underground shelters

Disaster Retreat: A ‘Prepped Community’ In Central Virginia

Back on November 13, I blogged about how the 5,000-person Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort that was to be constructed in an existing below-ground complex just outside of Atchison, Kansas, had been cancelled. I wrote:

Too bad the project didn’t pan out. I’ll have to check around and see if a similar affordable private underground shelter isn’t in the works someplace else in the United States.

Well, I did check around, and wasn’t able to find another private underground survival shelter of that size in the works. However, I did stumble on a related project out in central Virginia the other day that caught my attention.

Enter Disaster Retreat. From the website’s FAQ page:

WHAT IS DISASTER RETREAT?

Disaster Retreat is a 160+ acre former private hunting reserve. Now offered as a rural retreat in times of crisis.

Disaster Retreat is a “Prepped Community”. We do the upkeep and tenants have the security of knowing they have a place prepared. Tenants also have greater privacy by not attaching their own names to any government documents.

Disaster Retreat is NOT a vacation home, rather it is an active insurance against disaster. Tenants pay a monthly fee and to lease space and have supplies “Prepped” for the tenants arrival.

A place that will actually PROTECT your Family! An investment that will provide shelter and security for your family, even in the most tumultuous of times.

WHAT DOES DISASTER RETREAT OFFER?

Disaster Retreat offers leases on 1/4 acre and up parcels of land. The tenants are highly encouraged to install their own private underground bunkers. As part of the lease, Disaster Retreat provides all emergency food and water supplies for the tenants.

Our onsite caretaker will rotate these supplies for each individual tenant and ensure all bunkers are in good working order. The objective is to have everything ready at all times.

FOOD AND SHELTER: Sleep well knowing, that no matter what the emergency, you have a home consisting of your private shelter waiting for you and ready. Meals for you and your family can be included in your lease and the stock can be monitored and refreshed, as needed, by our staff.

WATER AND POWER: If you choose Off-the-Grid water and power, you are guaranteed that you and your loved ones will always have the things they need. Our staff will also rotate and refresh your unit’s internal water storage, as needed.

SAFETY AND SECURITY: Disaster Retreat provides you the opportunity to “Bug Out” and retreat to a safe location, complete with your own personal space and all of the necessities of modern living. As we all hope for the best, YOU will be prepared for the worst… from Natural Disasters, Man-Made Acts of Aggression to Nuclear War.

You Can Now Own an Underground Bunker, the Zenith of Emergency Preparedness!

Here is the land, now is the time! Disaster Retreat is giving you the ability to lease your own wooded acreage, with the explicit permission to install your very own Underground Bunker or Fallout Shelter, without you having to take care of it all! Who has the time for that, as time is money. Best of all it is only a short trip from your home now!

We have even negotiated special pricing on behalf of our tenants, with Ultimate Bunker, a premier bunker manufacturer, specializing in family and luxury bunkers…


“Disaster Retreat, Your Prepper Community.”
YouTube Video

There’s quite a bit more information about the “crisis retreat” on that FAQ page, including:

HOW DO I GET TO DISASTER RETREAT?

Disaster Retreat is within driving distance of Northern VA, Washington DC and Raleigh NC. We also offer a private landing strip and Helipad.

WHAT DOES IT COST?

Our pricing is very simple. It starts at $997 per 1⁄4 acre for standard-sized lots. However, the member can chose premium lots or multiple lots in order to meet their individual needs…

WHAT IS INCLUDED WITH A LEASE?

All of the specifics are spelled out in our lease agreement but the basics are the following:

– A 10 year lease to place an underground bunker.
– Maintenance of lease area so that it is ready for you 24/7.
– As much or as little support as you want setting up at the beginning.
– $400 worth of shelf-life food for your initial food stock.
– Year round running streams.
– Confidentiality.
– Pre-event security.
– Private emergency grass landing strip and helipad.
– Shelter maintenance per manufacturer’s recommendations if desired.
– Many other services can be added to the lease agreement to meet individual desires.

Sounds promising. I wonder if someone would build anything like that out in my neck of the woods (Chicagoland)?

For more information, visit the Disaster Retreat website here.

