from scratch…

Seriously, what is it with Texas and bunkers?

Rowen went on to write a good deal about the Trident Lakes project, being billed as a “5-star playground, equipped with DEFCON 1 preparedness.”

He also noted the following about the deep-pocketed clients of luxury underground survival shelters and communities:

Jeff Schlegelmilch, the deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, told me that the luxury-bunker trend is “not just a couple of fringe groups; there is real money behind it- hundreds of millions of dollars.” But why are wealthy people buying?

Some customers appear to be motivated by old anxieties, recently revived- the threat of nuclear war, or a national-debt default that leads to unrest. Others have newer fears: climate change, pandemics, terrorism, far-left and far-right extremism. The presidential election has brought new faces into the fold, namely liberals (who also contributed to a record number of background checks- an indicator of gun purchases- on Black Friday)…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Interesting. But are any of the survival communities mentioned potentially within the budget of the not-so-well-heeled? Well, Vivos xPoint, which is being billed as “the largest survival community on earth,” advertises this on their project web page:

Priced At Just $25,00 Per Bunker
No Per Person Charge

The biggest feature is the extremely low and affordable price. Each bunker is being privately and exclusively provided under:

A Bunker Lease for 99-years, with a one-time, upfront payment of just $25,000 per bunker;

coupled with,

A Ground Lease for 99-years, with an ongoing payment of just $1,000 per year

Your bunker will be your blank canvas to prepare as much, or as little as you like, with no restrictions on how many people will share it with you when the moment of truth (aka SHTF) arrives. So, you may bring as many friends and family as you like to accommodate in your private bunker, at NO EXTRA CHARGE!

If you shelter 10 people in your bunker, the effective cost is just $2,500 each. With 20 people, the cost is just $1,250 per person. Do the math, there is no lower cost shelter solution, anywhere


Vivos xPoint Promo Video

Watching that marketing video, Vivos isn’t kidding about that “blank canvas” bit.

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity might remember The Vivos Group from a June 2013 post about the planned construction of “the world’s largest private underground survival shelter”- Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort- in an existing below-ground complex in Atchison, Kansas. Alas, the project was cancelled as “numerous concerns arose related to the geological stability and safety of the cave structure that we believe may compromise its ability to withstand the anticipated forces of future catastrophic or earth changing events.”

From the looks of things, that setback hasn’t stopped Vivos from charging ahead with new projects.

You can read “A Resort for the Apocalypse” here on The Atlantic website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any product/property offerings is not to be construed as being a recommendation from this blog and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Viva Las Vegas… Preppers

Late last night I read an interesting article published earlier in the day on the Las Vegas Sun website that focused on preppers/survivalists out in Southern Nevada. In “Prepping for Doomsday: The survivalism movement’s fine line between protection and paranoia,” Rob Miech drew from interviews with Mike Monko and Anthony Champion of Zombie Apocalypse Store, an anonymous employee of Lock N Load Tactical, “Max” at Mad Man Army Surplus, and his neighbor Bailey (“a former military sharpshooter”) to pen the following:

The king of all earthquakes topples the high-rises of Las Vegas Boulevard. A 2-billion-volt electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strike has zapped computers and cell towers. Some other black swan event has pulverized the city’s power grid. In any such cataclysm, a woman implored to Mike Monko, fallout shelters below certain Strip hotels would protect their rank and file.

They would be taken care of, she continued, in a subterranean world of 40,000-square-foot domiciles with massive food supplies fit for 20,000 people. In his Zombie Apocalypse Store, Monko struggled to keep his eyes from rolling. “She was arguing with me,” he said. “She insisted that they exist. I said, ‘God bless you, ma’am. Would you like some more water?’ Here, you hear it all, like, the Sunrise Mountains are hollow and people are living under them.”

They are survivalists, preppers or doomsday preppers, or any of various mutations. Some staunchly pigeonhole themselves; others dismiss definitions. Those who drive only older vehicles- whose pre-solid-state-electronics engines are immune to an EMP strike- belong in a distinct category of preparedness.

Such tales come with Monko’s territory, where fact, fiction and fear straddle fine lines between protection and paranoia. Hollywood inspired the business, which opened in 2011; sales have cooled over the past year. It’s a starting block to gauge what it means to be a survivalist today in Southern Nevada, amid such uncertainty about tomorrow

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

There seemed to be that “preppers/survivalists are kooks” theme permeating the article. But to be fair, Miech is arguing there’s a “fine line between protection and paranoia,” so the use of “fringe” examples is to be expected. That being said, some notable passages from the piece included:

-A glimpse at how many preppers/survivalists there might be out in Las Vegas
-How the prepping/survival industry is doing these days in Southern Nevada
-“Liberal Preppers” on the Vegas scene
-And these bits:

As a group, according to Monko, they do not play well together. They lack communication skills, and when they do gather, their egos always clash. “It’s turmoil,” Monko said. They become even more solitary…

The owner of Lock N Load, which sells weapons and ammunition in the Henderson foothills, declined an interview request. One of her employees, who requested anonymity, recounted how an older woman, nearly teary-eyed and trembling, had recently approached him to buy her first handgun. Her post-Trump trauma was stark; the employee told me he talked her off the ledge. He convinced her not to buy something so dangerous in such a state…

Wow. You can read the article in its entirety over on the Las Vegas Sun website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Northwestern Chicago Survival Expo In Grayslake On March 18-19

Any Chicagoland readers interested in attending a local prepper/survival expo next month? I spotted the following on the RK Prepper Shows website this cold Friday morning:

Northwestern Chicago Survival Expo

Tickets Now on Sale!

