Scott Bales

Resource Of The Week: Deep Earth Bunker Radio

Many of you need no introduction to Deep Earth Bunker LLC. Back on March 9 I introduced the new Discovery Channel TV show Doomsday Bunkers and wrote:

Enter Scott Bales, an engineer by trade and owner of Deep Earth Bunker out of Dallas, Texas. From their website:

We manufacture and design, Bunkers and Storm/Hurricane Shelters Panic Vaults and Safe Rooms!

According to Bales, DEB started off fabricating storm shelters first, then added bunkers due to prepper demand. From the show:

Extreme weather and a volatile economy have triggered an explosion of new preppers. Scott’s Texas plant has been bombarded with new orders.

The company has built and installed hundreds of bunkers to date.

While surfing the DEB website earlier this week I noticed Scott and company now had something called Deep Earth Bunker Radio. From the site:

The Host of Doomsday Bunkers Scott and guests, talking about many issues as well as bunkers!

Sounds neat. It looks like the first show premiered on Saturday, May 26, but they ran into technical problems. I downloaded the next two shows- which aired that next day and that following Saturday- onto my MP3 player earlier this week. From the website:

Make up Show Deep Earth Bunker
Sun, May 27, 2012

We apologize for our first show on Saturday, the servers which handle live streaming and callers was down and we couldnt take calls or stream live, a recording of the show is on, we stopped 45 mins early because our scheduled callers couldnt get into the system. So we scheduled a 1 hr show tonight in order to make up for it.

Guests toight, Steve Willis from EP2 Tactical Bunker, Michael Haden from EP1 , James , And Big Johnny Price…

Doomsday Bunkers and Deep Earth Bunker
Sat, June 2, 2012


We have several guests on the show, including DUTCHSINSE, and several clients of Deep Earth Bunker.

The Producer of our show is Dixon Troyer, and 20 year Veteran producer of several tv shows and doomsday bunkers our show! He also was a actor back in the day.

We can take questions about our show , what we are doing now, etc.. As well as discuss many things going on in the world, why people need to protect themselves.






Also the Media that we are about to do on national tv and other radio stations, news stations.

We can talk about almost anything.

I listened to both shows, and I must admit, I didn’t know what to think at first. The production quality wasn’t as polished as something like The Survival Podcast. Scott Bales even went off-air late during the June 2 show. But I’ve always been more about the content when it comes to these things, so the rough-around-the-edges production and glitches weren’t that big of a deal for me. I have a pretty good idea Dixon, Scott, and the rest of the gang will iron things out as the show progresses.

About content. The topics for each show were announced at the beginning of the broadcasts, and a number of subjects were discussed, including the “Amero,” bartering, bug-out bags, bunkers (of course!), current threats, self-sufficiency, weapons, and zombies, to name a few. Call-in guests contributed to the discussion. These included preppers, bunker clients who appeared on Doomsday Bunkers episodes, and even a producer of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers, who got into prepping after working on that show. Listeners were also invited to call in as well.

Overall, I liked the two installments I listened to of Deep Earth Bunker Radio. Nothing was really in-depth, but they touched on a lot of subjects. Some stuff I found interesting/useful, others things, not so much. But someone else probably did though, so that’s cool. Following-up with DEB clients who appeared on Doomsday Bunkers was neat, as was the Doomsday Preppers producer’s story. I plan on listening to their next show, which is scheduled to be broadcast tomorrow, Saturday, June 9.

(Editor’s note: Deep Earth Bunker Radio no longer broadcasting)


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Deep Earth Bunker’s Scott Bales: Most Prepping For Global Economic Crash

Last night I blogged about the Discovery Channel TV series Doomsday Bunkers. And before I forget, I recently came across a piece on the website of CBS affiliate First 12 News in northeast Texas in which Deep Earth Bunker owner Scott Bales talked about the prepper movement. Kristen Shanahan wrote on May 10:

“They’re worried about the dollar collapse, civil unrest, food shortages,” Scott Bales, owner of Deep Earth Bunkers, said…

“A dirty bomb could happen,” exclaimed Bales.

Those who believe the worst is yet to come are getting ready and they are known as “preppers”. For the past 14 years, Scott Bales has been in the business of building bunkers, shelters that can withstand just about anything designed to keep unwelcome guests out – including zombies.