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

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World’s Largest Private Underground Shelter Project Cancelled

There’s been more talk than usual in the news about underground survival shelters due to a recent Wall Street Journal article featuring luxury survival condo builder Larry Hall of Doomsday Preppers-fame (blogged about here in March 2012). Headlining that November 9 piece:

“Affluent buyers worried about doomsday are snapping up well-appointed bunkers built in a former missile silo”

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know the wealthy have been acquiring survival shelters for a number of years now.

But what about those who would like the perceived safety of a bunker but don’t have the financial resources to acquire one? Well, they may have been consoled knowing there were plans for a more affordable 5,000-person Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort (wrote about in June 2013) to be built in an existing below-ground complex just south of Atchison, Kansas. Encompassing over 2 million square feet, it was billed as the world’s largest private underground survival shelter. But checking on the status of the project today, I read the following on the website of Del Mar, California-based Vivos Group:

Vivos has reluctantly decided to pull the plug on the Atchison, KS project for use as an underground survival shelter from our expanding network. Despite our significant investment of time and expense for the intended retrofit and outfitting of the cave system, numerous concerns arose related to the geological stability and safety of the cave structure that we believe may compromise its ability to withstand the anticipated forces of future catastrophic or earth changing events. These are risks we simply cannot take with potentially so many lives at stake.

Our concerns included many issues from a history of previous ‘domeout’ cave collapses, with the potential for unforeseeable and unpredictable future cave-ins; controlling the ongoing humidity and temperature extremes; to a variety of health and environmental concerns expressed by our members and crew who visited the facility with no clear means of mitigation.

We hope to soon be able to offer another shelter within this geographic region of America. In the meantime, please contact us about other immediate Vivos shelter opportunities.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“World’s largest doomsday shelter coming to Kansas”
YouTube Video

Too bad the project didn’t pan out. I’ll have to check around and see if a similar affordable private underground shelter isn’t in the works someplace else in the United States.

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

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘The Fight Ahead’ Preview

A week ago, I blogged about the start of season 3 of the National Geographic Channel’s hit TV series Doomsday Preppers. I noted that I was able to get an advance screening DVD of the first two episodes for the new season. Before it airs tonight at 9 PM ET, I want to preview episode 2 of Doomsday Preppers, entitled, “The Fight Ahead.” From the Nat Geo Channel website:

Prepper Chad believes that a nuclear strike resulting in a genocidal siege is a real possibility. At his home in Arizona, he is working on executing the biggest prep of his life- a 140-foot-long escape tunnel from his family’s house to a bug-out vehicle. With the help of his wife and daughter, he begins construction. But as the project unfolds, they realize they’re in over their heads.

In addition to Chad Hudspeth, his wife Debbie, and daughters Heidi and Holly out in Phoenix, there’s Mike Evock and his family out in Laurinburg, North Carolina, who are prepping for a biological/chemical attack.


“Tunnel Time”
YouTube Video

I watched the “The Fight Ahead” a couple of weeks ago and thought it was pretty good, especially as it contained a bunch of potential prepping ideas. Keep an eye out for the following tonight:

-The Hudspeth’s backyard aquaponics system, which also generates algae for producing biodiesel fuel
-The addition of an underground shelter with escape tunnel to the Hudspeth home
-The family’s use of a single code word to signal TSHTF
-The Evock’s being able to run a family business from their bug-out location
-Their BioDome, a portable sealed-off safe room that protects against biological/chemical attack
-Their combat-capable ATV, the “Interceptor”
-How to produce homemade caltrops, a tire-deflating device made from spiked steel

Like I said- lots on potential ideas in this episode.

One more thing. I noticed that while Practical Preppers LLC is still assessing the preppers featured in the TV series, I didn’t see any scores displayed for them at the end of the first two episodes of the third season. I wonder if it’s because I’m viewing copies that are “not cleared for broadcast.”

For more information about Doomsday Preppers, visit the National Geographic Channel here.

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

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Signs Of The Time, Part 66

I don’t care what Uncle Sam says- costs seem to keep rising almost everywhere I look.

For those just beginning to prep, the price of gear and supplies these days are probably pretty daunting.

