underground bunkers

On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Don’t Betray The Colony’ Review

“As long as nothing happens, preppers are idiots. The day after something happens- we’re geniuses.”

-Tony C., prepper featured on National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers episode “Don’ Betray the Colony”

In addition to watching the premiere of National Geographic Channel’s latest prepper/survivalist-themed project, Doomsday Castle (blogged about here), I caught the latest Doomsday Preppers episode, “Don’t Betray the Colony.”

Question- Was Tuesday night’s airing the start of season 3 of the show (making this episode 1), or is it a continuation of season 2 (making this episode 31, according to Wikipedia)?

Moving on, from the Nat Geo Channel website:

Some preppers believe in safety in numbers — as is the case for Jeff Mann, who leads “the Colony,” a community of 25 preppers unified with the single purpose of surviving doomsday. Watch as he prepares his son, Colten, to take the reins by having him hunt down live boar in the Florida swamps and builds the Colony’s very own gallows — an important message that there are laws to be upheld, even in times of chaos.

Actually, there was more to the episode than just Jeff Mann- “We’re preparing for an economic collapse”- and the prepper “colony.” The show also introduced Tony C.- “I’m preparing for a space-borne disaster”- and Cheree- “We’re preparing for a mega-earthquake.”

My thoughts about “Don’t Betray the Colony”:

Part 1: The prepper “colony”

When I heard this new episode would be featuring a “colony,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. Actually, I came away pretty impressed with the 21-year-old son Colten Mann. Fearing the worst, I reluctantly kept watching, suspecting the culinary school student might flounder (remember, this is “reality” TV, where drama plays a big role in the genre). I was relieved when Milandred and Hennessey put Colten through the paces and he managed to show a good deal of promise (got to give him a lot of credit for gutting and getting all up in that wild boar like he did).

But then there was that part with the gallows. Just prior to that, there was talk of a “city council” and “laws.” Now, I don’t see anything wrong with discussing a post-apocalyptic judicial system. “Post-apocalyptic” being the key words here. But throwing up that gallows on private property these days might have raised the eyebrows of authorities. If not local- higher up. And if these authorities are anything like the ones I know and have worked with in the past, thoughts of “Waco” probably crossed their minds. I’m just saying.

Personally, I would mothball the gallows until a situation exists without the rule of law. But as much as I might be inclined to agree with Milandred on just banishing the guilty parties, Hennessey may have been on to something here. You see, in a hypothetical societal collapse, banishing a colony member could mean unintentionally providing hostiles with intel about any vulnerabilities the setup may have. I suspect Hennessey was aware of the potential for this happening.

Last point about the prepper colony. They received an assessment score of 89, or a “19 month initial survival time.” That’s got to be one of the highest scores (highest?) ever given by Practical Preppers to a prepper individual or group. I’m impressed.

Part 2: The underground RV shelter

WTSHTF, some people will bug out in their recreational vehicles. Others, to an underground shelter. But Tony C. and his family, an underground RV shelter. I’m intrigued. Not only because it’s something I don’t come across too often (the Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort in Kansas notwithstanding) but also because it sounds like something that might be more affordable than building out an underground bunker with utilities. According to the episode, Tony dug a hole in the Indiana woods 52 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 12 feet high, and then parked his RV in there, constructing an underground compound with 1,200 square feet of living space. Tony explained:

The reason for that is everything’s done in the RV. You have all the comforts of home, and all the systems- the wiring, the plumbing, pressure pumps, inverters. Everything’s in an RV because it’s designed to be self-contained living.

I’d be curious to find out how much it cost him to build his shelter, minus the RV and supplies.

One other thing. That homemade filtration system Tony C. “MacGyvered” up- I wonder if he’s put it to the test yet? And if so, was it effective? It’s just as cool a contraption as that hand-held water pump in the final part of “Don’t Bertray the Colony.”

Part 3- The pacifist prepper camp

In the last part of Tuesday’s show, viewers were introduced to 27-year-old Cheree and her parents Jessica and Carl. They own and operate a 21-acre Christian camp in the foothills of the California’s Sierra Mountains. Cheree is concerned about a mega-earthquake striking the area, and wishes to follow in Christ’s footsteps and take care of disaster victims after the event. Very noble.

