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Military Times Bomb ShelterOriginally Published on Military Times by Jon R. Anderson on January 9, 2013

The Bunker Biz

Everyone knows the end is near, but there’s still time to find awesome accommodations for Armageddon. If you’ve been wondering where to ride out the end of the world as we know it, you can feel fine about your options. From in-house reinforcements and budget backyard bunkers to former missile silo fixer-uppers and luxury-condo strongholds, you can find doomsday digs to fit every budget.

Everyone knows the end is near, but there’s still time to find awesome accommodations for Armageddon. If you’ve been wondering where to ride out the end of the world as we know it, you can feel fine about your options. From in-house reinforcements and budget backyard bunkers to former missile silo fixer-uppers and luxury-condo strongholds, you can find doomsday digs to fit every budget.

While most of the U.S. housing market has suffered through its biggest downturn in modern times, this is one segment that’s booming. Doomsday bunker builders are reporting exponential growth in recent years.
“We’ve been doubling our business every year since 2008,” says Walton McCarthy, president of Dallas-based Radius Engineering International. “We’ve gone from $2 million in 2008 to $36 million this year.”
Some of the options:
– In-house upgrade: The biggest threat many ever will face is the house-crushing wind of a hurricane or tornado. Quick-access, reinforced “safe rooms” – like DuPont’s StormRoom – are becoming the choice for many.
– Backyard bunkers: If you’re worried about nukes, chemical or biological threats or an electromagnetic pulse blackout, you’ll need something underground with an air and water filtration system and enough storage for at least a few months’ worth of supplies. Hardened Structures, of Virginia Beach, Va., has options that range from $40,000 to $400,000.
– Backcountry retreat: For those who want to head for the hills, Dallas-based Radius Engineering’s modular systems usually can be buried in a weekend. A fully stocked eight-person retreat, with internal generators and water and air filters, sells for $124,000.
– Cold War fixer-uppers: Topeka, Kan.-based 20th Century Castles has about a dozen Cold War missile sites and communications bunkers listed for sale: $750,000 will buy you a three-bedroom log cabin in New York sitting atop an Atlas F silo already converted into a luxury retreat. Or, for $185,000, you can convert your own 23-acre Kansas site yourself.
– Community-based survival: Like an underground cruise ship, Terra Vivos sells survival staterooms in its community shelters for the “chosen few.” Spaces start at $50,000.
– Living large: Starting at $1.1 million, you can buy a luxury underground condo in a retrofitted missile silo. Set to accommodate a total of 80 people, Survival Condo’s first location is already sold out, but the company is taking applications for its next project.