floods

Project Prepper, Part 46: Summer Storm Gear Check

In the last installment of the “Project Prepper” series of posts, I talked about “threat priorities” and how severe weather is a top one for me. I blogged:

From my vantage point, here are the “top 3” I’m mostly concerned about:

1. Severe Weather
2. Financial Crisis
3. Terrorism

Concerning severe weather, here in the Chicagoland area residents have to contend with spring and summer storms that can consist of high winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes. Winter can bring along with it ice storms (not too often), significant snowfall/blizzards, and brutally-cold temperatures. Consequently, structural damage, utility outages, hazardous travel conditions, and other threats to life and property accompany such events.

Case in point, prior to my girlfriend and I moving into our house in 2013, a large part of the Chicago metro area suffered significant damage from a “derecho” (widespread, long-lived wind storm) event that left many area homeowners without electricity for several days. A real nuisance for most of those affected, but potentially deadly to those with serious health issues- like my elderly father. And in case readers think I’m talking about those far-off “suburbs” of Chicago here (I remember one real estate agent referring to Rochelle- approximately 80 miles west of Chicago- as a “western suburb” during the housing boom last decade), these extended outages were taking place in near “North Shore” enclaves. I remember watching one furious Northbrook homeowner being interviewed on the local televised news, saying how he had been without power for a number of days and couldn’t understand why it hadn’t been restored yet considering the high taxes he paid to live in such a nice area. Anyway, severe weather tops the list for me. Not as “sexy”- as some would say- as preparing for the “Zombie apocalypse,” but oh well…

The other night the Chicago metropolitan area was hit by a strong summer storm in which the local news reported 15,000 residents lost power (actually somewhat of a small number compared to other recent severe weather events around these parts). The occasion served as a reminder that I should probably perform a gear check prior to the arrival of more summertime severe weather, which is the focus of today’s post.

Emergency Alerts

I checked the operation and battery backup of my ever-vigilant Midland WR-100 Weather/All Hazards Alert Radio (now discontinued by the manufacturer but replaced with a newer model- the Midland WR-120). Everything is in working order. You should have heard the racket that device was making the other night (early morning actually) prior to/during that storm. Yeah, it’s in working order all right.

Emergency Lighting

I gathered up the various lanterns, flashlights, and headlamps in the house set aside for emergency lighting (and day-to-day tasks as well) and checked the operation of all these devices. This included:

Coleman Twin High Performance 8D LED Lantern (580 lumens)
Rayovac “Virtually Indestructible” 3D LED Lantern (530 lumens)
Rayovac Sportsman 3D LED Lantern (240 lumens)
Maglite Heavy Duty 6D Incandescent Flashlight (136 lumens)
Rayovac “Virtually Indestructible” 2D LED Flashlight (320 lumens)
Rayovac “Virtually Indestructible” 3AAA LED Flashlight (250 lumens)
Coast HL3 3AAA LED Headlamp (60 lumens) x 2
Princeton Tec Fuel 3AAA LED Headlamp (43 lumens)

All but one passed inspection, with fresh batteries taking care of the holdout.

The Coast headlamps and Rayovac “Virtually Indestructible” lantern/flashlights are new additions to my emergency lighting stash, and have been working great when called upon to perform tasks around the house and off-site. Particularly those Rayovac products. These seem to be built really tough (rubber head/tail cap, aluminum titanium alloy body) and are incredibly bright. The free Rayovac batteries included with each device were a nice bonus as well.

Rayovac "Virtually Indestructible" LED lantern/flashlights- functional, tough, and affordable

Rayovac “Virtually Indestructible” LED lantern/flashlights- functional, tough, and affordable

ANY CHARACTER HERE

I should also mention that in late spring, I lubricated threaded regions on the Maglite and Rayovac flashlights with Vaseline to protect threads and minimize “squealing.”

In addition, some time ago my girlfriend received two stained-glass, programmable 3D LED wall sconces as a gift from her family. We mounted one of them in our second floor hallway and it functions really well as a night light- and emergency light that doesn’t require power in the home to be on. To avoid burning through D-size alkaline batteries, I ordered a 6-pack of EBL 10,000mAh Ni-MH D-Cell Rechargeable Batteries from Amazon to partner with my trusty Rayovac PS3 Universal Smart Battery Charger. While one set (3 batteries) powers the wall sconce that’s been installed, the other goes to the charger. I’ve only started this rotation quite recently, but so far the EBL rechargeable batteries have been performing quite well.