While hosting friends and family from the Bay area for a disaster aftermath dry-run, viewers are informed that Cheree adheres to a strict policy of non-violence and no weapons. The problem is, one of their group, Garry, wants a firearm for protection. He explained:

In a critical scenario, where you have people scrambling for food, for water, for shelter, for whatever. If they want it, and they have weapons, they’re going to take it. So, in that respect, I have to take appropriate action.

Cheree sticks to her guns, and “Garry is voted out of the group, and asked to leave the premises.”

Cheree later said:

I think that my faith brings me peace. And it may not necessarily better equip me physically prepping, but mentally and emotionally, He’s the one I turn to. I realize that whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, and God’s in control.

Hmmm. Two things come to mind here. First, this is a situation that has come up before in Doomsday Preppers. Specifically, in season 1 episode 2, “I Hope I Am Crazy.” I blogged back on February 8, 2012:

Firearms- Which brings me to my next thought, which is about guns. One prepper said in episode 2:

It’s easy to feel a little left out of the prepper community if you live in New England and if you’re not fairly right-wing and conservative politically. But I just don’t spend my time worrying about storing guns and ammunition. Because our security comes not from stockpiling weapons but from having a community that respects each other, supports each other, and we have each other’s backs.

While the right of the law-abiding individual to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Bill of Rights under the Second Amendment, I understand that owning a gun may not be right for everyone. However, keep in mind that in a SHTF situation, there are individuals/groups this prepper and her community could very well come into contact with who have come out and said (future post) they don’t bother stockpiling food, water, and other supplies because they intend to take these items away from others under threat of force (guns). Firearms are without a doubt one of the most effective tools for self-defense, and with the proper training and tactics, our prepper and her beloved community might actually have a chance of keeping their preps safe against these roving bands of human parasites.

By the way, that future post about human “parasites” is here.

And the other thing that comes to mind when the “Pacifist Prepper” said “whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, and God’s in control”? Consider the following…

It rained for days and days and there was a terrific flood. The water rose so high that one man was forced to climb on top of his roof and sat in the rain. As the waters came up higher a man in a rowboat came up to the house and told him to get in. “No thank you, the Lord will save me!” he said, and the man in the rowboat rowed away.

The waters rose to the edge of the roof and still the man sat on the roof until another rowboat came by and another man told him to get in. “No thank you, the Lord will save me!” he said again, and the man rowed away.

The waters covered the house and the man was forced to sit on his chimney as the rain poured down and a helicopter came by and another man urged him to get in or he’ll drown. “No thank you,” the man said again, “The Lord will save me!”

After much begging and pleading the man in the helicopter gave up and flew away. The waters rose above the chimney and the man drowned and went to heaven where he met God.

“Lord, I don’t understand,” he told Him, frustrated, “The waters rose higher and higher and I waited hours for you to save me but you didn’t! Why?”

The Lord just shook his head and said, “What are you talking about? I sent two boats and a helicopter?!”

The moral of the story? Help God help yourself.

Otherwise, you may just succeed in teeing the Almighty off.

After getting yourself killed just prior to that accomplishment, of course.

For more information about Doomsday Preppers, visit the show’s web page on the National Geographic Channel site here.

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

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On TV: American Doomsday

Last Wednesday I mentioned that until my “In Print” series of posts returns (next week maybe), I’ll be talking about TV shows related to the blog’s focus.

Last week it was Preppers UK: Surviving Armageddon 1 & 2.

This week, it’s American Doomsday.

American Doomsday premiered on the National Geographic Channel back on November 8, 2010. From the Nat Geo website:

Explorer: American Doomsday

America’s Doomsday plan. It’s the government’s strategy for its darkest hours – developed years ago, but never used until 9/11.

For a better description of what the show’s about, from the DVD:

America’s Doomsday plan. It’s the government’s ultimate playbook, with a strategy for even the darkest hours—developed when Cold War tensions were high, but never used until 9/11. In American Doomsday, fly in an E4-B—the president’s command, control, and communications center for times of national catastrophe; go inside the secret bunker used by government officials on September 11; and witness how the luxurious Greenbrier Resort became a critical, top secret congressional bunker.


“Inside the Doomsday Plane”
YouTube Video

The show’s producer, Charles Fitzgerald, discussed his experience with the material on the Nat Geo TV Blogs section of the National Geographic website back on November 5, 2010:

My research for ‘American Doomsday” uncovered what I first saw as a Stranglovian world of nuclear paranoia, secret bunkers and elaborate “Doomsday” plans. It was bizarre.