To conserve funds, many preppers/survivalists might want to take a “needs versus wants” approach to acquiring these things.

Thankfully, there are plenty of businesses around in 2013 to cater to them for necessities.

And with over 3 million preppers/survivalists in the United States, there’s billions of dollars to be made.

John C. Ogg wrote on the website of New York City-based financial news and opinion organization 24/7 Wall St. earlier this week:

Whether they prepare for long or short-term emergencies, at the very least survivalists plan to have the basic necessities: food, clothing and shelter. Many prepare for much more than the basics with self-defense and security measures, power systems, water filtration, communications and bunkers. Given their numbers and their willingness to spend money, catering to doomsday preppers has become a multibillion dollar business. Regardless of which item is being considered, each $1,000 of expenses for just 1 million people comes to $1 billion.

Ogg went on to identify “the industries making the most money on doomsday preppers.”

Prepping. Not only does it benefit you and your loved ones- but American businesses as well.

You can read the rest of the insightful piece on the 24/7 Wall St. website here.

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On TV: Doomsday Garage ‘Suburban Commando’ Review

Remember when I blogged the other day about a new “doomsday”-themed TV show on the cable/satellite channel Country Music Television?

Well, I got the chance to watch the premier episode of Doomsday Garage this afternoon.

Here’s a short summary of what went on in “Suburban Commando”:

The show started off with the following intro:

When all Hell breaks lose, people need to defend themselves and get out of harm’s way. A bunker isn’t going to cut it. It’s just an underground death trap. You’ve got to stay mobile. That’s where we come in. My son and I build custom vehicles called bug-out trucks. Whether it’s a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, or a government takeover, you need to be tougher than the danger ahead. We build bug-out trucks, so regular Joes can protect themselves and their families. We’re the best in the business, because we live by only one rule:

When danger strikes, you’ve got to strike back.

Viewers were introduced to the following garage personnel (in order of appearance):

-Jeff (Aylesworth): Owner, The Toy Store, Longview, Washington
-Zach (Aylesworth): Jeff’s son and tasked with vehicle design
-Aaron: Fabricator
-Marion: Fabricator
-Mike: Weapons expert

In this episode, the client was Ryan, a prepper. Ryan lives with his wife Tina and three boys in the suburbs, and explained to viewers:

My fear is economic collapse, and the anarchy that would ensue, leaving a wasteland of desperate people doing desperate things.

I need a bug-out truck that would get my family and I to safety. I’m doing what every good husband and father should do.

Should Ryan and his young family ever have to “bug out,” they’d have to traverse some real difficult terrain by the sounds of it.

And besides needing to have the ability to go off-road, Ryan’s discussion with Jeff and Zach revealed their “survival truck” required weapons and a quad (all-terrain vehicle).

Regarding weaponry, Ryan insisted:

Big, right? We need to make that statement. We need to make sure that people know it’s about business.

This I had to see.

This first part of Doomsday Garage really reminded me of the beginning of Doomsday Bunkers.

Having the information they need from the client interview, the garage went to work.

Due to the size of the family and requirements , Jeff and Zach selected an older but in good shape Chevy Suburban for their vehicle platform (cost $4,000).

Thousands of dollars more were poured into the project with the following “improvements”:

-Full body exoskeleton (exterior roll cage) for protection and strength
-Roof rack for supplies, quad ramps
-Small drone for reconnaissance
-Four-wheeled ATV
-Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun (selected by Zach with Mike’s help)
-Paint job (all black truck, yellow cage)

It’s a sweet-looking bug-out vehicle, that’s all I can say.

Ryan and Tina seemed to think so too, and the last part of the “Suburban Commando” showed the couple putting their BOV through the paces with the help of Mike and the garage.

By the time Tina chewed up and detonated a junked car with her “Ma Deuce,” it became all too clear that not only did their customized Chevy Suburban look the part of a survival truck, but played it as well.

So what did I think about the premiere episode of Doomsday Garage?

I liked it. The premiere episode offered a little bit of everything for the prepper/survivalist, the gearhead, the off-roading enthusiast, the gun “nut,” and the “reality” TV fan.

Jeff, Zach, and the rest of cast are likeable too.

