preppers

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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The Rich Keep Buying Survival Bunkers

Back in March 2011 I started blogging about underground survival shelters on Survival And Prosperity. Anyone remember that Discovery Channel TV series Doomsday Bunkers focusing on Dallas-based shelter fabricator Deep Earth Bunker? Yeah, I covered that production in a number of posts.

Chatter about survival bunkers in the mainstream media kind of subsided for a few years. Then I noticed a definite pickup about such shelters in the news over the last few months. Two just-published articles appear on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and BBC News websites. Gordon Dickson reported on the Star-Telegram site Friday:

Inside his football field-size warehouse an hour’s drive southeast of Dallas, Gary Lynch is busy trying to keep up with orders for his solid-steel bomb shelters

Lynch explains that orders for his most expensive shelters, which can cost as much as several million dollars, have increased since the November election.

“It definitely has picked up a little as Donald Trump emerged as president,” said Lynch, general manager of Rising S Co. on the outskirts of the rural city of Murchison…

Sales of Rising S’s most luxurious shelters have jumped 700 percent in recent months…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Americans buy bomb shelters, prep for ‘Trumpocalypse”
Star-Telegram Video

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity shouldn’t be surprised rich Americans are acquiring survival shelters. Last Thursday I discussed an article from the January 30, 2017, issue of The New Yorker entitled “Doomsday Prep For The Super-Rich.” There was this bit in the piece:

In private Facebook groups, wealthy survivalists swap tips on gas masks, bunkers, and locations safe from the effects of climate change. One member, the head of an investment firm, told me, “I keep a helicopter gassed up all the time, and I have an underground bunker with an air-filtration system.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The article also talked about Larry Hall (first blogged about here in March 2012), the CEO of the Survival Condo Project, who sells luxury survival condos built underground in former Atlas missile silos. Hall and his survival condos were the focus of a January 31 BBC News piece analyzing the market for such shelters. Neil Koenig, “The Life of Luxury” series producer, penned on the BBC News website earlier today:

Despite the fact that the apartments cost millions of dollars each to buy, starting at $1.5m (£1.2m), Mr Hall says he is seeing strong demand from wealthy customers

Hall is by no means the only player in the specialist market for survival bunkers, with rivals offering facilities at several locations across the globe. But with his use of luxury elements, experts say, Mr Hall is exploiting a growing trend

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Koenig added that one complex is already completed, with another one “well under way.” The New Yorker piece noted every unit in the first complex has sold out.


“This doomsday bunker costs $3 million”
YouTube Video

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

Sources:

Dickson, Gordon. “Bomb-shelter builder stays busy as customers prep for ‘Trumpocalypse.'” Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 27 Jan. 2017. (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/technology/article129232199.html). 31 Jan. 2017.

Koenig, Neil. “The nuclear bunkers designed for luxury living.” BBC News. 31 Jan. 2017. (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38795967). 31 Jan. 2017.

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 Business, Government, Preparedness, Wealth No Comments

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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Friday, January 27th, 2017 Emergencies, Gear, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Terrorism, Transportation, Wealth Comments Off on Expensive SHTF Preps New Status Symbol In New York City?

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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Thursday, January 26th, 2017 Civil Strife, Class Warfare, Emergencies, Government, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Political Parties, Preparedness, Technology, TEOTWAWKI, War, Wealth Comments Off on Rich Americans Keep On Prepping

Philly’s Fox 29 News Visits “The Preppers Next Door”

Last night I came across a Fox 29 (Philadelphia) news segment from December 6 entitled “A visit with the preppers next door.” From the accompanying article:

Don’t call them paranoid. Call them prepared.

Meet Mark and his wife Sue. For privacy they asked us not to reveal their last names, but you can call them the “Preppers” next door.

So what are they preparing for?

“You are preparing for any kind of crisis situation. From a car accident to a collapse in society, a zombie apocalypse who knows what,” Mark explained…

The couple showed us what life as a “prepper” is all about…


“A visit with the preppers next door”
Fox 29 Video

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

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Friday, December 9th, 2016 Emergencies, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, TEOTWAWKI Comments Off on Philly’s Fox 29 News Visits “The Preppers Next Door”

Prepping Now $40 Billion Industry In U.S.?