But digging deeper I realized that America’s Doomsday plans were born of a very real and legitimate fear that if the Soviet Union launched a surprise nuclear attack, the nation as we know it may cease to exist.

Many Americans are aware of parts of the Doomsday plans. We’ve seen them in action, but probably don’t realize it. For example, we know that during the State of the Union, one member of the cabinet stays away from the Capitol; that on 9/11, Air Force One, with President Bush on board, flew a seemingly random pattern around the country; that Vice President Cheney frequently visited undisclosed locations after 9/11. It turns out that all of these are part of a massive plan to preserve our government’s very existence in times of trouble.

I watched the show last week, and found it incredibly interesting and informative. In an era where the federal government often appears to many to have its head stuck up its butt, it’s good to know that WTSHTF, there’s a plan in place for the continuity of government here in the United States.

American Doomsday investigated the following plan components:

• The “Nightwatch,” or “Doomsday Plane,” program operated out of Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska
• The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) out of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado
• The High Point Special Facility inside Mount Weather, near Bluemont, Virginia
• The Greenbrier just outside of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
• Site R (Raven Rock Military Complex) on Raven Rock, a Pennsylvania mountain

From the looks of it, Uncle Sam is prepared for doomsday.

I doubt the same can be said for most Americans.

You can watch the entire show on the National Geographic website here.

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

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Solutions Not Problems’ Preview

Season 2 of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series continues tonight with a special Valentine’s Day episode, “Solutions Not Problems,” which airs at 9 PM ET.

I was lucky enough to be provided an advance-screening of the “Bachelor Prepper” episode. From a Nat Geo Channel press release I received at the end of last week:

Prepping for an economic collapse, Jeff is converting a decommissioned missile silo into the perfect bug-out getaway. But that’s not all Jeff is focused on. With an online dating profile, he is also searching for a special someone who can share his love for prepping. We’ll see Jeff, a bachelor on the lookout for love, not only work on his bunker, but also go on multiple dates to find his prepper mate. Will he select one to take to his secret bunker? We also meet Doug, who lives in the mountains of Tennessee. He currently runs his own stone quarry, and the locals call him “Rockman.” But what they may not know is that he is using rocks to prepare his underground bunker for the upcoming economic collapse. Will he build a safe haven out of his rock stockpiles?

Jeff Flaningam is a 37-year-old Wisconsin bachelor who owns 19-acres out in central Kansas- with a decommissioned Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silo buried underneath it. Jeff is hard at work turning the abandoned missile base into a livable bug-out location. He told viewers:

I’m preparing for a catastrophic economic collapse.

According to the show:

The national debt currently totals more than $16 trillion. Jeff believes that if nothing is done to change this, the U.S. could go from becoming a global economic leader, to a nation struggling to provide food, water, and power. He worries that the consequences of such a collapsing economy could last indefinitely.

Flaningam added:

Transportation system falls apart, fuel costs go through the roof, people can’t get the goods that they need. The normal courtesy that we share with our fellow man is going to degrade and get thrown out of the window. Violence would be rampant. I don’t think anyone can know how long an event like that could last. I know I have to be prepared to stay off the grid for as long as it takes.

The Wisconsin-based prepper plans on bugging out 800 miles to the Kansas bunker when the first signs of a SHTF situation arise.

But before that happens, he’d like someone to share those “special times” with.

“Doug,” aka “Rockman,” owns a stone quarry in the Tennessee mountains. He told viewers:

I’m prepping for an economic collapse that will change the world forever.

Doug added later:

Our economy is in distress. And I don’t see it getting better. Can you imagine paying $17 trillion dollars back?

Along with his employee and best friend Inés, the two of them are shown building an underground shelter constructed out of a shipping container that their families will use as a bug-out location, and putting a 3-tiered defensive plan for the bunker into place.

It was a fun, informative, and not too overboard (reality TV-wise) episode to watch. And if you’re not into that lovey-dovey stuff, at least catch it for the “Rockman’s” segment, where he, with the help of a former U.S. President, shows you an easy way to make money from money.

Don’t worry. You’ll get what I’m talking about by watching tonight’s episode.

For more information about the TV series visit the Doomsday Preppers page on the National Geographic Channel website here.