As I mentioned earlier, the format reminded me of Doomsday Bunkers quite a bit (which is funny considering the intro flamed underground shelters), where Deep Earth Bunker would meet with clients, talk to them about their needs, go about fabricating the customized underground shelter, and bring the clients to where their bunker was being fabricated.

Also, like I’ve said before with other prepper/survivalist-themed TV productions, I’m big on education/information with as little as possible “reality” TV. While I would have preferred more info on the various aspects of the setup and project (you can’t just buy an M2 machine gun at the local gun shop), the production company behind Doomsday Garage thankfully kept the reality stuff to a minimum (Aaron breaking the die on the pipe bender was the only instance of drama I can remember).

Come to think of it, there wasn’t much to dislike about the show at all. The only thing I really had a beef with was the episode being only a half-hour long. With such a time constraint, a lot of material can only be glossed-over. If that’s all the time Doomsday Garage will have to work with down the road, perhaps pop-ups can be utilized to share more information with viewers.

While Doomsday Garage looks set up to be an ongoing TV series, I couldn’t find anything on the Country Music Television website that indicates it will be.

Here’s hoping it is.

For more information about the show, visit the CMT website here.

And if you don’t have cable/satellite and CMT, don’t fret though, because CMT has uploaded the entire episode on their website here. Enjoy!

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

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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: Doomsday Castle

Tuesday night, the premiere episode of the new National Geographic Channel television series Doomsday Castle aired. Despite thinking I wouldn’t be able to watch “Before The Flood” until a later date, I did manage to view it.

This is actually the second time I’ve talked about Doomsday Castle on the blog. From July 26:

I first got wind of Doomsday Castle back in the spring. From the Nat Geo Channel website:

Castles were the ultimate homes for the original preppers – kings and noblemen, who were under constant threat from neighboring enemies. But for American prepper Brent, a castle is the perfect defense for the doomsday scenario he fears will set the world back to the Dark Ages – an electromagnetic burst that causes massive power grid failure. Brent, with the help of his children, is on a quest to finish his towering castle that is isolated deep in the Carolina mountains. But the apocalypse he fears might shy in comparison to the clash of characters of his five children as they try to live and work together to prepare for the worst. If doomsday comes, will this family survive to rule the mountains, or will it self-destruct before the castle is ever completed?

Prepper Brent. Several children. A castle in the Carolina mountains. Any of this sound familiar to fans/followers of the Doomsday Preppers TV series? Brent, his family, and his castle starred in season 2 of the popular show in the episode entitled “No Such Thing As a Fair Fight.” From the Nat Geo Doomsday Preppers web page:

Businessman by day, prepper by night. Brent lives in fear of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that will make the world go dark, leaving his family of 12 with nothing. To prep for life after the EMP, Brent has constructed a medieval-style castle that will serve as the ultimate bug-out fortress.

On August 13 at 10 PM Eastern Time, “Before The Flood” debuts. According to the show’s webpage:

Brent Sr., a retired infantry officer, recruits his children to help him finish building his doomsday castle, a completely self-sufficient fortress of refuge for the end of days. His children are shocked at the conditions of the bunker, and Brent II even calls it a “hoarder’s paradise.” The first tasks are building a drawbridge for the front door and cleaning out the bunker, where the family will live during construction.


“Doomsday Castle: Welcome to the Castle”
National Geographic Channel Video

You might be wondering what I thought of the premier episode of Doomsday Castle.

Well, back in the early 1980s, I came across a book by award-winning author and illustrator David Macaulay entitled Castle, which was a “step-by-step planning and construction of both castle and town.” I remember there being a television special based on the book as well. Not really being into the medieval before those encounters, I became somewhat fascinated by the topic thereafter.

So I shouldn’t have been too surprised when I actually came away from watching “Before The Flood” rather upbeat about the production going forward.

I’m not really sure why I should be. It contained a bit of that so-called “reality” show drama that others seem to like but I can do without (although to be fair, it’s more family dysfunctionality-based, which I’m guessing is reality for a lot of people- including myself). And preppers/survivalists hoping to learn a bunch of new stuff from the show were probably disappointed from that debut episode (the rat trap was rather something though).