“Zombies are people that didn’t prepare and then the world does whatever, and they’re the ones trying to get in your bunker to get your stuff that will kill you for your food and water. They go from procrastinators to zombies instantly,” Bales said.

Shanahan got a taste of operational security (OPSEC) while putting together the article. The KXII reporter and weekend anchor added:

Preppers come in all shapes and sizes. You could have a prepper next door to you and never even know it. Secrecy is just another tool for survival that is why none of the preppers we talked to would speak on camera.

“If you spend about half a million dollars on a bunker and you were going to hide there if there was a collapse, you wouldn’t want anybody knowing where it is because they’re going to know you have food and water in that bunker, and they’re going to come and get it,” Bales explained.

Having a number of preppers among his bunker clients, Bales talked about their gravest concern. From the piece:

He says people are preparing for all sorts of situations, but the most common is the potential crash of the worldwide economy.

“If we ran out of food right now and everybody ran to the store, there would only be three days of food left on every shelf and warehouse in the country. Three days,” Bales said.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

A worldwide financial crash? That’s just plain crazy.

Seriously, when was the last time the global economy was in that degree of trouble?

Sarcasm off.


Shanahan, Kristen. “‘Preppers’ preparing for the end.” First 12 News. 10 May 2012. ( 6 June 2012.


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On TV: Doomsday Bunkers, Episode 3

It’s Wednesday, but no new episode of the Discovery Channel TV series Doomsday Bunkers will be airing tonight (second straight week).

FYI, I sent a little note out to corporate (Discovery Communications, LLC) regarding future episodes and upcoming air dates. We’ll see what they say. Of course, I’ll let Survival And Prosperity readers know if I hear anything back that’s worthwhile.

In the meantime, I still owe you my review of episode 3 of Doomsday Bunkers, “Tsunami Pod/Nuclear Fallout Shelter.”

At the beginning of the episode, which aired on March 21, Deep Earth Bunker was shown to be inundated with work. Floor Manager Jesse Saul was trying to deal with the significant backlog of shelters that customers- many of them preppers- had ordered and were waiting upon. It was revealed that springtime is particularly busy for DEB, when severe weather routinely makes the headlines. From the show:

In 2011, extreme weather accounted for $130 billion in damages with hundreds of thousands dead.

In addition, there was this:

And the most extreme preppers suspect the government is behind it.

Say what? Deep Earth Bunker owner Scott Bales explained:

Up in Alaska, there’s this thing called HAARP. HAARP stands for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project. It’s for shooting high frequency through antennas up into the ionosphere, and bouncing it back down. Originally built to talk to submarines deep in the water. A lot of my clients think the government is using it to control the weather.

I’ll have to take a closer look at that claim. In the meantime, more information about HAARP can be found at the project’s website here.

Loretta Sanders

The first client viewers met in episode 4 was Loretta Sanders, a prepper and former police sergeant. Sanders has a nuclear power plant 15 miles south of her home. According to the show, Indian Point Nuclear Plant, just outside New York City, is one of the most vulnerable reactors in the country. She explained:

This is ground zero. When they built it I guess they didn’t realize it’s 1 mile south of a connecting fault line. If there’s an earthquake and it starts to melt it’s going to be mayhem. The meltdown will take out this entire area. Most people will panic in evacuation. With 4 to 7 days the Joe Six-Packs of the world, without food or water, will break down your door, trying to find food. They’ll start to scavenge and we’ll revert back to hunting and being hunted.

The show revealed:

She’s prepared to do whatever it takes to protect her son Teddy, her daughter Marissa, and her growing stockpile.

Sanders added:

I’m prepping to live indefinitely. If the world changes permanently, I’m ready for that… I want to be able to get underground so I want Scott to protect me.

Scott Bales worked with Loretta to get her an underground bunker. He explained:

If an earthquake does happen, there’s going to be fallout- big time.

Bales pointed out that the former police officer’s shelter needed a nuclear/biological/chemical, or NBC, filter to prevent nuclear fallout from entering her bunker. According to Bales, the radioactive fallout will get hung up in the NBC filter.

He informed Loretta that it would take 4 weeks to complete her bunker. In the meantime, DEB would try to get permits to allow the transportation of heavy equipment/loads on roads near the installation site during the winter.