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

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Heading Into Or Already In The Bunker?

Considering we are already at the eve of December 21, 2012, and I’ve heard believers in something cataclysmic taking place Friday and who also own underground shelters are on the verge of heading into them (if they’re not already in the bunkers), does anyone from this group care to share anything with the rest of us who’ve chosen to dismiss the date and remain topside? Mature replies only.

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‘Doomsday Bunkers’ Could Be Cancelled?

Back on March 7, I blogged about a new Discovery Channel TV series called Doomsday Bunkers, which focused on Dallas, Texas-based company Deep Earth Bunker and their design/manufacture of emergency shelters for different clients. The first of what would eventually be three episodes making up season 1 debuted later that day, with a new show appearing every Wednesday until March 21. As no new installments followed, fans questioned whether or not the series had been cancelled. Then came a May 15 Deep Earth Bunker press release that indicated a second season was forthcoming, with 16 new episodes of Doomsday Bunkers being filmed.

However, the other day I was reading the “Show Tracker” section on the Los Angeles Times website. T.L. Stanley wrote on July 28:

And though Discovery Channel hasn’t decided to bring back the modest hit “Doomsday Bunkers,” which followed a Dallas-based company called Deep Earth Bunker and its clients, the network has some one-hour end-of-the-world specials in mind for this year.

Discovery wasn’t specifically looking for an apocalyptic-themed series, said Nancy Daniels, the network’s executive vice president of production and development, but “Doomsday Bunkers” fit with its ongoing strategy of highlighting entrepreneurs (a la “American Choppers”) and quirky subcultures.

“Our viewers respond to people who take charge and take control of their lives,” Daniels said. “And these preppers are so focused and so certain of their path. It makes you think, ‘That’s kind of crazy, but maybe I should be doing it.’”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Judging from what’s written, it sounds like the Discovery Channel may be on the fence as it concerns bringing back Doomsday Bunkers.

Stay tuned…

Source:

Stanley, T.L. “TV is rife with apocalyptic visions.” Los Angeles Times. 28 July 2012. (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-doomsday-tv-20120729,0,7319382.story). 1 Aug. 2012.

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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 deepearthbunker.com, 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

THIS WEEKS RADIO SHOW WILL BE AT 9CST INSTEAD OF 8 BECAUSE ILL BE ON ANOTHER SHOW FROM 7-8 CST. WE WILL BEGIN AT 9CST-11PM THIS SATURDAY, GIVES ME A 1 HR BREAK BETWEEN SHOWS!

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.

GOVERNMENT ISSUES

HAARP WEATHER MODS

FEMA CAMPS

GUNS

EVERYTHING

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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Signs Of The Time, Part 47

Be prepared, because you don’t want to deal with the alternative.

-Larry Hall, Doomsday Preppers episode 5

Fans of the National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers might remember Larry Hall from episode 5, “You Shall Not Fear.”

Larry was on the Kansas plains, “building a luxury survival condominium to protect against solar flare, worldwide economic collapse, or anything Mother Nature could throw at us.”

According to his project’s website, all 8 luxury survival condo units have now been spoken for. 6 full-floor units and 2 half-floor units comprise the 7 residential levels in the former missile base. All have sold except for 1 half-floor unit, whose sale is pending. From SurvivalCondo.com:

Congratulations Larry and new condo owners.

Let me know if any of you ever need a houseboy…

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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.

Source:

Shanahan, Kristen. “‘Preppers’ preparing for the end.” First 12 News. 10 May 2012. (http://www.kxii.com/home/headlines/Preppers_getting_ready_for_the_end__150874255.html). 6 June 2012.

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Doomsday Bunkers Season 2 Airs This Winter With 16 New Episodes

Looks like the Discovery Channel TV series Doomsday Bunkers will be returning for season 2 this coming winter. From a Deep Earth Bunker press release dated May 15:

To our fans, we appreciate you more than you know. The three special episodes that aired on in March were exciting to film and be a part of, and would not have been successful without your support.

Currently, we are excited to announce that we are filming with our own production company for the winter season.

We want to express our sincere gratitude to all the people who worked with us.

We ask for your patience as 16 episodes can take several months to film and edit. You will enjoy what we have been up to and the projects we have been working on.

Be on the lookout for teaser clips and upcoming radio and television interviews!