But that castle.

Man oh man. I can’t begin to tell you how interested I am in seeing how Brent and his family build out that monstrous structure over time. I have a feeling if there’s any learning to be done, it will be related primarily to the construction of that castle. As much as I’m interested in that material, it would be nice if a lot more preparedness material was covered down the road however.

As for Brent and his family- Brent II, Ashley, Lindsey, Dawn-Marie, and Michael-I like them. Brent Sr. has a handsome family, and most of them seem like they can bring a good deal to the table in this project.

The jury’s still out on Brent II and Ashley though. Brent The Younger’s got this sinister Jeff Goldblum thing going on (should be cast as his younger brother in an upcoming film), and then there’s Ashley, who came away looking somewhat like a prima donna in the first episode. Still, both of them could be revelations down the stretch.

In my opinion, if Doomsday Castle keeps the “reality” show drama to a minimum and amps up the educational content, I think National Geographic Channel could have another hit TV series on its hands.

Otherwise, retaining viewers could be feudal.

I know. Corny as hell.

It’s 12:23 Thursday morning. Time to go to sleep.

For more information about Doomsday Castle, you can visit the National Geographic Channel’s web page for the new series 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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Coming Soon: Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort In Kansas

In the last two days or so, the media has picked up on the construction of what’s being called the world’s largest private underground survival shelter in Atchison, Kansas. After reading/seeing a couple of pieces about the proposed facility, I have to admit, this “hu-man cave” sounds kind of cool. Plus, it seems to be affordable.

From Del Mar, California-based The Vivos Group, a privately-funded venture with no religious affiliations that’s building a global network of underground shelters, comes the Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort. Here’s what the Vivos website has to say about the new project:

NOT JUST A SHELTER, BUT A YEAR-ROUND RESORT

This massive underground complex encompasses over 2 million square feet of existing shelter area. Now being outfitted, the Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort will accommodate approximately 5,000 people for a minimum of one year of autonomous survival, without the need to return to the surface. Located nearly 130 feet below the mountain surface, carved out of solid limestone, and having a strength 6 times stronger than concrete, this massive structure will resist virtually any predictable disaster or catastrophic event.

This Vivos complex will also be a year-round resort offering its co-owner members the opportunity to visit the shelter anytime they desire, 24/7. With a host of survival, educational and recreational activities and amenities, the Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort will be an attraction for the entire family, both above and below ground.

At full capacity, the underground complex will save the lives of nearly 1 in every 1 million people on Earth, along with precious museum artifacts and treasures, the DNA and gamete cells of thousands within a series of cryovaults, volumes of data, books, and more.

This shelter is a virtual fortress with full-time security and protection devices, drive-thru blast doors that can withstand a nuclear blast from mere miles away, filtration systems for nuclear radiation and fallout, biological pathogens and chemical war gases.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the shelter is that members can drive a full size recreational trailer or motor home directly inside, with space for more than 1,000 vehicles. Like an underground RV park, each family will enjoy the privacy of their own vehicle, meeting their particular needs and comfort standards. Due to the economies of scale of this mega complex, the effective cost per person for access is now reduced to about 10% of the other smaller Vivos shelters. A family of 4 in a 25 foot long RV can join in for $25,000, with pricing set at $1,000 per lineal foot of their vehicle’s length.

The ongoing resort and recreational benefits are well worth the price of co-ownership, not to mention the ability to protect your family from virtually every foreseeable future catastrophe. We are confident this shelter will become your resort vacation destination, year after year!

KCTV5
“World’s largest doomsday shelter to open in Atchison”
Channel 5 Kansas City Video
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As to when the Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort will be completed, according to the Vivos website:

The shelter already exists… retrofitting and outfitting is being completed in on a phased basis, with the critical life-support equipment and fixtures having a priority. Upon completion of the first phase these elements will be completed and the shelter will be fully operational…

We are hopeful that the first phase will be completed by the fall of 2013.