Envisioning the shelter’s design, Scott said:

If there’s a nuclear disaster, Loretta might have to go in this bunker for up to a year. So I have to make sure there’s enough space for her food and water supplies.

From the show:

Scott’s designing her a 2-unit, 600 square foot bunker. With sleeping quarters for 10, ample storage for her growing supplies, 2 500 gallon tanks- 1 for drinking water, 1 for waste. A full bathroom and kitchen. And most importantly, a state-of-the-art NBC filter to protect her from any fallout. Time frame, 4 weeks. Total cost, $150,000.

DEB staff went to work on the project, and Loretta Sanders was shown preparing for her new underground dwelling. From the episode:

A nuclear meltdown at Indian Point could contaminate over 1,100 square miles around the plant. So Loretta’s decided to buy land to install her bunker 3 hours north. But to get there, they might have to drive through looting, rioting, or worse. To survive, Loretta wants to learn how to turn her car into a weapon.

Enter Joe Autera, President, CEO, and Defensive Driving Instructor, Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamics Institute (VDI). According to the show:

As the prepper movement has grown, defensive driving schools like this one have seen an unprecedented number of civilians taking their courses.

Loretta received defensive driving instruction, and is subsequently shown plowing through a mock roadblock consisting of two vehicles parked end-to-end. Loved it.

The prepper, mother, and former LEO shared this with viewers:

This is why I prep. The government is not my first line of defense, I am. And as a citizen, that’s my right.

Unfortunately, Loretta doesn’t get her new bunker on time. Renee Bales, Scott’s wife and head of Accounting, informed DEB’s owner that the permits were denied because of “freeze laws,” with the trailer and bunker deemed to be too heavy. Scott is shown breaking the bad news to Loretta, which meant delivery of her steel shelter would be delayed 3 to 4 weeks until the roads thawed out. All in all, she seemed pretty cool with that.

Tsunami Pod

Another episode, another new project. Scott Bales told viewers in episode 3:

Last night, I came up with a great idea. Something to protect people from a tsunami wave. This is the ultimate product for a prepper. All of the people that live on the coasts have this fear. They’re wondering, “When is that wave going to come in and get us?” There’s nothing to protect you against a tsunami. Nothing. Except for our tsunami pod.

From the show:

Scott’s designed a floating steel orb, 10 feet in diameter, with room for 2 people. When the tsunami waves hit, the airtight ball would be lifted off a special stand, and kept upright through a concrete weight called a ballast.

The owner of DEB added:

Because you have ballast in there, it brings it to where they’re sitting right back up… This thing has to be waterproof, it has to be able to take impact, it also has to sit up straight so the passengers are sitting in an upwards position.

Scott assigned Scotty Free, Special Projects Manager, and Charlie Christie, Quality Assurance/Carpenter, to the project. It’s revealed that DEB budgeted $80,000 in parts and labor for the development of the Tsunami Pod, making it the most expensive prototype in the Dallas-based company’s history.

Before the project commenced, Scott Bales noted:

Scott Free is an older guy. Set in his ways. Precise. Charlie. Young. Moves very quickly. Adapts quickly. Charlie’s a builder, and Scott’s a fabricator. They’ll bump heads, but, with both of them together, they can figure out the tsunami pod.

Not without hiccups, Scotty and Charlie pieced together the Tsunami Pod prototype. They then pounded the pod’s steel exterior with a debris shooter, which is capable of shooting a 14-foot 2 X 4 more than 600 mph. Amazingly, the thing survived.

Next, Scotty and Charlie tested the prototype out in a parking lot. They discovered the pod’s ballast, which consists of 150 lbs. of concrete, needed adjusting.

The final test of the Tsunami Pod took place at a lake, where DEB staff could test the ballast once again and see if the prototype was watertight. Scott Bales explained:

When you do something in a ball shape, the water spreads itself out until it hits a resistance point just under the equator. You’d never want the water to go over the equator. If we added too much weight or this thing leaks, it’s going to sink to the bottom of the lake.

Upon dropping the steel structure into the body of water, it’s discovered that while it was watertight, the pod floated on its side. Apparently, Scotty and Charlie didn’t compensate for the weight of the door. Despite this oversight, the tests of the Tsunami Pod were declared successful. Scott Bales remarked:

I feel great that the Tsunami Pod is floating, and I just have to adjust some ballast. But this test is a success.