We are working very hard behind the scenes to make the best show possible for you.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and continued support.

Sincerely,

DEB LLC

Looking forward to the new episodes…

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‘Doomsday Preppers’ Discuss Buying Abandoned Missile Bases

I’ve always been fascinated by those hardened underground complexes built to house, service, and launch our nation’s intercontinental ballistic missiles. So I found it extremely interesting that preppers Ed Peden and his spouse, Dianna Ricke-Peden, who were featured in episode 7 of the National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers, owned a company that sold abandoned missile base properties. I wrote about the couple back on March 19:

Ed and Dianna Peden live in a decommissioned Atlas missile site west of Topeka, Kansas. Ed, a retired teacher, first became interested in the complex back in the eighties when the specter of nuclear war hovered over the world…

According to the show, the missile base cost $4 million to build in 1960. Ed bought it in the eighties for $40,000. Like the Rogers family, Dianna and Ed plan on bugging-in, closing their 20-inch-thick blast-proof front door to the outside. Stocked with 12 months of food and supplies, the Peden’s renovated 20,000 square-foot bunker is very secure with its 18-inch-thick walls, an 8-foot tall steel and barbed-wire perimeter fence, a recently-installed automatic gate, and a new 360-degree security camera system.

And just this morning, I came across a video of these “Doomsday Preppers” that was posted on the CNN Money website yesterday in which Ed and Dianna talk about their business selling decommissioned missile sites and the tremendous interest these days in buying such properties. It turns out that getting a mortgage for these underground bunkers can be a real challenge. Interesting stuff:

ANY CHARACTER HERE

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Doomsday Bunkers Season 1 Now On Deep Earth Bunker Website

Speaking of the Discovery Channel TV series Doomsday Bunkers, I noticed this morning that Deep Earth Bunker, the shelter company that’s been the focus of the show, now has the entire season 1 (three episodes) embedded on its website.

For those of you who don’t have the Discovery Channel but are interested in watching the series, now’s your chance.

Doomsday Bunkers season 1 can be found in the “Doomsday/Bunker People” section of DEB’s website here.

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

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Signs Of The Time, Part 43

Those who watch the National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers and the Discovery Channel TV show Doomsday Bunkers may have noticed that quite a few of the individuals appearing on these productions are actually “prepper entrepreneurs.” These television shows, along with growing concerns about the-end-of-the-word-as-we-know-it (TEOTWAWKI), have resulted in boom times for the emergency preparedness industry. I know Deep Earth Bunker, the Dallas, Texas-based shelter company that’s featured in Doomsday Bunkers, indicated on their web site that they were swamped with interest about their products while season 1 was running. And do you remember Riley Cook from episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers? Riley was the welder living in Silverthorne, Colorado, with his wife and four kids, and who was prepping to survive a polar shift (actually, true polar wander it sounded like).

You may recall that Riley also produces underground shelters. Well, I came across the following on the 680News (Toronto, Canada) website on Monday:

A down economy appears to be good times for at least one Colorado company.

Many disaster-shelter companies across the nation can’t keep up with the demand from their customers, who all appear to be worried about the future.

The Colorado company was recently profiled on the show “Doomsday Preppers,” hosted on the National Geographic Channel.

Owner Riley Cook says their phones have been ringing off the hook ever since, with people requesting everything from survival kits to advice…

I have a feeling it’s going to be like this for a while.


“Welder goes into the Armageddon business”
9News Video

Source:

“Colorado disaster-shelter company swamped with orders.” 680News. 9 Apr. 2012. (http://www.680news.com/news/world/article/349747–colorado-disaster-shelter-company-swamped-with-orders). 13 Apr. 2012.

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers, Episode 8

I finally got the chance to watch episode number 8 of the National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers.

The show focused on three groups of preppers Tuesday night, March 27. In order of appearance:

Bruce Beach, rural Ontario, Canada
Bruce and his family have built a massive underground shelter in anticipation of an inevitable nuclear war. “We are not about survival. We are about reconstruction.”

