underground shelters

Rise Of The Survival Communities

Fast and Furious.

No, not the alleged Obama administation gun-running progam.

Rather, the number and frequency of articles concerning the rich buying “luxury bunkers” these days.

That being said, I spotted a piece over on The Atlantic website (slated for next month’s print edition) which I think might interest readers.

In “A Resort for the Apocaypse,” Ben Rowen wrote:

On July 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy spoke to the American people of a need “new to our shores” for emergency preparedness, including fallout shelters. The bunkers of that era- Brutalist, cement, with foldout beds and stockpiled food- were designed to protect families in the event that the Cold War turned hot.

It never did, but fears of cataclysm- nuclear and otherwise- are back. So are shelters, with a twist. Growing numbers of “preppers” hope to ride out various doomsday scenarios in luxury

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Rowen brought up Rising S Company, “one of several companies that specialize in high-end shelters,” and which I just blogged about here. But he also pointed out “a handful of bunker companies are building entire survival communities in remote locations.” From the article:

One project, Vivos XPoint, involves refurbishing 575 munitions-storage bunkers in South Dakota; Vivos Europa One, in Germany, is a Soviet armory turned luxury community with a subterranean swimming pool.

By contrast, Trident Lakes 4, a 700-acre, $330 million development in Ector, Texas, an hour and a half north of Dallas, is being built from scratch…

Seriously, what is it with Texas and bunkers?

Rowen went on to write a good deal about the Trident Lakes project, being billed as a “5-star playground, equipped with DEFCON 1 preparedness.”

He also noted the following about the deep-pocketed clients of luxury underground survival shelters and communities:

Jeff Schlegelmilch, the deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, told me that the luxury-bunker trend is “not just a couple of fringe groups; there is real money behind it- hundreds of millions of dollars.” But why are wealthy people buying?

Some customers appear to be motivated by old anxieties, recently revived- the threat of nuclear war, or a national-debt default that leads to unrest. Others have newer fears: climate change, pandemics, terrorism, far-left and far-right extremism. The presidential election has brought new faces into the fold, namely liberals (who also contributed to a record number of background checks- an indicator of gun purchases- on Black Friday)…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Interesting. But are any of the survival communities mentioned potentially within the budget of the not-so-well-heeled? Well, Vivos xPoint, which is being billed as “the largest survival community on earth,” advertises this on their project web page:

Priced At Just $25,00 Per Bunker
No Per Person Charge

The biggest feature is the extremely low and affordable price. Each bunker is being privately and exclusively provided under:

A Bunker Lease for 99-years, with a one-time, upfront payment of just $25,000 per bunker;

coupled with,

A Ground Lease for 99-years, with an ongoing payment of just $1,000 per year

Your bunker will be your blank canvas to prepare as much, or as little as you like, with no restrictions on how many people will share it with you when the moment of truth (aka SHTF) arrives. So, you may bring as many friends and family as you like to accommodate in your private bunker, at NO EXTRA CHARGE!

If you shelter 10 people in your bunker, the effective cost is just $2,500 each. With 20 people, the cost is just $1,250 per person. Do the math, there is no lower cost shelter solution, anywhere


Vivos xPoint Promo Video

Watching that marketing video, Vivos isn’t kidding about that “blank canvas” bit.

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity might remember The Vivos Group from a June 2013 post about the planned construction of “the world’s largest private underground survival shelter”- Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort- in an existing below-ground complex in Atchison, Kansas. Alas, the project was cancelled as “numerous concerns arose related to the geological stability and safety of the cave structure that we believe may compromise its ability to withstand the anticipated forces of future catastrophic or earth changing events.”

From the looks of things, that setback hasn’t stopped Vivos from charging ahead with new projects.

You can read “A Resort for the Apocalypse” here on The Atlantic website.

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

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any product/property offerings is not to be construed as being a recommendation from this blog and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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The Rich Keep Buying Survival Bunkers

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

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

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

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

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

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

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

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

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

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


“This doomsday bunker costs $3 million”
YouTube Video

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

Sources:

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

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

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

Signs Of The Time, Part 102

From the official website of the National Association of REALTORS- realtor.com- this past Tuesday:

“Prepping for Doomsday: Bunkers, Panic Rooms, and Going Off the Grid”

Excerpts from the article included:

“If the booming sales of panic rooms are any indication, more and more city dwellers these days are obsessively worrying about everything from home invasions to terror attacks…”

“Some real estate companies are seeing big increases by specializing in ‘survivalist properties’…”

“Survivalists are also particularly hungry for metal containers they can convert into shelters and bury underground…”

While there’s the expected mocking tone to the piece (“Welcome to the brave (and for some, highly profitable) new world of paranoia”), it’s still an interesting look at what’s going on with panic/safe rooms, survival real estate, and (underground) shelters- topics I’ve blogged about from time to time over the last several years.

You can read the entire article on realtor.com here.

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

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Sky News Investigates Preppers

Our cousins across the pond are taking a particular interest in preppers these days.

Last week, it was the folks over at The Economist (UK).

This week, it’s Sky News.

Dominic Waghorn investigated preppers for a report entitled The Doom Boom which aired on Britain’s Sky News last night. The U.S. correspondent started with:

I’ve reported from around the world on countries coping with adversity. In America, I’ve witnessed terrorist attacks, extreme weather, civil unrest. But I’ve never felt society here is on the brink of collapse. And yet it seems, an increasing number of Americans do. I want to find out why, and what they’re doing to get ready.

Waghorn then met with several preppers (a few of Doomsday Preppers-fame), including:

• Holly Blevins
• Jay Blevins
• Catherine Bryson
• Jamie Bryson
• Braxton Southwick
• Colton Southwick
• Kara Southwick
• Rylee Southwick

Sky News did a pretty good job with the report. It wasn’t the usual hit piece many have come to expect from the mainstream media with regards to preppers.


Sky News: The Doom Boom
YouTube Video

However, some in the preparedness industry who viewed the production may have been a little irked with the association of fear and providing goods/services to the prepper community. Consider the following from Waghorn:

And for those who trade on fear, business has never been better.

Larry Hall has made a name selling to people with a lot of money, and a lot of fear.

Fear is big business in the U.S., but doom and bloom has spawned an industry worth millions.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Finally, there was this exchange between Larry Hall of Luxury Survival Condo (who also featured in a Doomsday Preppers episode) and Waghorn:

WAGHORN: Because there’ll be people I suppose who look at this and think, well, the whole prepping industry has become an industry and you presumably have made a fair amount of money out of this. And in a sense, what people like you are doing is peddling fear and profiting from it. What do you say to people like that?
HALL: Well, again, I don’t think it’s fear. I think it’s awareness. I think that fear has a negative connotation. I don’t think I’m peddling fear. I think I’m peddling preparedness. And there’s a big difference.

“I’m peddling preparedness. And there’s a big difference.”

Nice. And that may be the case with Hall and a lot of other vendors in that industry. But no doubt there are those “peddling fear” these days, so it pays to be aware of that.

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

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

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