For more information about the Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort shelter in Atchison, Kansas, you can visit The Vivos Group’s 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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Thoughts About Independence USA After Season 2

Yesterday I mentioned Glenn Beck’s The Blaze TV. The more I watch the channel on satellite TV (DISH Network ch. 212 in Chicago), the more I’m impressed with it. As a matter of fact, a terrific prepper/survivalist-themed “reality” TV show on The Blaze is Independence USA. I discussed what this successor to Apocalypse PA is about back in a September 14 post. I also noted at that time:

Starting Sunday, September 16, new episodes of Independence USA will be airing on TheBlazeTV.

And I intend to be watching.

As for those episodes I missed? Here’s hoping there will be an Independence USA marathon sometime soon.

Well, I have been watching, and it appears season 2 has ended after 10 episodes (season 1 comprised 8 installments).

Here are some thoughts about Independence USA after their sophomore season:

• Regular readers of the blog know I watch a good deal of “doomsday” TV. The Blaze TV’s Independence USA is “reality” TV, not unlike National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers and Discovery Channel’s Doomsday Bunkers. And like the other two television series, it’s good. Real good in my opinion.
• I like to watch Doomsday Preppers because I’m curious to see what Americans across the country are doing to prepare for TEOTWAWKI. I like watching Doomsday Bunkers because I’ve always been fascinated by underground shelters ever since I was a kid, and I like the technical aspect of the show. As for Independence USA? Frank Belcastro and his family are “preparing for the worst, one unbelievable project at a time.” While the family is very likeable, it’s the projects that really draw me in. I find myself eagerly anticipating Sunday night to see what projects (old and new) Frank, wife Kim, son Adam, and daughter Emma are working on to bring them closer to achieving self-sufficiency.
• Regarding the projects- discussion and information provided about them isn’t really too in-depth. Just enough to give viewers an idea of why they’re needed and what’s entailed in making them happen. If I’m really interested in finding out more about something I saw in an episode, I just jump on the Internet and start digging around. My favorite Belcastro project from the episodes I’ve seen has to be the underground shelter made from a shipping container. Very cool.
• It was obvious from watching the episode that featured their remote campsite and “new” cabin cruiser that the Belcastro family and Independence USA plan on sticking around for a while. That would be nice. Make it happen Glenn.
• The Blaze could really run with this TV series. Doomsday Preppers has a tremendous presence on the Nat Geo Channel portion of the National Geographic website (which comes to no surprise as it’s their highest-rated television series). The same could be done with Independence USA on The Blaze TV area of TheBlaze.com. At the very least, the “Episodes” area of the show’s webpage could use more detail. The Blaze TV wasn’t picked up by the DISH Network until recently. As such, DISH customers missed season 1 of Independence USA. I’ve seen a bunch of episodes now, but I’m not too sure which season they belonged to. I also know I didn’t see all of them in order. I saw a greenhouse being built on top of the buried Belcastro bunker in one episode, and the bunker being installed in a “later” one. Yep- more info on the show’s webpage would be real nice to help viewers keep track of things. Also, how about an Independence USA marathon for DISH Network customers, or replaying all 18 episodes of season 1 and 2 before the next season premieres? Like I said, The Blaze could really run with this show.

In my opinion, The Blaze has a real gem here with Independence USA. I think it could rival Doomsday Preppers in popularity if Glenn Beck’s crew play their cards right.

You can find out more information about the show on TheBlaze.com here.

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Self Reliance Expo In Hickory, North Carolina, This Friday And Saturday

Any Survival And Prosperity readers near Hickory, North Carolina? Here’s an event that’s going down Friday and Saturday that might be worth checking out:

Self Reliance Expo

Join the largest expo of its kind in the nation!

Sept. 14-15, 2012

Fri. 11am-7pm, Sat. 9am-7pm

Hickory Convention Center, 1960 13th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory, NC

Our family friendly event focuses on traditional values and long forgotten skills.

We bring you over 50 training classes and presentations.

All Self Reliance subjects to be covered.

Over a 100 exhibitors with products and discounts!

Whether you are starting out or have years of experience, we have something for you!

Tickets are $10/per person for BOTH DAYS!

Remember – Kids are FREE! (12 and under)

I read on the website free tours will be given of an Atlas Underground Shelter. Pretty cool.

For more information, visit the Self Reliance Expo home page here, or this page for event-specific info.

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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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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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