Emergency Cooling

Other devices I checked over include two dual-powered (batteries or included AC adapter) O2COOL 10-inch Portable Fans. These worked just fine. The portable fans should make extended power outages on hot summer days a little bit more bearable.

All of this gear is strategically-positioned around the house for fast access in an emergency (and for daily use).

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

(Editor’s note: Items added to “Gear And Supplies” page)

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Thursday, July 7th, 2016 Communications, Emergencies, Energy, Gear, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Project Prepper, Terrorism, Utilities, Weather Comments Off on Project Prepper, Part 46: Summer Storm Gear Check

Project Prepper, Part 45: Top 3 Threat Priorities

“As a result of my research and this blog, I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones), and think it’s probably wise to acquaint myself more with ‘prepping’ via a sustained ‘hands-on’ program of learning and doing, which I’ll call ‘Project Prepper.’

Through a series of posts on this blog which I suspect should last for quite some time (years?), I’ll be able to share my preparedness experiences with you…”

Survival And Prosperity, “Project Prepper, Part 1: It Begins,” October 24, 2012

This week’s “Project Prepper” post is going to be a little different. While I’m currently working on a number of projects related to fulfilling seven “innate survival needs” (hat tip Jack Spirko @ The Survival Podcast):

1. Physical Security
2. Financial Security
3. Water
4. Food
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy
7. Shelter

Today I’m going to talk about threat priorities. As a forty-something homeowner residing with my girlfriend in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, in 2016, “I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones).” Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I blog about them frequently. But from my vantage point, here are the “top 3” I’m mostly concerned about:

1. Severe Weather
2. Financial Crisis
3. Terrorism

Concerning severe weather, here in the Chicagoland area residents have to contend with spring and summer storms that can consist of high winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes. Winter can bring along with it ice storms (not too often), significant snowfall/blizzards, and brutally-cold temperatures. Consequently, structural damage, utility outages, hazardous travel conditions, and other threats to life and property accompany such events.

Case in point, prior to my girlfriend and I moving into our house in 2013, a large part of the Chicago metro area suffered significant damage from a “derecho” (widespread, long-lived wind storm) event that left many area homeowners without electricity for several days. A real nuisance for most of those affected, but potentially deadly to those with serious health issues- like my elderly father. And in case readers think I’m talking about those far-off “suburbs” of Chicago here (I remember one real estate agent referring to Rochelle- approximately 80 miles west of Chicago- as a “western suburb” during the housing boom last decade), these extended outages were taking place in near “North Shore” enclaves. I remember watching one furious Northbrook homeowner being interviewed on the local televised news, saying how he had been without power for a number of days and couldn’t understand why it hadn’t been restored yet considering the high taxes he paid to live in such a nice area. Anyway, severe weather tops the list for me. Not as “sexy”- as some would say- as preparing for the “Zombie apocalypse,” but oh well.

Financial crisis. Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity and its predecessor know I’ve been on the lookout for coming “tough times” for some years now. From this blog’s “About” page:

Back in 2004 when SP’s creator/editor Christopher Hill was surveying the economic and investment landscape in support of his own investing activities, he concluded from his own research that the United States was heading towards a financial crash. Deciding that this was something other Americans might want to know about, Mr. Hill launched the independent financial blog Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog on Wall Street,” on Memorial Day Weekend 2007 with the purpose of warning and educating others about the approaching U.S. economic crash. He has been credited with calling last decade’s housing bubble and subsequent bust, the 2008 global economic crisis, and the “Great Recession” as a result of his work on this project. Chris wrote over 1,500 posts on Boom2Bust.com during its nearly three-year run, with many of these picked up and republished on the web sites of The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Fox News, Reuters, USA Today, the Chicago Sun-Times group, the Austin-American Statesman, the Palm Beach Post, and the West Orlando News, among other media outlets. Chris was also interviewed for a May 2009 MSNBC.com article as a result of his work with the blog.

Since Memorial Day Weekend 2007, I’ve stood by and watched as the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and subprime mortgage crisis was quickly followed by carnage on Wall Street in the autumn of 2008 and a “Great Recession.” I also observed how the Washington politicians and the Fed responded by “papering up” the mess with massive government and central bank intervention. But as everyone knows, you can only “kick the can down the road” so far. And my concern is that the road is rapidly coming to an end. Visit this blog often enough and you might get that sense as well.