Jeremy and Kelly, outside Salt Lake City, Utah
“I’m preparing for the collapse of society due to peak oil”

Bradford Frank, San Diego, California
“I’m preparing for a worldwide pandemic that will end life as we know it”

Here are my thoughts about episode 8 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:

Bruce Beach

Bruce Beach is a retired scientist who thinks the world as we know it will end by nuclear destruction. According to Bruce:

This is going to be a universal catastrophe. It’s that sudden. I don’t think there’s going to be a two-minute warning. There’s a distinct possibility that mankind can destroy itself. I think nuclear war is inevitable. In a catastrophe this size, 80 percent of the population will die during the first 2 years. The things that will kill them are social disruption, plagues, lack of food, lack of heat, exposure. It’s a random sort of thing as to who’s going to be saved and who isn’t.

Thinking this will be our fate, Bruce has been preparing for decades now to rescue humanity. From the show:

To save mankind from apocalyptic destruction, Bruce has taken it upon himself to build a haven for humanity. A unique place to sit out the end of the world.

Bruce and his wife Jean have constructed a 10,000 square-foot shelter that’s been designed to survive a nuclear war. Built in 1985, it’s intended to be an “underground orphanage.” Bruce explained:

Save the children. That’s a basic human characteristic. They’re our hope for the continuation of life for building a new and better world.

According to the show:

Bruce’s protected safe house is constructed from building blocks that many kids would consider familiar surroundings: 42 recycled school buses, linked together and buried under 18 inches of concrete and 14 feet of earth…

School buses can support over one-and-a-half times their weight, and can cost as little as $300 second-hand, making them a prepper favorite for bug-out vehicles, and even safe mobile homes…

It’s been estimated that if a global nuclear war occurred, up to a billion lives would be at risk in the months and years following.

Bruce revealed:

We can have 500 people in here, but have to have a number of people to watch over the children.

The underground shelter complex is named Ark 2- in honor of Noah’s Ark.

The extended Beach family contributes to the upgrade and maintenance of the facility.

Although Ark 2 is located in southern Ontario, Canada, Bruce pointed out that an attack on missile bases in the central U.S. could bring significant fallout to their area. Should this or a nearby nuclear blast be reported, the Beach family plans to head to the underground bunker, and start taking in young refugees.

And what about the children’s parents/guardians or any others who come to the shelter but are turned away? Ark 2 staffers plan on giving them “Go Away Kits,” packs that will help people live outside of the bunker. These kits includes radiation detectors.

According to the episode:

Bruce expects refugees would have to stay inside the Ark for weeks, maybe months, to avoid the worst of the radiation outside.

As such, his family has spent 30 years stockpiling “tons of food” to feed the inhabitants.

Now the show pointed out:

One of the hazards of living underground for an extended period, is making sure you have enough air to breathe. At full capacity, and without proper air circulation, Bruce’s 10,000 foot shelter would run out of oxygen in approximately half a day. So Bruce has devised a rather unusual, and cost effective, air circulation system. This strong line of garbage bags can distribute 300 cubic feet of air from the outside vents to different locations in the shelter.

They didn’t say if Ark 2 has nuclear/biological/chemical (NBC) filters for these vents. I would hope so, in order to prevent radioactive fallout from entering and contaminating the facility’s air supply.

It’s not just the Beach family who are involved with the complex. It was revealed that a network of Ark 2 preppers exists all around the United States.

These days, Bruce is busy working on an off-grid communication system, which he hopes to distribute to key members in the local community so that Ark 2 can have a link to the outside world, especially as it concerns information about supplies, radiation levels, and security when TSHTF. From the episode:

The secondary effect of a nuclear detonation is an EMP, a wave of electromagnetic energy powerful enough to bring down the grid. So they are building a ham radio system, widely used by preppers, because it relies only on naturally-existing radio waves to transmit messages, and can work independently from the electrical grid.

According to the show, a 1.4 megaton bomb detonated 250 miles above Kansas would destroy most of the electronics in the United States.

As the segment drew to a close, Bruce Beach left viewers with this:

The Ark is about our service to humanity. And whether or not I pass the Ark on to the grandchildren is irrelevant. What is important is that I pass on to my grandchildren is a dedication of service to humanity. So that’s what my life is about. What my legacy will be, I have no idea.

Jeremy and Kelly

Jeremy (no last name given) is the owner of a digital media company. He and his wife Kelly have a 1-year-old son, Zander. The young family are preparing for peak oil- and what it could mean for our society. From the show:

The term peak oil refers to the eventual decline in the supply of oil reserves. If oil becomes harder to get, the price will increase past the point where people can afford to buy it. The U.S. alone consumes 20 million barrels of oil every day, and global demand is projected to grow by a quarter by 2030.