Are you ready for a natural disaster? Could you survive for days, weeks or months without power? If you have thought about what it means to prepare for the worst, the RK Prepper Shows Survival Expo is for you. Vendors will be on-site March 18th-19th at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake, IL. Long term food storage, solar power, bug-out kits, tactical gear and so much more will be available to purchase.

Hours:

Saturday Hours: 9-5pm
Sunday Hours: 9-4pm

Tickets:

Adults: $12, VIP: $14.50 – no line, no wait
Kids: $5, VIP: $7.50 – no line, no wait…

A “Medical Preparedness Workshop” headed-up by two authorities in the field of survival medicine will also be held in conjunction with the event:

Medical Preparedness Workshop*

Learn how to provide complete wound care with hands-on suture training, as well as stapling with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, medical preparedness experts from http://www.doomandbloom.net/.

*Extra Charge, class limited to 30, does not include tickets to the Prepper Show…

Joe Alton, M.D. (“Dr. Bones”) and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., (“Nurse Amy”) are authors of the Amazon “Best Seller” The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way, now in its second edition.

I own a copy myself. It’s chock-full (588 pages) of terrific information for dealing with most medical issues one might face in a survival situation.

Interested in checking out the Northwestern Chicago Survival Expo? Head on over to the RK Prepper Shows website here for more information.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about survival expos and instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from this blog and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Expensive SHTF Preps New Status Symbol In New York City?

Last night’s post about rich Americans charging full-steam ahead with their prepping reminded me of an article I read on the New York Post website at the start of this month. The January 1 piece focused on afluent New Yorkers shelling out big bucks on preparedness these days. Dana Schuster reported in “These families have elaborate escape plans if terror hits NYC”:

It seems that the new status symbol in NYC is safety. City dwellers are splashing out serious dough for everything from five-figure air infiltration systems to swanky survivalist kits. Luxe retailer Moda Operandi has jumped on the bandwagon, hawking a $4,995, monogrammed “go bag,” with essentials such as night-vision scopes, a GPS satellite communicator and a caviar serving set and Mast Brothers chocolate…

But New York preppers aren’t your run-of-the-mill doomsayers. Tom Gaffney, CEO of Gaffco Ballistics, a safety design firm in NYC, said he’s seen requests for dirty-bomb protection double in 2016.

“If I did 30 town houses in Manhattan last year, 25 of them got infiltration units,” said Gaffney, who says the systems cost between $20,000 and $30,000 and are typically incorporated into the safe rooms of his A-list clients, including Fortune 500 CEOs, hedge-funders and music-industry honchos.

For some, an air-purified bunker isn’t enough. It’s more about escaping New York

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Schuster brought up Chris Dowhie and Plan B Marine private evacuation services, which maintains a small fleet of emergency evacuation boats docked in Brooklyn and Manhattan “as an alternative to chaos in the event the unthinkable happens. We provide peace of mind and the fastest possible way off the island under catastrophic circumstances.”


“PlanBmarine”
YouTube Video

Another interesting look at how well-heeled Americans are prepping, which you can find here on the New York Post site.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Rich Americans Keep On Prepping

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I’ve been observing and blogging about “prepping” for several years now. Case in point, this 2011 post recapping a new TV show called Doomsday Preppers (ever heard of it?).

Early on I noticed wealthy Americans were getting into preparedness. They recognized and took steps to deal with potential TEOTWAWKI scenarios- just like their lower-net worth compatriots.

And such activity continues to this day, spurred on not just by concerns over major emergencies and man-made/natural disasters, but fears of a financial crash, civil unrest/war, and impoversihed and angry masses turning against the rich.

Earlier this evening I finally got the chance to read an article from the January 30, 2017 issue of The New Yorker entitled “Doomsday Prep For The Super-Rich.” Evan Osnos penned:

Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crackup of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: the woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort…

The lengthy-yet-interesting piece took a closer look at the prepping mindset and priorities of the wealthy these days. One notable passage was:

I asked [prominent investor and co-founder of LinkedIn Reid] Hoffman to estimate what share of fellow Silicon Valley billionaires have acquired some level of “apocalypse insurance,” in the form of a hideaway in the U.S. or abroad. “I would guess fifty-plus per cent,” he said…

There was also this from Osnos:

In building Reddit, a community of thousands of discussion threads, into one of the most frequently visited sites in the world, [co-founder and CEO Steve] Huffman has grown aware of the way that technology alters our relations with one another, for better and for worse. He has witnessed how social media can magnify public fear. “It’s easier for people to panic when they’re together,” he said, pointing out that “the Internet has made it easier for people to be together,” yet it also alerts people to emerging risks. Long before the financial crisis became front-page news, early signs appeared in user comments on Reddit. “People were starting to whisper about mortgages. They were worried about student debt. They were worried about debt in general. There was a lot of, ‘This is too good to be true. This doesn’t smell right.’” He added, “There’s probably some false positives in there as well, but, in general, I think we’re a pretty good gauge of public sentiment. When we’re talking about a faith-based collapse, you’re going to start to see the chips in the foundation on social media first.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’ve noticed a growing amount of anger directed against President Trump and the Republicans on my Facebook “home page” these days.

“Early signs” of significant civil unrest coming?

If you’ve got some time to spare, head on over to The New Yorker website and check out the Osnos piece here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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