Consequently, I’ve come to believe that the U.S. financial crash I still see headed our way won’t be like an airplane that suffers a sudden, catastrophic failure and plummets back to Earth like a rock. Rather, taking into account the abilities of the federal government and central bank to keep the aircraft aloft for quite some time, the crash may be more akin to a slow- yet-unavoidable descent into the ground. At which point, Americans might be left pondering what had happened to them, just like Argentines did after their economy crapped out in the early 2000s after prosperous times.

Making matters worse is the fact that I still reside in Cook County and Illinois, whose financial troubles are well-publicized. While I’ve left Chicago, I still haven’t made Wisconsin my permanent home address.

When the “balloon goes up” locally and nationally, I suspect everyday living is going to get particularly gritty around these parts.

As terrorism is concerned, post-9/11 I found myself working in the public safety field. As part of my duties at a local fire department, I catalogued potential terrorist targets in the area in the hunt for money to upgrade the agency’s response capabilities. It was my belief that the threat was real then, and it remains so today. Even more so in 2016, as U.S. border security is quite suspect at a time when those who would wish to harm the “homeland” continually make their operational capabilities and future desires for wreaking death and destruction known.


“Border Patrol Admits US Citizenship Doesn’t Matter”
YouTube Video

Like I’ve repeatedly said before on this blog, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the United States suffers terror attacks possibly resembling what occurred in Beslan (Russia) in 2004, Mumbai (India) in 2008, and more recently in Paris and Brussels. And a terrorist strike rivaling or even surpassing the carnage of September 11, 2011, is not out of the question as far as I’m concerned. New jihadists continue to replace their fallen predecessors in this “War on Terror,” and the religious duty of killing “infidels” remains the same. On May 6, 2011, I wrote:

In 2005, Dr. Paul L. Williams, a journalist and author, published the book The Al-Qaeda Connection, in which he discussed plans for a future nuclear terrorist strike, dubbed “American Hiroshima.” He wrote:

Bin Laden asserts that he must kill four million Americans- two million of whom must be children- in order to achieve parity for a litany of “wrongs” committed against the Muslim people by the United States of America. The “wrongs” include the establishment and occupation of military bases between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, the support of Israel and the suppression of the Palestinian people, the Persian Gulf War and the subsequent economic sanctions, and the invasions of Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

These days, the Islamic State has stolen the headlines from Al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremists. But such religious fanaticism as a whole remains a top concern for me.

Severe weather, financial crisis, and terrorism are natural and man-made threats that register the most on my radar. But this doesn’t mean I discount other potential dangers to life and property either (pandemic, severe space weather, and war would probably be the next three on the list). As such, an “all-hazards” approach is emphasized in my “Project Prepper” activities.

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

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Illinois Emergency Management Agency: Prepare For Severe Weather This Spring

A reminder from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for “local” readers of Survival And Prosperity:

IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather

February 27, 2015

Tornadoes, floods and severe storms can happen any time of year

SPRINGFIELD – Believe it or not, warm weather soon will return to Illinois. As exciting as that sounds, warmer temperatures also mean an increased potential for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding.

To help people prepare for severe weather, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will join with the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency management agencies throughout March to increase awareness of these severe weather hazards.

“We can’t prevent dangerous storms from occurring,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “However, there are ways to prepare to help you stay safe when severe weather strikes. We encourage everyone to learn more about severe weather hazards, identify a safe place to go during storms, and assemble and maintain an emergency supply kit. These actions could help save your life or the life of your loved ones.”

Joseph said Illinois experienced 48 tornadoes in 2014, which resulted in two injuries and nearly $5 million in damage to homes and crops. In 2013, the state saw 54 tornadoes, including 25 twisters on Nov. 17, a vivid reminder that tornadoes and severe storms can happen anytime of the year.

“Although the typical peak time for severe storms in Illinois is April through June, events of the past three years have proven otherwise.” said Chris Miller, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, Ill. “Nearly half of all tornadoes in Illinois since January 2012 have occurred during the fall and winter months. This underscores just how important it is to be ‘Weather Ready’ all year in Illinois.”