Weyland Smith

The second client viewers were introduced to was Weyland Smith, a Deep Earth Bunker salesman and prepper who resides in Homer, Louisiana. Weyland recently became a prepper while working with DEB. He explained:

One of my bunker clients had some basic ideas I’d never really had put in front of me before. Go to your local grocery store late at night- half the food aisles are empty. If something broke our supply chain, I know the store shelves would be empty in 3 days. My biggest fear is the drastic change we’ve seen in the weather. We all need to be better prepared. If I need something, it’s not going to always be at the corner store to pick up.

Being from Louisiana, Weyland has first-hand experience with what the aftermath of a disaster looks like. He called the refugees from Hurricane Katrina:

We really saw the level of unpreparedness that these people had. And to wade through the devastation afterwards. It really opened your eyes.

He added:

I’m still new at this prepping. I’m kind of learning as I go. And I’m now finally getting the one that I need.

Weyland talked about why he wanted an underground shelter. He said:

My bunker will serve primarily as a shelter in case of bad weather. The shelter that I bought is a steel, doghouse-style shelter. Double-welded, with a marine-grade coating, totally watertight. And it will be perfect protection for my family.

Deep Earth Bunker owner Scott Bales commented on the structure that Weyland chose. He said:

He’s picked out a steel shelter that’s big enough for his family, and some food and supplies. It will be great for short-term, emergency situations.

In the episode, Weyland Smith said he now realized he’d been prepping all along. Accumulating gear and supplies for different outdoor activities had given him a head start. Smith revealed that his wife already had 3 months’ worth of food canned. His goal was to have 6 months’ worth set aside. In addition, Weyland hunts and processes his own meat with his son, J.D. They’ve managed to sock away 3 to 4 months of meat already.

Weyland made this observation:

People in the rural areas will be much more likely to survive because they have the basic skills to take of themselves.

Near the end of the episode, Weyland opted to install his new shelter himself, and Scott Bales stopped on by to check out how he was doing.

Overall, I enjoyed episode 3 of Doomsday Bunkers. I have to admit- this TV series is growing on me. “Tsunami Pod/Nuclear Fallout Shelter” was interesting, informative, and funny- yet again. Loretta Sanders is a total hoot. I especially enjoyed that scene where she was cleaning her firearms. Not to mention her barreling that car into the “roadblock.” The production crew once again managed to keep the annoying “reality” TV elements to a minimum.

No time for drama WTSHTF, right?

Hopefully, more episodes of Doomsday Bunkers will air soon on the Discovery Channel.


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Resources Of The Week: Websites Related To Doomsday Bunkers, Doomsday Preppers TV Series

I usually don’t post any new material on the weekends, but I wanted to make sure a “Resource Of The Week” got published before I close up shop for the week.

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of messages via the Survival And Prosperity “Contact” page about the Discovery Channel’s Doomsday Bunkers television series and the National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series.

However, since I have no affiliation with either production, I haven’t been much help when it comes to answering questions about the preppers and companies featured on the shows.

In this week’s ROTW, I’ve listed these parties, and inserted links to either a particular company’s website or to a site that a particular prepper is affiliated with (easy enough, as many are “prepper entrepreneurs”), in hopes this might help those with questions find the answers they’re looking for:

Doomsday Bunkers

Scott Bales and Deep Earth Bunker
Shea Degan and 88 Tactical
Johnny Price and Big Iron Concealed Handgun Training

Doomsday Preppers

National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers site
Practical Preppers

(And listed in order of appearance in pilot, series)

Dennis and Danielle McClung
Lisa Bedford
Scott Hunt and David Kobler
Paul and Gloria Range
Christopher Nyerges
David Sarti
Scott and Kellene Bishop
Dennis Evers
Tim Ralston
Dervaes Family
Donna Nash
Michael Douglas
Larry Hall
Becky Brown
Riley Cook
Doug Huffman
Ed and Dianna Peden

A copy of this list will be added to the blog’s “Resources” page, where it will be updated as more episodes air.

And, if you know of any sites that I missed, please let me know!