Jeremy talked about his concerns with peak oil:

I think drastic changes could happen literally in a matter of a couple of years from now. All it takes is for the demand for oil to outstrip the supply, and we’ve been on the razor’s edge of that for a really long time. My worst case scenario is that oil exporting countries stop exporting, and gas pumps start running dry around America. Then that just has a cascading effect across our entire society. People won’t be able to go to work. And if you can’t go to work, then infrastructure starts to fail…

Once infrastructure starts to fail, we could eventually even see the grid go down. And if the grid goes down, society as we know it will be very, very changed.

Kelly recalled something that might sound familiar to a number of preppers:

My first reaction to my husband’s desire to start prepping was a little scared. I actually walked away, and was like, trying to ignore him, because I didn’t want to admit it. It took me about a year to finally come to terms with the idea of prepping.

Jeremy said this about his prepping:

I like to think of myself as a fairly-balanced person. And I don’t think this is an obsession. It’s just a precaution.

To deal with potential water shortages, Jeremy and Kelly look to their 450 gallon hot tub. From the show:

Jeremy and Kelly are able to ration their hot tub water by using the drainage tube. This allows them to preserve a precious resource. Having clean water is essential to survival. So in a grid-down situation, it is imperative to have a water purification system. The 450 gallons in the hot tub could hydrate Jeremy, Kelly, and Zander for about 8 months.

Jeremy is also concerned about infections and disease. He noted:

One of the concerns in the post-collapse world is the lack of access to medical facilities, antibiotics, things like that.

According to the episode:

80 percent of the active ingredients used in American drugs are made overseas. And without the fuel to ship them, emergency treatment would be in short supply. So Jeremy is leaving nothing to chance.

The Utah prepper revealed:

It turns out that the antibiotics used for fish tanks is actually the same antibiotics as are prescribed for humans, so you can actually get human antibiotics at a pet store.

The show added:

Common antibiotics like amoxicillin are marketed under different names for aquatic use. Fish antibiotics are a favorite among preppers to stockpile, because they are widely available without a prescription or pharmacist.

I’ve come across material on the web for and against the substitution of fish antibiotics for human antibiotics. Since you’re only talking about your health here, it would probably be wise to research this very carefully before heading down to the local pet store to pick up some fish antibiotics.

The show returned to the topic of peak oil. From the episode:

Experts disagree as to when we will reach the peak of oil production. Some estimate it will peak as soon as 2035. Jeremy believes it already has.

Remember, “peak oil” doesn’t necessarily mean the Earth is running out of crude oil. Rather, it refers to the maximum rate of the production of crude oil.

Speaking of oil, Jeremy and Kelly have in their possession a bug-out vehicle known as “The Beast.” It’s a military surplus M35 2 1/2 ton cargo truck that Jeremy bought for $3,500. Due to the size of the vehicle, it serves as the family’s transportation and shelter in a SHTF situation. Best of all, it’s has multi-fuel capability, meaning it can be run on regular gas, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, and used motor oil.

Jeremy is shown collecting used motor oil for “The Beast.” His goal is to stockpile 1,000-1,500 gallons of it.

Near the end of the segment, the family practiced a bug-out drill. During the exercise, Jeremy taught Kelly how to drive the “deuce-and-a-half.” Telling her to “man-handle” it on rough terrain, she “woman-handles” the truck instead, and lets out a priceless roar.

Bradford Frank

Bradford Frank is a psychiatrist who lives in sunny San Diego, California, with his wife Narin and daughter Alexandria. He’s concerned a pandemic will bring about TEOTWAWKI . Bradford said:

Sometimes people refer to me as Doctor Doom. I think that most people would look at me and say, “He’s a nut case. He a psychiatrist, he’s obviously crazy.” And that’s the reason I don’t talk to a lot of people about prepping. I went to Yale and studied infectious diseases. And, that’s where I started to get interested in influenza, and in particular, bird flu.

Bradford added:

Super influenza- a super bug- is not a completely new event.

From the episode:

He believes a new, extremely-contagious form of bird flu will transmit to humans, then spread through the population like wildfire.

The World Health Organization considers 100 million infections a conservative estimates for a global pandemic.