IEMA and the NWS developed a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide, which provides information about tornadoes, severe storms, lightning and flooding along with recommended actions to take before, during and after each of these weather events. It is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov or by calling (217) 785-9925. Preparedness tips and information are also available through the Ready Illinois Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter Page (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois).

Visit IEMA’s website here for more information on emergency preparedness.

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

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Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 Emergencies, Government, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Supplies, Weather Comments Off on Illinois Emergency Management Agency: Prepare For Severe Weather This Spring

Resource Of The Week: NOAA’s National Weather Service Tsunami Warning Center Websites

Two weeks ago, my “Resource Of The Week” focused on the forecasting and warning of Sun-induced geomagnetic storms on Earth.

Last week’s ROTW focused on predicting and warning of U.S.-bound tropical storms and hurricanes.

This week’s “Resource Of The Week” serves to warn of large sea waves caused by earthquakes, landslides, or other disturbances under the ocean.

That’s right- tsunamis.

Do you live and/or work along a coastline and don’t think these giant waves pose a threat to you or your livelihood? Consider what Charles Choi reported on the LiveScience website Thursday evening about what six independent teams of scientists recently concluded about a potential tsunami hitting California:

The fearsome aftermath of a tsunami striking California might cost at least $3.4 billion to repair…

The greatest economic impact to California from tsunamis comes from damage to ports, harbors and other coastal properties. For instance, such a tsunami could damage or sink a third of all the boats in California marinas and damage or destroy two-thirds of the docks. Altogether, repairing California marinas, coastal properties, and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach might cost about $3.4 billion, researchers estimated.

About 250,000 people live in the zones most inundated by the scenario and would likely have to be evacuated.

And if the deadly wave struck during the summer, “millions” of tourists might also be added to the mix, according to the researchers.

Keep in mind this is just California that’s being talked about here.

Enter the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. And the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. Both of which come under the National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Huh?

NOAA’s two Tsunami Warning Centers (PTWC and WC/ATWC) have separate areas of responsibility. The PTWC “provides warnings for Pacific basin teletsunamis (tsunamis that can cause damage far away from their source) to almost every country around the Pacific rim and to most of the Pacific island states.” It also provides warnings for the Caribbean Seas.

On the other hand, the WC/ATWC “provides tsunami warning, advisory, watch, and information messages to Canada, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and all U.S. coastal states, with the exception of Hawaii.”

On October 1, the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center will see its name changed to the National Tsunami Warning Center.

Anyway, a quick look at each of their websites show no current warnings, watches, or advisories in effect right now for their respective areas of responsibility.

Each easy-to-navigate site provides visitors with an informational banner of the latest tsunami warning/watches/advisories on top of an interactive satellite map of the areas of the world they cover.

While the websites are helpful, those individuals living in tsunami-threatened areas would probably want to be alerted immediately about an incoming wave. Information on how to subscribe to messages from the PTWC can be found on their website here and on the WC/ATWC site here.

I know if I lived and/or worked in an area threatened by tsunamis, I would want to be well-informed of these dangerous events. Both the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center websites are invaluable resources in this respect.

You can visit the PTWC here and the WC/ATWC here on the Internet.

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

Source:

Choi, Charles Q. “California Tsunami Would Have Costly Aftermath.” LiveScience. 5 Sep. 2013. (http://www.livescience.com/39454-california-tsunami-costly-aftermath.html). 7 Sep. 2013.

(Editor’s note: Links added to “Resources” page)

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Saturday, September 7th, 2013 Emergencies, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Resource Of The Week, SP Resources, Water Comments Off on Resource Of The Week: NOAA’s National Weather Service Tsunami Warning Center Websites

On TV: Doomsday Bunkers, Episode 2

Last night I watched episode number 2 of the new Discovery Channel TV series Doomsday Bunkers. In “Pyramid Pod/Booby-Trapped Bunker,” Scott Bales, owner of Dallas, Texas-based Deep Earth Bunker, worked with two sets of clients in getting them the underground shelters they want, as well as a new project.

At the beginning of the episode, which aired last Wednesday, March 14, Scott announced:

We are starting to offer all of our clients concealed handgun license classes… With the proper training, our clients will be able to protect their food, their water, their families when they’re inside that bunker.

From the show:

But Scott’s clients believe it will take more than guns to protect them. So they’re relying on his bunkers to keep them alive when the world collapses.

Scott remarked:

They tell us in detail what they’re worried about and our job is to find a way to protect them from that.