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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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On TV: Doomsday Bunkers TV Series

The end… is near. In every corner of America, people believe our world is changing. To them, civilization is falling apart. And the rest of us are in denial. They call themselves preppers, and they’re getting ready for the Apocalypse. They’re piling up guns and food, but what they really need is the perfect place to lay low. Real low. Enter Scott Bales, and Deep Earth Bunkers.

-Intro to episode 1 of Doomsday Bunkers

Wednesday night was the premiere of the new Discovery Channel television series Doomsday Bunkers. While I talked a little about the project Tuesday, this morning I will be reviewing episode 1, “Bunkers, Bullets and Blast Doors.”

Enter Scott Bales, an engineer by trade and owner of Deep Earth Bunker out of Dallas, Texas. From their website:

We manufacture and design, Bunkers and Storm/Hurricane Shelters Panic Vaults and Safe Rooms!

According to Bales, DEB started off fabricating storm shelters first, then added bunkers due to prepper demand. From the show:

Extreme weather and a volatile economy have triggered an explosion of new preppers. Scott’s Texas plant has been bombarded with new orders.

The company has built and installed hundreds of bunkers to date.

Other DEB personnel who appeared in episode 1 included:

• Jesse Saul- Floor Manager
• Scott Free- Special Projects Manager
• Charlie Christie- Quality Assurance/Carpenter
• Alex Bales- Scott’s 22-year-old son. Dad would like him to run the business some day.

Viewers were shown a 1,700 square foot DEB-constructed off-the-grid bunker at an undisclosed location. This particular shelter had multiple generators, filtered air, a 7,000 gallon water tank, and a full-service sewage system. It also came equipped with an above-ground hatch that led to an underground staircase and an armored blast door, along with an escape hatch. While I understand that many of the company’s bunkers share similar features, a bidet was requested by the client for this project. The interior was also designed and decorated to resemble a real nice apartment/condo unit. Bales explained:

Our bunkers are unique. We build them as close to being at home as possible to make you feel more comfortable when you’re in that bunker for an extended period of time.

The premiere focused on two clients of Deep Earth Bunker. First, there’s Shea Degan, a prepper, a former cop, and “master military tactician.” Degan discussed his interested in a bunker:

My number one priority is to protect my wife and children… My biggest fear is social unrest. We’re on the verge of having another recession. When people get desperate, they do desperate things. Home are broken into, business looted, chaos ensues. If the government collapses, and you weren’t a prepper, you don’t have the things in place to protect yourself or your family, you’re in trouble. You have civilized folks that can turn uncivilized very quickly. It becomes survival of the fittest.

Degan opened up 88 Tactical two years ago, a 168-acre complex in northern Nebraska. He explained:

88 Tactical group is a training organization. We’ve taken all of our law enforcement training, and we’ve opened up a number of courses for civilians.

88 Tactical is beta-testing a new training course that teaches people how to live in a bunker, and how to re-integrate into society after emerging from the shelter. As such, Degan wanted the DEB bunker for two purposes. He said:

I am buying this bunker for two different reasons. To teach people how to live in a bunker. And to protect my family- if need be.

Recognizing that this particular project would violate operational security (OPSEC) in that plenty of people would know of the existence and location of the Degan family’s underground survival shelter, Bales pointed out:

Clients call us with crazy ideas all the time. Shea is actually going to show people where his bunker is. You can’t get any more crazy than that.

He told Shea:

I can already see right now that we are going to have to put one hell of an engineered door in this thing, because everybody’s going to know where it is. And when the s*** hits the fan, they’re coming for your bunker, I don’t care what you’ve trained them to do. They’re naturally are going to come right to the bunker. The door has got to be able to stop trained guys from getting through.

Shea replied:

Well, that’s why I’m relying on you, Scott.

The two hammered out the specs for the project. According to the show:

Shea’s bunker needs to hold 4 people for up to 6 months. Scott decides on a 3-unit bunker complex. With over 1,100 square feet of underground space. A living room and full kitchen. Storage for over 6 months of food. And a sleeping wing with a full bathroom. Total cost, $450,000.

Scott talked more about this latest undertaking:

To live underground, there’s a bunch of stuff you have to have- clean air, water, and a solid septic system. Shea’s bunker gets fresh clean air through a nuclear, biological, chemical filter. The sewage will be collected in underground tanks. And for fresh water, Shea’s property holds a major advantage. Shea’s bunker has an underground well that’s dug seven hundred feet down to an aquifer under the earth. He’ll have water forever.

