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DoomsdayTrend: Americans building “doomsday bunkers” in large numbers

Published 14 February 2017

It may be a fad of the moment, or an indication of a deeper trend, but people across the United States are building and buying “doomsday bunkers” in large numbers. It is not exactly a new business, but demand for underground bunkers is at an all-time high according to industry insiders. A Texas bunker company saw its sales increase 400 percent in the past two months.

Old nuclear shelters repurposed by Doomsday preppers // Source: theconversation.com

It may be a fad of the moment, or an indication of a deeper trend, but people across the United States are building and buying “doomsday bunkers” in large numbers.

It is not exactly a new business, but demand for underground bunkers is at an all-time high according to Clyde Scott, owner of Rising Bunkers, in Murchison, Texas.

He told the Independent that he believed the growth in business was politically driven. “The current administration is a no back down administration….then you have hotheads like Kim Jong Un and Putin,” Scott said. 

Scott said that sales are up 400 percent for Rising Bunkers in the past two months. Scott also noted his bunker business, which may well be the largest in the world, is already a $10 million-a-year business.

About 99 percent of demand for his company’s bunkers comes from the U.S. residents, said Scott. 

Mike Peters of Salt Lake City-based Ultimate Bunker agrees, saying he has noticed a rise in demand over the past three years, which he also attributed to the election and the political climate.

Both Scott and Peters said that the largest demand for bunkers came from conservative-leaning individuals, in wealthy areas, who fear that a nuclear catastrophe is imminent. Scott noted, though, that some liberals are also trickling into the “underground scene.”

Money Magazine reports that the New Yorker recently ran a story about a number of wealthy people from Silicon Valley who were investing in boltholes for themselves and their families out of worry that the American society was facing an imminent collapse.

The crowd has evolved though, Peters told the Independent. “When people thought Hillary was going to be elected, I was getting calls for gun vaults because everyone was afraid of losing their guns,” he said.

With Hillary now out of the picture, “the gun people have settled down,” said Peters. “Now we’re getting calls primarily because of nuclear talk and tensions with Russia.”

Peters added that the “People have just come to the point where they understand that this is going to happen.”

It is not only a nuclear conflagration people are worried about, Peters added. It is also the threat of civil unrest. “People are worried about their own neighbors,” he said.

The bunkers Peters’s company sells can be bought for $200,000 and up, and his company builds about a dozen a year.

Peters added that customers usually keep quiet about their bunkers. “There is a shame associated with it for sure, that’s the reason people are so secretive,” he said. “People don’t want to be made fun of or stereotyped, they don’t want to be labeled.”

Scott agrees. “If you’re going to buy something to hide underground, why would you let anyone know?”