Steve Willis

Steve Willis is a general contractor and prepper. Willis explained why he wanted an underground bunker:

My worst fear is that people come here, they rape my wife, they kill my kids. I don’t know what I would do if any harm was to befall my family. That is my main concern as a father, as a husband, as a grandfather. I need to know that those kids are going to be okay.

One of the biggest concerns I have is a solar flare eruption. The result is going to be an electromagnetic pulse and a widespread grid outage. You’re going to have chaos and mayhem in the streets. The stores in the cities will be looted in a matter of days. I don’t think it’s going to be long before people start coming into the outskirts to do anything they can to survive. And that includes robbing or hurting or even killing other people. They’ll eat each other if they have to.

Willis came to Deep Earth Bunker where he met with Scott. The engineer-by-trade told his prospective client:

Give me an idea exactly what you want so that we can get it.

Steve replied:

Well, this thing has to be an underground fortress. My biggest concerns are the electromagnetic pulse threat. You’ve got the solar flares. All that stuff is going to happen at some point.

Scott explained the premise behind an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, threat:

An electromagnetic pulse is caused by a high-altitude nuclear blast or a solar flare coming through our atmosphere. When an EMP hits, it can take out the electrical grid for an extended period of time.

Willis added:

Another concern I have is being able to see outside from inside the bunker. The element of surprise is what I’m looking for.

DEB’s owner envisioned an EMP-resistant video periscope for Steve’s bunker.

The show revealed that the Willis family has a tactical plan already in place. They have supply caches on their sprawling property that have food, water, and firearms. But Steve thinks his house is the weakest part of this plan. He admitted:

I don’t want to necessarily be in my house if this area is under attack. Anything can happen in the house. It could catch fire, someone could lob a grenade in there.

He continued:

I want to be able to confront them, I want to be able to engage in a firefight if necessary before they even know I’m there…

I’m not really planning on being in there too long. This is mainly just for sort of a tactical use. I just want to be able to get everyone in, keep them safe, come out when everything’s done.

Having a good idea of the project requirements, Scott said to Steve:

So we need to make sure that nobody on this planet can even get near this thing.

Steve responded with:

That’s exactly what I’m looking for.

Enter the Willis tactical bunker. A first for DEB.

Scott explained what made this shelter “tactical”:

What makes a bunker a tactical bunker is a bunker that can actually defend itself against predators. Keep people out, that shouldn’t be in.

From the episode:

Most of Scott’s bunkers are huge underground condos meant for long-term living. Since Steve plans on using his bunker only while his property is under attack, he doesn’t need luxuries. So they’re keeping it basic. Retractable bunk beds, storage space for food and water, 100 amp electric service, and a generator hookup for emergencies. Build time, 3 weeks. Total cost, $50,000.

At the conclusion of their meeting, Steve Willis explained:

This is the refuge that my family is going to retreat to in times of violence, mayhem, weather, anything. It’s going to be the heart of my defense system.

Scott assigned Jesse Saul, Floor Manager, and Charlie Christie, Quality Assurance/Carpenter, to the project, and asked them to come up with defensive measures, or “booby traps.” Jesse declared:

Once we’re done with this thing, nobody is going to get in here. It’s almost going to be like a tank.

While the Willis family waited for their bunker to be completed, preps continued at their residence. From the episode:

Steve plans to use his bunker for short term attacks, but until it’s ready, he’s come up for a defensive plan for his home. His second-story windows give him 360-degrees of sniping positions.

Steve pointed out:

I have four window positions. And if you have a gunshot coming at you, you’re not going to stand in the open and engage an unknown enemy. You’re going to run like hell.

Once the new bunker is in place, the Willis family will have an additional tactical position.

While their shelter was being fabricated, Scott and his engineer Kenneth designed the EMP-resistant video periscope. Why not use an old-fashioned periscope? Scott explained:

With a regular periscope, it’s very old technology. You push it up, you’re looking through a mirror. Mirror, mirror, mirror all the way to the top. They can fog, they can crack, and you can’t see at night. That’s why we’re doing a video periscope.

The show talked about how this feature was constructed to combat the EMP threat:

To protect Steve’s periscope from an EMP, Scott’s creating a Faraday Cage which deflects radiation- similar to what’s found inside a microwave oven. The wires are wrapped in metal mesh, which placed inside a steel conduit, and insulated with a combination of foam, tar, and metal shavings. All contained within a PVC pipe. With the battery’s solar panel safely inside the bunker, this periscope is EMP resistant.