Deep Earth Bunker staff started work on Shea Degan’s shelter, while Scott focused on “the most complicated part of the build project”- the blast door. He explained:

The door is the most important part of any bunker or shelter.

DEB happens to have their own debris testing center which includes a pneumatic air cannon that shoots 2 X 4s over 600 mph. They proceeded to fire these projectiles at a number of different doors before selecting a potential candidate for the Degan job.

At this point in episode 1, viewers were introduced to Mike Hagans, another client of Deep Earth Bunker. Hagans lives with family on the Florida coast. Having already had an underground shelter built for him by Deep Earth Bunker, Hagans contacted Scott Bales about a recent situation in which the generator for his bunker was stolen.

This hideaway is tucked away in an undisclosed mountainous location hundreds of miles away. He said:

My bunker will protect me from tsunamis. I’m up over 1,500 feet.

Hagans explained why he wanted a bunker:

The reason I wanted to get a bunker? Piece of mind.

His underground shelter is only two- years- old, is 8 X 7 X 30, and cost him $70,000 to construct. He is prepping for crises that could last up to 6 months. Hagans said:

I first thought I needed a bunker when I was doing research. I started seeing all the severe weather we’ve been having- the tremendous amount of earthquakes, tornadoes. It just seems those things have been getting worse. You’re going to have some type of catastrophic event that will change everything. The people who aren’t prepping become zombies. They will kill you for anything that will help them survive.

Scott got busy working on a solution for Mike that will allow him to remotely-monitor his bunker.

Returning to Shea Degan’s project, it’s revealed that Shea’s “dedication to prepping is causing conflict at home.” His spouse, Jeannette, recalled:

The first time he brought up prepping, I thought he was crazy.

She’s apparently concerned about the amount of money that’s being spent on supplies. However, Jeannette fully supports her husband training their two kids to defend themselves.

In what could be the funniest part of the show, Scott is shown tinkering with motion-triggered security systems. To test out his latest creation, he affixes an automatic Airsoft gun to it and proceeds to spray his staff with plastic BBs as they break for lunch.

“Doomsday Bunkers: Bunker Defense”
Discovery Channel Video

While Scott worked on a solution for Mike, the prepper resolved himself to taking care of business at his Florida home, which is also full of gear and supplies for the Hagans family to bug-in if needed. Mike said:

You’re actually never done prepping. There’s always something a little bit more you can do.

Like Shea, Mike trains family members in self-defense. But instead of working on hand-to-hand fighting skills, the Hagans family headed to the shooting range in this episode.

The show returned to the ongoing construction of the Degan bunker at DEB, where it was explained:

Building the interior of a bunker is just like building a home- in reverse. The team primes the steel walls first, to protect from rust. And then goes about adding plywood and drywall.

At this point in the episode, Scott’s son Alex gets upset about the wrong screws provided to both him and Charlie Christie, DEB’s carpenter and quality assurance guy. Floor manager Jesse Saul is forced to speak with Alex about his outburst.

The discovery of plywood that’s already been installed in the interior becoming warped due to intense humidity got the team refocused on the task at hand. Unfortunately, the plywood had to be removed and replaced.

While Scott still needs to perfect his motion-triggered security system (future episode?), he was able to figure out a way for Mike Hagans to remotely-monitor his bunker. A 360-degree camera system with 2-way speakers that can be viewed/operated from the underground shelter and remotely via the Internet was installed high in the trees surrounding the mountainous bug-out location. Scott and Mike tested the new system out, and the bunker client was satisfied with the results.

Returning to the Degan project, the DEB crew was shown busting their tails before Shea returned to the facility for a walk-through. Bales explained that the company usually conducts a client walk-through when a project is almost done. Despite Scott’s concerns, his employees made significant progress, and Shea was impressed by what he saw.

The two attended the test of a blast door that DEB hoped would be strong enough to keep the bad guys out of the Degan bunker. Local SWAT team members fired long guns and handguns against the door, to no effect. Next, a shotgun and crowbar-like tool were used to try and breech the door, without success. Finally, a demolitions expert the team brought along with them rigged the entryway with 3 lbs of explosive. Even after detonating this, the blast door refused to budge. DEB had themselves a winner.