Bradford predicted:

People would become hysterical, there would be chaos throughout the world. It’s not a question if it’s going to occur again. It’s only a question of when.

As a physician, the California prepper has easier access to medicine than most others. He explained:

I am able to obtain antibiotics and other medications because I am a physician. I actually buy these in large quantities. So we have all these medicines. It’s a little bit hard to know what to do with the antibiotics if you’re not a doctor.

The show added:

After a pandemic, Bradford believes hospitals will become hot zones for infection. So he’s stockpiling antibiotics to ensure his family never needs to leave the house for medical care.

Bradford’s wife, Narin, is concerned her spouse is wasting money on preparedness gear and supplies. She revealed:

I told him you like to think all negative things. And scary things. And nothing’s going to happen.

Despite her objections, Bradford stockpiles food, including 1,000 lbs. of rice. From the episode:

Bradford considers rice the perfect prepper food, because it’s inexpensive, contains protein, and has a long shelf-life.

The Franks’ daughter, Alexandria, seems a bit more understanding of her father’s efforts. She said:

I don’t really know how I feel about my dad being so concerned about bird flu. He lets it go to his head too much sometimes, and I feel he can be a little neurotic. But, it’s good that we have a little back up plan.

The show revealed the family has enough food stashed away to last a year.

Viewers were provided some insight into Narin’s stance on preparedness. Narin is from Cambodia, and all her primary relatives were killed by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. At 19, she escaped from one of their prison camps, and did whatever was required to survive.

Could talk of prepping be bringing back bad memories? She said:

I don’t need a lot of food. And I don’t need a lot of medicine. I know how to survive in a different way.

Maybe so. But not needing a lot of food or medicine doesn’t mean squat should an easily-communicable and lethal strain of influenza arrive at your door. And should its appearance result in societal collapse, Narin must remember she’s no longer 19 as well.

Bradford is concerned that the infected will target doctors’ homes in search of medicine. Subsequently, he replaced his home’s sliding doors with quarter-inch thick sheets of ballistic glass, which repels projectiles and bullets. And according to the show:

Some glass manufacturers are making “one-way” bullet proof glass, allowing for return fire at the exterior threat

Interesting. Will have to look into that one.

Because the potential exists for infection via his neighbors, Bradford secured an isolated bug-out location- a gem mine 2.5 hours from San Diego. He pointed out:

The number one protection in a global pandemic is being away from other people who may be infectious.

The prepper also revealed just how driven he is to survive this and other life-threatening scenarios. Bradford said:

I have just a very powerful survival instinct that would propel me to continue to scratch and claw my way forward.

Getting back to the cave, the underground shelter brought back bad memories for Narin. During her flight from the Khmer Rouge, she was forced to hide in one for 2 months.

As such, it might not work for the Frank family.

Plus, in the “Expert Assessment” portion of segment, Practical Preppers LLC offered up the following:

However, if you ultimately choose to bug-out to an isolated location, we do not suggest a cave. A cave is susceptible to moisture, which would destroy your food stores.

In the “Doomsday Preppers Update,” viewers were informed that Bradford was carjacked at gunpoint while on vacation. He said:

Things turned out well, and the perpetrators are behind bars. But I actually hope that this experience is a positive one for my family in helping them understand that bad things can happen even when you least expect them.

Overall, another good episode of Doomsday Preppers. More interesting ideas to explore. Plus, I liked the additional focus on spouses and family members in this installment. I have a feeling there’s a lot more Narins out there than Jeans or Kellys when it comes to embracing prepping and the advantages it gives the individual/family should a SHTF event take place. But that’s not meant to take away anything from Mrs. Frank, who, as a survivor of the Cambodian “killing fields,” is obviously one tough, resilient woman. However, based on her experience “living” in “Democratic” Kampuchea, one might think she’d be more open to being prepared for those unexpected life-threatening situations that come along every once in a while, like a murderous regime seizing power or global pandemic, for example.

Anyway, I wish these preppers success in their endeavors.

New episodes of Doomsday Preppers air on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific Time. For more information, go to the Nat Geo Channel website here.

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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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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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Pyramyd Air is your one-stop shop for everything airgun related.PyramidAir.com Reviewed HERE
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Buying Gold GoldMoney Reviewed HERE
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Airsoft Megastore Reviewed HERE
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RealtyTrac RealtyTrac Reviewed HERE
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