In the meantime, Jesse and Charlie came up with two defensive features for the Willis bunker. One is a bed of metal spikes that swings down from the bunker roof into unsuspecting bad guys. The other is a handrail with a flamethrower built into it. Dastardly evil stuff.

The Willis family’s 141 square foot “tactical fortress” was finally completed and installed on the property. Scott Bales showed Steve Willis the two defensive features, the entry door- which is bullet-resistant up to a .50 caliber round, and the EMP-resistant video periscope. The client seemed overjoyed with his new bunker.

Jason and Tanya

According to the episode, 50 percent of Deep Earth Bunker’s business is fiberglass storm shelters. Owner Scott Bales was notified that one of these below-ground shelters, belonging to preppers Jason and Tanya, had been submerged in a hurricane. From the show:

Jason and Tanya live on the edge of the nation’s capital. And they’re preparing for environmental devastation.

Jason explained:

For crying out loud, this is the only planet in the entire universe that supports life as we know it, and we’re screwing it up.

Tanya chimed in:

One of the reasons why we invested in a storm shelter is for the environmental catastrophic events. You can look at global warming. The ocean currents are slowing, which means the northern hemisphere could freeze. There are so many things that are coming to a head at the same time. There would be earthquakes, floods, fires- all sorts of things we will have to negotiate to survive.

According to the show, prepping became a reality for Tanya when she started having premonitions in her sleep 10 years ago. She explained:

I started having dreams after my son was born. They’re so real. You know, I’ve had dreams where I’ve seen the stars falling and literally collapsing on the Earth.

As a result, the couple is preparing to live “off the grid.” Tanya added:

We’d like to be able to homestead, so that involves growing our own food from seed. It involves having farm animals, making our own soap, making our own vinegar.

The couple’s son, 12-year-old son Patrick, collects seeds to help out with the family’s preps.

And as part of their preparations, they acquired and buried a fiberglass storm shelter at a remote site which they intend to be the future location of their homestead. This was the same shelter that got flooded. Scott took a look at it and said that the contractor who did the install screwed up, and water and mud were able to seep in through the air vents.

The prepper family came out to Deep Earth Bunker in Texas to look at steel shelters. Scott showed Jason and Tanya his product line and revealed that the price of steel shelters is about 20 percent higher than fiberglass ones. The family really liked the steel bunkers and thought they might opt for one of those.

In the episode, Jason, Tanya, and Patrick are shown getting firearms instruction from Johnny Price of Big Iron Concealed Handgun Training. Remember DEB’s new concealed handgun license classes I mentioned at the beginning of this post?

Tanya shared more of her insights about prepping with viewers. She said:

I think that the people who have not thought about prepping are the people that are going to be caught up in the chaos.

Price told the family:

They’re willing to knife you, shoot you, assault you, beat you because you have something they want.

To which Tanya pointed out:

These are the people that are going to make the world a really dangerous place to live in.

Their instructor added:

I hope Jason and Tanya never have to use their gun. But if the predator or threat arises, I want them to be able to defend themselves.

Tanya admitted:

I don’t like the violent aspect of it, but I would kill someone to defend my son.

She has strong feelings when it comes to prepping. From the show:

Prepping has become a way of life for this family, and in their eyes, those who don’t are negligent.

The prepper explained:

They are harming their children. And I feel like they are not adequately taking care of them if they don’t have plans in place.

It looked as if the family’s visit to Deep Earth Bunker was a success. Scott remarked:

Now, Jason and Tanya will be able to protect their food, their water, their family when they’re inside that bunker.

Pyramid Pod

Scott Bales introduced a new project in episode 2 of Doomsday Bunkers called the “Pyramid Pod.” He’s aiming for the pyramid-shaped above-ground shelter to be extremely strong and fireproof. Bales said:

The Pyramid Pod is going to be one of the best above-ground shelters ever built. People can take themselves and their supplies inside and nothing will get them. Nothing.

The Pyramid Pod project was assigned to Scott Free, Special Projects Manager.