With nearly 1,000 hours of work invested in the project, the Nebraska site was prepped for installation by removing 1,400 tons of dirt, leaving a 12-foot deep hole. A crane was used to drop the bunker onto a concrete slab in the hole. And weeks later, well water and septic were hooked up, and the bunker was finally covered. Shea Degan proceeded to stock the shelter with 1,500 lbs of food, enough for his family of four to live 6 months underground.

Overall, I enjoyed episode 1 of Doomsday Bunkers. I’ve always liked learning about underground shelters, so this was right up my alley. “Bunkers, Bullets and Blast Doors” was very interesting, informative, and even funny at times. The Deep Earth Bunker staff that appeared on the show were likeable and seemed professional.

That being said, I’m not a big fan of “reality” TV, and two elements of that genre appeared in Doomsday Bunkers. First, there was drama from Shea Degan’s prepping “causing conflict at home” and from Alex being the owner’s son (as evidenced by the incident with the wrong screws). Second, there was the fast-approaching deadline with the client walk-through.

While I understand that “reality” television is a big hit among many Americans, I can’t help but wonder if the person that tunes into Doomsday Bunkers isn’t the “reality” show type. First off, the preppers/survivalists in the audience already pride themselves from being distinct from the “herd.” Second, from my experience, fans of “reality” TV flock to such programming because (as ironic as it sounds) it diverts their attention away from their own reality. Prepper Mike Hagans may have inadvertently described these folks when he said in the episode:

The people who aren’t paying attention out there- they don’t know what’s going on. Nor do they care to know what’s going on. They don’t want to know what could happen. They’re welcome to think that way. Doesn’t mean I have to.

In my opinion, the Discovery Channel and viewers stand to gain more by having Doomsday Bunkers focus more on the client’s reason(s) for wanting an underground shelter (how about bringing in outside experts to talk about the various threats?) and the engineering/technological features of the bunkers (for example, why wouldn’t the bad guys just attack the air supply system instead of messing around with a blast door?), rather than go down the increasingly-stale “reality” TV route. The rest of us already have enough drama and deadlines in our lives.

According to the Discovery Channel TV schedule, episode 2 of Doomsday Bunkers will air on Wednesday, March 14, and episode 3 on Wednesday, March 21, both at 10 PM E/P each day. Check it out!


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Doomsday Bunkers TV Series Premieres Tonight On Discovery Channel

Due to my work on Survival And Prosperity and a number of other projects these days, I don’t watch as much satellite TV as I used too. So I was surprised to hear about a new Discovery Channel television series called Doomsday Bunkers that’s set to debut tonight, Wednesday, March 7. From the Discovery Channel website:

Get a sneak peek of Discovery’s all-new series Doomsday Bunkers, featuring the design and build of survival units. Tune-in for the premiere episode on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 10PM e/p!

“Doomsday Bunkers: Doomsday Bunkers Sneak Peek”
Discovery Channel Video

Now, I found out about the new TV series while surfing the FOX News website this morning. Hollie McKay wrote this morning:

Dallas-based Deep Earth Bunker owner Scott Bales and his engineers have teamed with the Discovery Channel to show exactly what goes into making these technologically advanced, secretive hideouts.

Each episode of “Doomsday Bunkers” is a start-to-finish guide in the building of a bunker, and shows how each of the safety rooms is tailor-made to suit the owner’s needs. For some, the biggest concern might be power grid failures, nuclear disasters or earthquakes. Others find it more necessary to prepare for shooting sprees, tsunamis, terrorist attacks or economic collapse…

“The series takes a really interesting look into this subculture or movement, from radical folks who really take these precautions to an extreme, to the average person who is using their common sense and taking responsibility for what could happen,” executive producer Anna Geddes told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “The core focus is really on how Scott built his business – he is an engineering genius with an incredible passion for design, and is always dreaming up ways to improve something.”

“Exclusive Sneak Peek: ‘Doomsday Bunkers’”
FOX News Video

I’ve always enjoyed learning about survival shelters. Therefore, Doomsday Bunkers looks to be right up my alley. I intend to watch the premiere tonight, so look for a review of the episode on this blog shortly.


McKay, Hollie. “‘Doomsday Bunkers’ shows how one man is helping people prepare for Armageddon.” FOX News. 7 Mar. 2012. ( 7 Mar. 2012.


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