Last week, I blogged about a Chicago Tribune article on the current state of “prepping” in America.

Last night I came across another insightful piece on the status of prepping in the U.S. on The Daily Universe (Brigham Young University) website in which Sarah Averett reported Monday:

Preparing for emergencies has become a hobby and lifestyle for an increasing number of people throughout the U.S. who call themselves “preppers.”

Preppers are enthusiasts of all things emergency preparedness, ranging from interests in survivalist techniques and homesteading to food storage and first aid. The term “prepper,” popularized by National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers series, refers to people who put time, money and effort into learning skills and collecting items that will help them become more self-reliant.

The prepper world has experienced exponential growth in recent years, according to preppers throughout the U.S.

“It’s really hard to identify exactly how many preppers there are, but since 2007, we’ve gone from a $10 million market to a $40 billion market space (nationally),” said Scott Stallings, founder and CEO of PrepperCon…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

An interesting read, which you view in its entirety here on The Daily Universe website.

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

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 Business, Emergencies, End Times, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, TEOTWAWKI Comments Off on Prepping Now $40 Billion Industry In U.S.?

Prepping: ‘It’s Become Less Out Of The Ordinary, Less Extreme’

Earlier today I stumbled across a pretty decent article about the current state of “prepping” in the United States on the Chicago Tribune website. I say “pretty decent” because I’m so used to seeing “hit job” pieces about the activity in the mainstream media in the past six years I’ve been running this blog.

Cheryl Stritzel McCarthy wrote the article entitled “Prepper movement, while not mainstream, no longer just for doomsday outliers.” In it, she touches on themes including:

-Prepper mindset
-.22 LR ammunition as SHTF currency
-Degrees of prepping
-Operations/Operational security (OPSEC)

Head on over to the Tribune website here to read the entire piece.

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

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 Ammunition, Currencies, Emergencies, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Psychology Comments Off on Prepping: ‘It’s Become Less Out Of The Ordinary, Less Extreme’

Signs Of The Time, Part 112

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I’ve been covering “prepping” on this blog for some years now.

And recently, I’ve been curious about the specific activities “preppers” have been carrying out in the run-up to Election Day.

Apparently (and not surprisingly), acquiring (more) emergency food has been a priority for these forward-looking individuals.

Ben Popken reported on the NBC News website this past weekend:

In case of an election night Doomsday, preppers are running up sales of emergency survival food.

While sales for “long term food” typically see an increase around natural disasters and elections, “this is more intense than what we saw in 2012,” said Keith Bansemer, VP of marketing for My Patriot Supply, a manufacturer and seller of survival food. During the previous election his company saw sales double. This time it’s triple.

“We have everyone we can on the phones,” he said. “We are overwhelmed.”

Purchases at other long term food supply companies are up as well. Emergency preparedness online store TheEpicenter reports a 6 percent uptick in year over year sales.

Another company, Legacy Foods, predicts they’ll see a 1-2 week spike in sales after the election — if Hillary Clinton wins, said owner Phil Cox…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Popken pointed out what’s spurring preppers to purchase “long-term” food:

Survivalist consumers say they’re preparing for post-election unrest that could involve everything from massive riots, to power grid outages, to the total collapse of the financial system where a can of food becomes currency

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Post-election unrest”

Talk of such an event has increased in the months leading up to today, so much so that the Oath Keepers, “a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to ‘defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,'” (first blogged about here back on August 12, 2011) just conducted a webinar “that went over strategies for avoiding and surviving social unrest in the streets including rioting and police reaction to that possible unrest. We talked about family preparedness plans if there were God forbid be a terrorist attack on our soil. These included communications, bug out bags, medical considerations, recognition of tactics that various terrorist organizations may use in that scenario and many more topics spoken on by several expert speakers.”


“Civil Unrest Post Election Scenarios & Preparation”
YouTube Video

Popken’s article was an insightful read- and not a “hit piece” either- which you can view in its entirety over on the NBC News site here.

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

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Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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