After constructing a cardboard mock-up of the shelter and eventually a scaled-down prototype of it fabricated in steel, the DEB crew took it out to a field for a structural strength test where a crane dropped a car on it. Scotty Free thought it would measure around 32,000 lbs. of force when it hit the top of the shelter. Scott Bales said:

Everyone knows in this day and age that a tornado is not going to pick up a car and throw it 45 feet straight up in the air. But preppers believe that that weather is right around the corner.

The Pyramid Pod prototype supposedly passed the structural strength test with flying colors.

Since this new product was meant to be fireproof as well, 4 impenetrable layers of fire defense and insulation were added to the steel structure:

1. Fire-resistant studs
2. Fire-resistant insulation between the studs
3. Fire-resistant 1/2 inch plywood sheets
4. On top of all this, concrete plywood

To see how effective the fireproofed prototype was, Scott Bales sat inside of the shelter while donning safety gear and with firefighters on-hand. The Pyramid Pod was set ablaze, and the test was almost 100 percent successful. Bales admitted:

Smoke got through the—because we don’t have a seal around the door. It came in through the door. It wouldn’t have got in on the full-sized model, but the steel never got hot.

Bales talked to wife Renee (who appeared on the show for the first time as Scott’s “boss”) and Scotty Free, and they agreed that after taking care “of a couple little things” they would mass produce the Pyramid Pod.

Overall, I thought episode number 2, “Pyramid Pod/Booby-Trapped Bunker,” was pretty good. As I said in my review of the first episode, I’m not a big fan of “reality” TV, and even though elements of that genre appeared in the show again, including:

• Tension between Scott Bales and wife Renee. “Renee has been dead set against this thing from day one. I can read her like a book. She is absolutely pissed.”
• Events leading up to the hiring of a new welder, where Alex Bales was turned into a human rubberband by Jesse Saul and Scotty Free.
• Fast turn-around times required of Deep Earth Bunker staff

It was all still palatable.

It’d be nice if production staff could keep it that way.

Some other thoughts:

• It looked like Steve Willis was using smaller caliber rifles at his home’s four sniping positions. I’m guessing this was just for “show.” If not, depending on the particular circumstances involved he might want to look at utilizing long guns chambered in .30-06 Springfield or .308 Winchester, for example, to increase range and knock-down capability.
• The Willis family needs to camouflage that bed of spikes hanging from the roof of their new bunker. From the looks of it, it should be relatively easy to do.
• They also have to prepare themselves should a bad guy ever get fried to a crisp from their bunker’s hand-rail flamethrower and possibly tumble down the stairs in front of their entry door. I’m guessing the screams and smell would be awful. But enough of that, as I’m still eating lunch as I type this.
• I wonder if preppers Jason and Tanya weren’t able to salvage that submerged underground storm shelter of theirs. I’ve seen flooded basements in worse condition. Pump out the muck, clean it out, sanitize it, dig a new hole in a more ideal location on the site, pull it out of the old hole and drop it into the new one, cover it up, and you’re done. I know- there’s probably a lot more to it. Here’s hoping it wasn’t a complete loss for the family though.
• After that car was dropped onto the Pyramid Pod prototype, Deep Earth Bunker was ecstatic and declared the structural strength test a success. However, it would have been nice for viewers to be able to see the top of the shelter right after the vehicle was dropped on it. This was never shown.
• I don’t know who does the accompanying music to Doomsday Bunkers, but I found myself rocking out a few times while reviewing the episode.

According to the Discovery Channel TV schedule, episode 3 of Doomsday Bunkers airs tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21, at 10 PM Eastern/Pacific.

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Survival And Prosperity
Est. 2010, Chicagoland, USA
Christopher E. Hill, Editor

Successor to Boom2Bust.com
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(Memorial Day Weekend 2007-2010)

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RSS Chris Hill’s Other Blog: Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes

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    The list of private, non-bank vaults outside the United States (offering safe deposit boxes/lockers at a minimum) located on this blog’s sister site- Offshore Private Vaults- was recently updated. Safe deposit facilities now open for business have been added under the following countries: -Hong Kong (Royal England Safe Deposit Box Ltd.) -Thailand (Magna Carta Law […]
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    Degussa, a leading international player in the precious metals world which also offers safe deposit boxes (for customers) at branches in Germany, Singapore, Spain, and Switzerland, has just posted information about their next Numis Day (first blogged about here) at their Geneva and Zurich showrooms. From their website: The Next Numis Day We appreciate and […]